One night, I was tired of the nightmares. I had enough! I had to get the story out of my mind so I could sleep. In the middle of the night, I quietly got out of bed, bravely tiptoed down the dark hallway and planted myself in the middle the living room. Even though I’d never been to camp, I pretended I was sitting around a campfire and proceeded to re-tell the story. As I told to the story to nobody in particular and the Universe in general, I changed the ending so I wouldn’t die. Ingenious for a little girl, right?!
Not only did this save my life in the story, it planted the seed that I could re-write any storyline handed me throughout my life
Then, in Junior High, I started paying attention to boys. . . actually one boy. I met my future ex-husband when I was 12. I moved out the day I turned 18 in January, we got married in April and I graduated High School in June. We got divorced when I was 20. The ghost stories turned into poems because nobody could understand the roller coaster ride of our relationship . . . the bruised ribs, the black eyes, stalking that started in 1985 and continues to this day. I needed to get my feelings out, so my poems became my therapy.
It doesn’t matter what medium you prefer . . . express yourself. Get your feelings out . . . your desires and dreams your fears. Even if the only person you tell is yourself, your story will provide insight and understanding to help you move forward.
The most important stories are the ones we tell ourselves. Throughout my life and my career, I’ve learned that what we say to ourselves - our stories - creates our reality.
When I fell into depression, I kept saying to myself, “I’m stuck. It’s like I hit a brick wall. I’ve never been where I didn’t want to be and not known how to get out of it. Well, I told me so. One night while driving home I fell asleep and hit a brick wall . . . literally . . . and totaled my car. That woke me up and I quickly changed the story I was telling myself to “I want myself back. I miss myself.” Eventually, I got my life back on track.
I’ve told many stories throughout my life - from entrepreneurs to entertainers . . . survivors to inspirers . . . charities to CEOs. While each story was as unique as the individual, they each had something in common. Every one told themselves a story they believed. Their story got them through whatever obstacle they faced, gave them to courage to succeed or let them know they would survive.
You write the script of your life. If you listen, you will be inspired by the stories of ordinary people who have lived extraordinary lives. Every one has a story and every story deserves to be heard, celebrated and shared. Every day people triumph over tragedies big and small. Every story has the power to inspire . . . the potential to change a life . . . to save a life.
In closing I want you to remember that your story, your life, is worth sharing. Like me, the life you save may be your own.
So . . . what’s your story?
You can watch my talk from the Inspire Speaker Series here: