Not everyone needs to hear your story, but somebody does
A few times a month I sit down to write a blog post and newsletter for the SheHive community. Some weeks the words flow like an inspired river. Some weeks I have to pry and wrestle them out. And some weeks, like this one, my inner critic makes herself loudly known and starts questioning whether I have a story worth sharing.
“Who. the. fuck. do you think you are to be trying to teach anyone anything?” she asks.
And, truth be told, my inner critic - I call her Roz - isn’t the only one giving me negative feedback or questioning my who I think I am. There are weeks where the number of unsubscribes to this newsletter surpass the subscribes. There are weeks where I hear nothing but crickets after I hit send. And there are times (luckily, rare), where people reach out to me and let me know they don’t like what I’ve written or don’t think I’ve earned the right to, well… write.
But there are many, many weeks where I hear back from someone that they can relate to what I shared. And by doing so, they’ve shared a little of their own story with me. These are the moments that remind me of how important it is to share our stories.
If you follow the SheHive on Instagram, you might have noticed a post last week of a chalk drawing on a sidewalk that read, “One day you will tell your story of how you’ve overcome what you’re going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.”
What unshared survival guides do you have within you?
From the time we are little, we are taught that if we want to make a change the first step is to make a plan on how we are going to do so. When I coach women, however, I ask them to define where they are going before they make the plan to get there.
It’s like a vacation, I tell them. You have to know if you are packing for Alaska or Hawaii before you start packing and mapping your route to get there.
I have all sorts of tips and tools in my bag of tricks to help women define the “where” and they have decades of training in how to create a plan, so we’re generally good to go for a few weeks. That is, until the plan doesn’t work out and they walk into the SheHive with tears in their eyes, ready to give up - convinced they’ve failed because the plan didn’t work.
But here’s the thing - the plan not working IS the plan working.
Since I was able-to-speak-years-old, my favorite word has been, “WHY,” and my favorite pastime has been asking it. WHY are we here? WHY are things the way they are? WHY do I act the way I act? WHY do I have these beliefs about myself and about the world? WHY do people make the decisions they make?
WHY did someone decide to pair together the two of the most awful foods on earth - a boiled egg and mayonnaise - call it a deviled egg and declare it a summertime delicacy?
One of the first regular events we held at the SheHive was a Saturday morning meditation group. I was pretty new to the practice, but quickly became fascinated by the patterns I started to notice during our debriefs. Women who sat next to each other – often complete strangers – would share similar images when they talked about what they had seen in their meditative states
Yesterday I took my mom out for a celebratory, fully-vaccinated, Mother’s Day lunch. As we were walking to the restaurant a group of four strangers approached us on the sidewalk with a bucket of roses. I assumed they were trying to sell us flowers, or something else, so I started to rush by them.
“Happy Mother’s Day,” one of them said as they thrust out two roses and then handed my mom and I each a little paper bag. “We’re from a local church and we’re just out here wishing all the women we see a Happy Mother’s Day. We hope you have a great day!”
And that was it. They walked away.