Why do we feel that it’s necessary to hide who we are? Why do we behave like actors on the stage of our very own lives?
I do believe we all have a story to tell. But if what we share is not the real story, the entire story, the good-bad-and-the-ugly-story, then I don’t believe it’s worth hearing. Because filtered stories aren’t real.
I know, because I hid behind a false narrative, ashamed of revealing the parts of me that I was certain didn’t fit into the norm (whatever that means), or might expose me as not being good enough, “less than”, a fraud.
I used to feel piles of shame about the fact that the highest degree that I hold is a GED.
I went to college briefly but never finished. Most of my friends and peers had at least an undergrad degree, so I feared that my lack of education and similar “college experiences “would render me an outsider or make them believe I wasn’t up to snuff to hang with them.
That feeling of shame I had surrounding this story had soooooo much power over me. This story literally shaped how I viewed myself and what I thought would be possible for myself.
But one day I decided to fully embrace my story and take my power back. Eventually, I had absolutely no reservations about telling people that not only do I not have a college education, but The highest degree I received was a GED.
Rather than hiding from this story, I fully embraced it because it’s mine, and it’s part of the full story that makes me who I am.
What I didn’t realize would happen is that being open about the truth of my story actually lifted any sense of shame I have been feeling prior to embracing my story.
Through my personal experience, I learned we shouldn’t own just the good stories of our lives. We should own the failures, the regrets, the poor choices we’ve made or the wrongdoing that others have inflicted on us.
I learned it’s a choice to let your shame bind you, or set you—and others—free. I now powerfully choose the latter.