Everybody has a story. A story of struggle and triumph - your story - can inspire and inform others. While almost all of us will experience some sort of adversity, it has been said that what is most personal is most universal. That's why your personal story can bring so much value.
But is doesn't end there.
Oral story telling has been a major tool in many interventions developed by tribal healers across many cultures. The emotional power of emotional storytelling means you are sharing events and people that matter to you in your life. You place less emphasis on merely describing facts about your life. In so doing, people will latch on to it more because it's relatable and its effect is transferable.
Granted, sharing such personal stories of your adversity is not always easy. When you have a chronic condition like sickle cell anemia or sickle cell anemia, you have to adjust to the disease each day. Sometimes it's severe, sometimes it's in remission but always present. When you isolate yourself mentally and/ or physically, your sense of health and vibrancy are sapped. At worst, you can lose it.
So what exactly are the benefits of sharing your story of struggle?
The collective effect of sharing your narrative builds resilience. Your story, while being witnessed by other's with loving attention , has powerful effects. Where feelings of loneliness encroached, you feel part of a larger community. Every time you share your story, your body's stress responses turn off, activating relaxation hormones. Why is this important? Negative stress affects your body's immunity which in turn affects healing and recovery. On the other hand, the stress relieving hormones produced as an effect of sharing your story turn on the body's innate self- healing mechanism functioning as a preventative treatment when you're ill. You feel more relaxed knowing you have a community of caring people who can relate to you. This realization helps heal your mind of anxiety, fear. feelings of being disconnected and depression.
Vulnerability of sharing your story
As humans, we are wired for connection because it gives purpose and meaning in our lives. We seek it because feelings of part of what discourages people from sharing their personal stories is vulnerability. But laying your life bare leaves you open. We imagine that once people know that part of our lives, it would somehow make us unworthy of connection. It underpins two feelings: shame and fear. Shame because we perhaps feel embarrassed of our illness. Fear because chronic illness can induce such feelings.
Vulnerability however is not something to fear. It's part of who you are. You have the ability to embrace and harness your vulnerability. By sharing your journey, you're stripping off that mask, revealing your authentic self and be deeply seen. This authenticity can awaken the potential of those that read it. Sharing your story helps people see that they are not alone, opening you both to new possibilities of learning, living and loving. every time you embrace your vulnerability, you gain trust open yourself to deeper connection with another human people, unhindered by sugarcoated perceptions.
Ready To Share Your Story?
If you've been longing to share your story, there's good news for you! The healtheo360 community is a open access community of whose members share their personal revelations of their struggles. In this community, you'll soon find that there are other out there who may have similar experiences. This sharing gesture leads to a transformative experience that highlights captivating life lessons. It can also inspire other's to selfless acts. Please share your comments/ questions below and on social media using the hashtag #RealStories.