Own and Share Your Story
Unsure where to begin in this new year? How about starting with a clean slate? There are just two things you need to use to get the job done.
First, OWN YOUR STORY! What does owning your story mean? It's being honest with yourself about the reality of your life.....the beautiful, the ugly, the failures and the successes. It's being truthful and not making up stories to justify mistakes, protect or hide yourself, or to falsify who you are.
Secondly, SHARE YOUR STORY! There is great power and value to both you and others when doing so. Sharing your story gives you control, creates deep connections with yourself and others. Telling your story allows you to heal, learn, teach others, stay humble and authentic, and a large contributor to personal and professional growth. Share your story not to be the victim or gain sympathy, but to become your own hero.
Here's my 20-year story: Married high school sweetheart at 22. It was also my 10-year anniversary of fighting anorexia, depression, and anxiety while trying to figure out how to deal with my ADHD mind. Became pregnant at 22 years old and lost the pregnancy at 13 weeks. Gave birth to our first daughter at 24 years of age. Fought for her life when she was 4 weeks old, again at 3 years old and again at 5 years old. On bedrest at 24 weeks with the 2nd and 3rd pregnancies due to complications and premature labor. Both born 6 weeks early. Suffered tremendously from postpartum and ended in a psych ward after 3rd child was born. It was the day before Thanksgiving and my father's entire family was coming to celebrate his and my grandmother's birthday. Every Thanksgiving since brings anxiety.
Jobless, pregnant for the 5th time, miscarried at 15 weeks while fighting for 2nd child's life after a tragic accident leaving her with brain injuries. Husband is laid off, pennies in our bank account, barely paying for the mortgage, and my identity gets stolen. It costs my entire retirement plan.
Fast forward to 2013, marriage is ending. 2015 Fall victim of assault at work, hysterectomy weeks after that, received papers of termination after signing an offer to stay and work for another year because I had a perfect performance review. Filed lawsuit against the employer for wrongful termination which became a year and half battle putting stress on the family. We all begin therapy. Up and moved my three daughters back to our home town to live with my parents because I was jobless, single, and living on unemployment as I couldn't get a job. No one wants to hire a whistle blower.
Spring of 2016 brought a tragic death of a man very near to our hearts. A man our three daughters looked up to, admired, and trusted. It also brought the death of a complete stranger we came across when driving home that was struck by a car. When you feel their organs in the palm of your hands and the warmth of their blood on your clothes as you perform CPR, and you give your breath to their heart, they no longer are a stranger. Peace be with you, Linda. Linda's death was followed by another. A man who became a grandfather figure in our daughter's lives while his wife mentored the oldest. Wayne gained his wings. Three months, three deaths. How much more can we endure?
January 1, 2018 I completed a 2.5 hour rigorous yoga practice. My intention for the practice was one word, "LOVE." The instructor had us write it down on a piece a paper and place it at the top of our yoga mat. I met my soulmate in that class! Never believed they existed until that class. Yoga is a staple, a rock, and healer in not just my life but my soulmates. In 2018 did a 190 turn to a complete career change. Went from special education to being a banker. Scary as a horror movie but blessed because my home away from home gave me the opportunity to get my very own place for the first time at 39 years old and health insurance! I got to begin to put money away for retirement and open a savings for the $25 extra per paycheck that was left. I felt rich! Grateful for the health insurance as I came close to ground zero mentally and physically again. Thyroid challenges and anxiety brought me to my all-time low weight of 87lbs. I wasn't even that thin when I starved myself for weeks! I was an idiot and broke up with my soulmate because I felt he deserved the best and I was not that. 12 years older, unable to bare children, and ill, I broke up with him. Thank goodness his stubborn incredible heart didn't give up on me.
'2021 brought COVID and heart conditions that would threaten the lives of two of our daughters. With excellent support from doctors, friends, employers, and family, we move forward and continue to live, not just to exist.
Fast forward to today, 43 years old, it became my turn to face the fear of cancer just a week before I married my soul mate and twin flame. But because I am independent, healthy, worthy, rich, strong, successful, thriving, living, healing, intelligent, loving, genuine, kind, adventurous, fun, beautiful, devoted, purposeful, dedicated, happy as F*&k, and blessed! This past year my husband and I started not one but two businesses while working our full-time jobs and being in school. Our daughters have survived and are thriving. Thriving through their own anxiety, depression, physical and learning disabilities, while navigating the normal teenage and COVID challenges.
My relationship with my ex-husband is strong and he is stronger than he has ever been. He is 2+ years sober, devoted to self-care for the first time which has abled him to have control over his anxiety, depression, and he has become the dad his daughters have always wanted. His journey alone is a hell of a novel and one everyone could read and learn from.
So how did I get here? I started with not being ashamed of my story, but proud. I chose to own it and share it. I chose to not be the victim, but to forgive. I choose to not give anger any of my time, but to give gratitude to everything.
Own and share your story! It's a really great way to start a NEW year! YOUR BEST year yet!
Shameless and proud while owning her story, through self-empowerment,
ICF Certified Self-Empowerment Coach
ICF Organizational Development Coach
Need help owning your story? At Jondrea Phelps, LLC we navigate with you to become self-empowered. Call or email us for your free 30 minute consult.