I hope this message finds you soaking up long, sunny days and sipping your favorite beverages. I imagine you reading this at a park or sitting at a baseball game between innings – that’s what I wish for you!
At a recent speaking engagement, a woman approached me. Her eyes shone with kindness and light as she said, “You don’t know me, but I saw you speak at a virtual conference a couple of years ago. You changed my life.” She began to unravel a personal story about her life, her marriage and its ending. Now, raising a young boy on her own, she recalled my presentation and how I shared the story of my divorce and remarriage. She remembered me reassuring folks on the virtual meeting that recovering from the trauma of divorce and finding your soulmate is possible. That your kids will be ok. That you will be ok. That divorce is scary, overwhelming and the most personal-private experience you walk through, often feeling lonely and uncertain. And that love is possible Healing is possible. Finding someone who loves you and your children unconditionally actually happens. She told me that because I shared that story, when she faced her marriage and it’s sad ending, she had the courage to know that something better may be waiting. All because I shared my story.
Friends, you never know whose life you will touch. Long ago, I would have never shared such stories of humanity, failure and grace. But I do so all the time now. And this is why. SHE is why. Connections matter. Letting another person know – I see you, I’ve been there and you can do this – is everything.
You know, I didn’t even ask her what training she had attended. I don’t even care to recall. As I listened through teary eyes to her story, I realized it didn’t matter. What mattered was that, on that day, I had the courage to say – “I’ve experienced trauma in my life and in my relationships. And it gets better.” And she heard me. And she carried it with her. And one day, many years later, she took that sense of safety in my words and acted upon them.
Share your stories. Share your humanity. Your fumbles and stumbles and hard-fought lessons. You never know whose life you’ll touch. All because of your story. Your story matters.