Owning Our Stories

Owning Our Story Final

For years, I’ve run from my story. A story filled with rejection and shame. A story fraught with self-inflicted wounds.

For years, I’ve hidden from people, afraid that if people discovered who I really was that they would reject me.

Scared if they found out about the things I’ve done throughout my lifetime, they would deem me “damaged goods.”

Fearful to connect, because connection implies openness and vulnerability, honesty and authenticity.

I was afraid of myself.

I hated myself.

Even writing this makes me cringe.

I’ve discovered, though, that unless I come to terms with me, I will never experience God’s best for my life. I will remain angry, anxious, bitter, resentful, selfish, fearful, and all the other cousins that come with these emotions and tendencies.

So I’ve been coming to terms with my story. My narrative includes a bunch of mess. It hasn’t been pretty. I became “the bag lady” Erykah Badu sings about in her song “Bag Lady”:

“Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold on to
Is you, is you, is you…”

For a long time I thought that I was the only person I knew who went through the crap I went through. I didn’t think anyone I knew could relate to the baggage I carried. That perspective led me to shrink back, to retreat, to hide. I deceived people (or not). I didn’t reveal the true me.

I realized over the years that I’m not alone.

But I have received much help from my wonderful husband of 14 years in my efforts to achieve wholeness, to discover “the me” underneath those heavy bags. As I have slowly embraced my husband’s  encouragement and love, I know that I’m okay, that there is nothing wrong with me, that in my mess, I am worthy.

I am worthy. I am good enough. This is now my truth.

So I’ve made the conscious decision today to own my story. That story includes a main character who’s made many choices that weren’t good, that were really, sometimes, quite devastating for me. But because I’ve also decided to examine what’s in the dark, I’ve learned a lot. A lot that I’d like to share. Because I have decided that I no longer want to be less than what God has called me to be. And I hope that if you’ve experienced feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and rejection, you’ll tune in to my story.

I have exerted a lot of negative energy trying to hide myself, scared of what people will think. I no longer care. I am free to express who I really am. I am on a new journey of authentic self-exploration that I hope will help others, as well as myself, be better tomorrow than they are today.

Because as research professor Brené Brown states in her book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (this is an Amazon affiliate link; if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive a small compensation):

“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

I’m ready to discover that light. Are you ready to explore with me? Share with me your thoughts.