That one makes you think doesn’t it? When we are feeling low, alone, and are sitting in the dark, we feel like no one would understand what we’re going through, we feel lost, like we’re the only ones who are, or have, gone through what we’re going through. But the truth is, many of us have similar or shared experiences, even with those people, from the outside, we have very little in common with.
When I finally made the decision to fight for myself, a big part of that was joining a support group. I went, the first time, because a friend I trusted suggested I go, so I went, trepidatiously, thinking I was going to sit there and listen to people I couldn’t relate to and leave feeling even more alone than I already did. The opposite happened. As I sat there in the back of the room I looked around. None of these people looked like me, they didn’t necessarily come from the background I had, how were they going to help me. Well, the first woman who spoke and shared her truth told my story. Not exactly, but what she shared was so similar to my own experiences I almost thought I had been set up by my friend and the people in that room had been told what to say. In fact, I think I accused him of it once or twice. But what really happened as I continued to listen to various people, who all were sharing their own experiences, which mirrored mine, is that even though I wouldn’t have thought we had anything in common by just looking at their outsides, our insides were the same. We did the same things, thought the same things, and, had said many of the same things, one of which being that we didn’t belong there before we realized the truth.
You see the truth is we have a lot more in common with those around us than we think. And, we only discover that when we share our truth with another person, or, group of people. Those stories saved my life because I realized that I was in a safe place, and within that place there was a solution to a better life. I wasn’t the only one, all of the people in that room were just like me, and they were all committed to getting better, and, supporting each other along the way. I’d never encountered anything like it. I had gone through my whole life thinking I was different, odd, and the only one who thought the way I did, it was baffling, but refreshing to learn that that wasn’t the truth. I felt safe among those people because I knew they wouldn’t judge me, I mean, they were just like me, and I them, so no one was pointing any fingers saying I should have done better, we collectively were there saying we were going to do better today.
It’s easy to look around and think you have nothing in common with those around you, or, that you are the only one who has done the things you’ve done, but I am here to tell you, that that is not the truth. There are many who are just like you, and will understand you. At the beginning of my journey I was asked to look at the similarities and not the differences, because my disease, on a bad day, would try to excuse a way the connections I was making, it would try to nitpick their stories and highlight what didn’t match up with mine, but when I was able to take a step back, and really listen, I realized that there was far more in common than not, and I found strength and hope there.
I challenge you SLAYERS to do the same. Look for what you have in common with the people in your life, share your truth and see how that commonality comes out when two people share their truth. You are not alone, there are many who walk the same path you do, the question is, do you choose to walk the path in the dark, or the path that is lit from all those like you who have walked before you. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you look for the differences in yourself and other people? Why do you think you do this? Do you tend to judge your insides to other people’s outsides? No one really knows someone’s true story unless you take the time to sit and share with them, and them you. It’s in those moments we realize that most of us are all truly connected by shared experiences, even in the most uncommon of circumstances. I once had a tough-looking biker, big guy, lots of tattoos, wearing his leathers, walk up to me and thank me for my honesty because he really related to my story, I smiled and said that only because we were both living in our truth did we get to realize that, and thanked him for his honesty that day. Be honest, be you, share who you are and see how that truth connects you to others who are just like you, maybe not on the outside, but inside, where it counts.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you