I had the privilege of sitting down yesterday with a group of incredible women, all from different parts of the country, different ages, different types of jobs, skills and family lives, from the outside we all looked different, but inside we were all the same. We had similar experiences, we had done, and do, similar things to get by, to live life, we had made a lot of the same mistakes, and had many of the same fears, hopes, and dreams. It made me smile, and it filled my heart with love. All of these beautiful people were doing their best, they were survivors, warriors, fighters, and all, at different times came to realize at some point in their life that their journey was not meant to walked alone, that there was strength in numbers. We are all stronger together. We back each other up. We lift each other up. And when we do, we get stronger, and we rise. When I started on this path and it was suggested I get involved with a group of people for support, my first reactions was, “I don’t like groups, I’m a one-on-one-person.” And I was. The thought of sitting in a group of people I didn’t know and have to listen to their “problems,” and then share about mine made my skin crawl. Who the heck wants to do that? But I did it anyway. I did it because my life depended on it. So I sat there that first time, not wanting to be there, and the first person who spoke told my story. I realized in that moment I wasn’t alone, and I realized by all the nodding heads in the room as she spoke, that I was in a room full of people just like me, I wasn’t the only one, I wasn’t a freak, a bad person, all of the people in that room had similar stories, and I related to something in all of them, and not only did I feel relieved that I wasn’t the only one, because I identified with the people in that room, I also found hope in the ones who had found a better way of life for themselves, I thought, if they had done it, maybe I could to. And that maybe is what kept me going back, and motivated me to do the work I needed to climb my way out.
I now love sitting in a group and sharing my truth, I get a charge from it, there’s an electricity, it’s palpable, you can feel it in the room, as is the love. I also learned a lot from sitting in those groups, I learned to listen and not interrupt until someone was finished, I learned to share my own truth in a concise and clear manner, and I learned how to be a friend to someone else, a true friend, but also how to set healthy boundaries for myself so that the friendships I was making, as well as the ones I had before, were in line with the path I was setting out to live my life on, a path that was about self-love and respect and being compassionate with others. I also learned that if I needed to talk to someone one-on-one that I wasn’t “bothering” them, that I may be helping them too. I am a firm believer that nothing happens by chance, we meet and interact with the people we are meant to, when we are meant to, and so when we reach out to someone because we need someone to listen, or we need some feedback, we’re not bothering them, we are meant to have that exchange with them because they need it to. They may need to hear what you have to say, or they may need to hear themselves say what they respond back with. It’s a two-way street, at least if it’s a healthy relationship or friendship. And, as SLAYERS, we’re working to only have healthy relationships and friendships, or at least ones on our own terms. So, when you don’t share what’s going on with you it’s actually selfish, because you are not only cheating yourself out of a conversation you should be having, but you’re also cheating the other person out of having a conversation they should be having as well. Open your heart and share.
I am so proud of the SLAYERS who walk along with me, who share their authentic selves at any given moment, with me, with the people in their lives, and with anyone out there who can be helped by it. Every one of our stories has value, and you just never know who may hear and how that may help them, or possibly, save their life. It was a story that saved my life, and that is why I place so much importance on sharing mine with others. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do find it difficult to share you story, or what’s going on for you, with others? Why? Do you have people in your life you can trust and can talk to? If yes, why don’t you share yourself with them if don’t? If you don’t feel you have people to go to, where can you go to find people who are like you, or that you can trust? For me, it started with one person I trusted, someone I knew had overcome a lot, someone I knew wouldn’t judge me, and by opening up to that one person, I was introduced to many, and my world grew exponentially. Challenge yourself SLAYER to reach out, to share, to find those like you you can share your journey with, your struggles, and know that we here, we SLAYERS, are all alike, and we all love you, even when you don’t love yourself. Stay close SLAYER, we’ve got your back.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you