A dear friend of mine recently suffered an unimaginable loss. As we were eating dinner together and catching up on each other’s lives, her eyes filled with tears and suddenly she was overcome with sadness. She expressed that she felt as though she hasn’t had time to grieve properly and she just couldn’t understand why something so awful had to happen to her. She is traumatized. It was one of those moments when I felt as though no matter what I said to her, it just wouldn’t be right. I could not find the words to comfort her.
Both of us being quite spiritual, we shifted the conversation towards God and how prayer has helped her. A mutual friend of ours had just received word that her chemotherapy has been successful, so we praised God. Without speaking it, I could sense that we were both wondering the same thing. Miracles happen every day. There are so many reasons to celebrate. And yet here she is, my dear friend, unable to contain her pain and sorrow. It’s something we all wonder from time to time. Why did this have to happen to me?
I didn’t have the answers for her and I don’t understand her loss. I still don’t understand the parts of my life that have left me so broken. We suffer, we’re hurt, and heart broken, often left with scars that will never fully heal. I don’t know why these things happen. There are just so many questions. So instead of pretending to know how she was feeling or stumbling on my words, I decided to share with her what I do know.
I know that little by little, the pain will subside. I know that she will never be the same, but within this new person she is becoming, there is a gift. She has faced something that she may never fully recover from, but she also has a new strength. I know that now, she might not be ready to talk about it and that is ok. But one day, she might share her story with others who have been through similar circumstances and they will realize that they too, are going to be ok. Others might share their stories with her, and she will be comforted knowing she is not alone.
I believe there is always light to be found in the darkness and sometimes that light is just knowing that someone else can relate to you. Someone else can hear your story and learn from it and grow from it and feel just a bit safer. Sharing your pain is so difficult and maybe it’s not for everyone. But for me personally, telling my truth has set me free. We all have a story to tell and there will always be someone who needs to hear what you have to say. Your story could be the beginning of someone else’s healing journey. Your words and experiences can change a life.
We may never understand the reasons behind our suffering. But by sharing our stories, we can take that pain and turn it into someone else’s inspiration. We have the power to turn our bruises into someone’s courage. Your story has power. It might be scary and painful, but it can also be empowering. It could be exactly what someone needs to hear to begin the healing process. Oh, and one more thing; it will also bring healing to you!
Revealing my most life altering trials and trauma has changed my life. It has given my pain a purpose. When I receive an email from a stranger telling me that reading my words is exactly what they needed in that moment, it becomes a beautiful thing. It’s togetherness that makes it all worth it. So, when I start to ask that question, “why me?” I remind myself that there is a valuable lesson in all of this. Someone out there might just need to hear what I have to say. My story belongs to me, but sharing it is what brought me true healing.