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The Healing Power Of Telling Your Story

Lissa Rankin's picture

One of the reasons I began blogging is because I had a story to tell, one I intended to live out loud, on a public stage, recording along the way the journey of how I had lost my mojo and how I would get it back. Making this one decision to tell my story transformed my life forever.

Since then, I’ve been telling my story, while inviting other bloggers in the Owning Pink community to tell theirs and inviting readers to share their stories in the comments and on the Owning Pink forum.

I was also given the chance to tell my story when my friend Christine Bronstein, founder of A Band Of Wives, invited me to contribute to a book she was compiling called Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God, a book of personal revelations told by 51 women who hold nothing back. (You can read my review of the book here).

If you’ve been longing to tell your story, feeling like you’ve got a song in you that’s yet unsung, Christine and I have good news for you!  Because Christine so believes in the healing power of telling your story and sharing it with the world, she has created an opportunity I’m so solidly behind that I agreed to help spread the word.

The My Story Project

If you’re interested in being one of the storytelling voices in Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God and having your story published alongside many other fearless women unapologetically telling their stories, I invite you to participate in My Story, a customized version of Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God: 51 Women Reveal the Power of Positive Female Connection, where you (or if you’re a guy, the women in your life) can go online at Nothingbutthetruth.com and enter your own story (up to 2,000 words) and art, and your story will become the last chapter of a customized version of the book. (WOOT! Check that off your bucket list. You’ll be a published author!) 

The My Story project gives you an opportunity to flex your voice, have your story witnessed, see yourself in print, and create a book with your own story of positive female connection in a book with other awesome female authors.

Why?

Because telling your story - while being witnessed with loving attention by others who care - may be the most powerful medicine on earth.  Each us is a constantly unfolding narrative, a hero in a novel no one else can write. And yet so many of us leave our stories untold, our songs unsung - and when this happens, we wind up feeling lonely, listless, out of touch with our life’s purpose, plagued with a chronic sense that something is out of alignment. We may even wind up feeling unworthy, unloved, or sick.

Every time you tell your story and someone else who cares bears witness to it, you turn off the body’s stress responses, flipping off toxic stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine and flipping on relaxation responses that release healing hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide, and endorphins. Not only does this turn on the body’s innate self-repair mechanisms and function as preventative medicine - or treatment if you’re sick. It also relaxes your nervous system and helps heal your mind of depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and feelings of disconnection.

You Are Not Alone

If I could sum up everything I’ve learned from over four years of blogging, it would boil down to one thing - you are not alone.

So many of us are tormented by the insane idea that we’re separate, disconnected beings suffering all by our little lonesome selves. I say this from experience. That’s exactly how I felt when I started blogging, as if I was the only one in the whole wide world who had lost her mojo and longed to get it back. Then I started telling my story - and VOILA! Millions of people showed to tell me they had lost their mojo too - or even more inspiring, that they had once lost theirs and since gotten it back.

How had they gotten their mojo back? By telling their story.

The Power of Storytelling

When we tell our stories and others bear witness, the notion that we are disconnected beings suffering alone dissolves under the weight of evidence that this whole concept is merely an illusion and that millions of others are suffering just like us. They say misery loves company, and it’s true! The minute you discover that someone else is suffering just like you - or even better, that they’re celebrating their wholeness just like you - that sense of disconnection eases and you start to glimpse the truth - that we are beings of vibrating energy, connected on the energy internet through processes like quantum entanglement, with overlapping consciousness that connects us to a divine Source and to the Inner Pilot Light of every being on this planet (and perhaps others.)

The Power of Vulnerability

In order to benefit fully from the healing medicine of telling your story, you must resist holding anything back. You must strip off your masks, be unapologetically YOU, ditch worrying about what “everybody” is going to think, and let your glorious freak flag fly. Otherwise, your story becomes a watered down, milk toast version of who you are.

As Brené Brown teaches in her TEDx talk The Power Of Vulnerability, the gateway to intimacy is via being vulnerable about your imperfections. If you try to sugar coat your story, you miss out on the sense of connection with another human being that you can only attain when you’re letting someone see your warts and your big ugly tail. Every time you expose those imperfections - and someone loves you in spite of - even because of - those imperfections, you gain trust (or as Brené calls it, you “put marbles in the jar.”). Over time, the intimacy you feel with other people depends on how many marbles are in your jar.

You Ready To Tell Your Story?      

We all have within us a story to tell, a song yet unsung. Is it time for you to tell your story? Click here to get started.

Or tell us your story here in the comments.

All ears,

Lissa

Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities LissaRankin.com and OwningPink.com,author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary.

Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on Twitter and Facebook

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Comments

Paula's picture

My story

Hello Lissa and all you lovely people.
I'm not sure where to post this, but I really need some female help and advice and because I am going to share a story, I thought I might do it here.

I have always had a history of falling in love very easily and mainly, with men that would suddenly vanish from my life. (Which I believe is due to my father's absence and coldness and lack of love when we were growing up).

I have had small relationships and 1 long 3 year relationship that went well. It ended 5 years ago and I have been alone ever since.

This summer, while in a depression, I met a wonderful, spiritual, conscious man and we developed this immediate connection. We became partners and experienced for one month the most beautiful, honest, trusting, mutually caring and spiritual partnership I have ever experienced and through this, I was finally able to develop a loving relationship with myself (which I had been trying through all the types of therapy you can imagine, never succeeding).

All was well and it seemed like the beginning of a wonderful and lasting spiritual partnership, we made each other grow and learn so much! There was so much light and love between us!

And then suddenly, when he started his final year of college, everything changed. It was like from day to night he was suddenly distant, absent, cold, we didn't talk, he wouldn't respond (we live in different countries) to anything I would send him, which he always did before.

When I finally called him, worried about such change, he said his life was in chaos from the moment he went back to college, he will have an examination in March where 90% of the people don't pass and he wasn't being able to study, to help his family who was falling apart, to balance himself or feel any energy or even to help a depressed friend who needed him so much. He felt like he had no time for anything, not even energy for himself.

It's been 2 months and a half since we had our month and a half of pure love. When I arrived to see him in Germany for the first time, he had many preconceptions and strict ideas about what love might be, felt weird about relationships or even kissing (his last relationship had ended up terribly, 5 yeas ago, causing him a huge depression). But as the days went by, he got out of his head and into his heart and became the most honestly loving person in the world. He forgot all the labels and just let himself feel. And it was beautiful. We declared our love for each other and decided to remain together and booked a new trip, we would meet in 2 months. After I came back home, for 2 or 3 weeks it was all love, and sharing and text, phone, email and love, light and trust.

Then suddenly, he got back to college and we barely spoke. Not because I didn't want to, but because he was very unresponsive and felt different. The calls and emails and texts that he used to send me and read with such joy, suddenly stopped and he felt like it took too much energy from him. He needed to focus on all of the demanding stuff that was going on his life since he went back to studying and his family falling apart.

I feel like there is such chaos going on in his life, he is now living only in his head and has let all the mental blocks and preconceptions come up again. I tried to talk to him about it, to understand if his feelings for me were still the same as in summer, but he says there is so much going on in his life, demanding from him in this moment, he can't even think about it. In the end, he couldn't even tell me if I still mean the same to him anymore or not.

I visited him again in the end of October and witnessed that he was in a really chaotic state. But we felt like strangers in the same house. Barely looking at each other or touching... I tried talking to him about it again, I needed to know if I was still in his heart... but he felt too overwhelmed and couldn't process what I needed to know. By the end of my trip (11 days) he became more loving and caring again, but we didn't kiss or acted like a couple, not like in Summer.
When I said goodbye to him I said I didn't care what his definition of love was, I still loved him. He wrote me a couple of days later to tell me he loved me. But he has this very particular way of seeing the world, where he believes we should love everyone equally. He said he is not close to loving everyone, but for those he loves, there is only one kind of love and that he loves me.

My enormous confusion here is... why did things change so drastically, if I didn't change anything in my behavior or way of communicating with him? Is it really just because he is in this chaotic mind-trapped place, not allowing his heart to feel? When he is in his mind, he has very strict rules and definitions. When he is in his heart, he doesn't think and he is pure light and honest love. That's why I visited him a second time. So that he could get out of his mind and remember. And by the end he did feel more loving...

My question here is... is there anything I can do in this situation or should I just let him go? Should I wait for this chaos that is going on in his life to subside, so he can become himself again (people say they don't recognize him right now) and feel our love again? Or should I move on with my life, if right now he is so unavailable and uncommunicative?

I really believed I had found my spiritual partner. Nobody ever made such sense in my life. Nobody made me grow and learn and develop my self-love and spirituality like him. I feel he is worth the waiting and I love him and I know with no doubts that the love he expressed for me during the summer was real and honest. He said he was even thankful for his horrible depression 5 years ago because the events after that had led him to me and he was so thankful to life for that.

How can I know if I should stay from afar, to give him his space to heal (he is very reluctant to outside help, believes each person should be the source of their own happiness) or if I should simply let go?

Please, help me understand. This is hurting every day, I cry so much :(

Love and gratitude,
Paula

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