“I went to see a therapist,” I told my friend. She was clearly surprised as she timidly asked me why. “For the first time in years, I felt that dark sadness approaching.” I said. “I’m not depressed, but I refuse to go back to where I used to be.”
For some, sharing this decision would have rolled off their tongues just as easily as water down a duck’s back. For me—a woman accustomed to concealing her emotions—it was hard. But I’d had enough of the half-truths. I’d learned from my depression that keeping things in the darkness only strengthens them.
But the difference between the girl who battled the dark night of the soul for seven years and the woman who found a therapist after two days was that I was no longer ashamed of my emotions. It didn’t matter what anyone thought or believed…or, if they saw me as weak. I needed help and I was ready to risk it all to stay healthy.
I realized that needing professional help was just as much a part of my story as my victory over depression. I couldn’t edit out the parts I didn’t like and keep the ones that made me look independent and strong. I’d learned the meaning of transparency.
Transparency occurs the moment you seize the opportunity to tell your real story—something about yourself that you know is incongruent with the view of you that others currently hold. And, because the possible connection is worth so much more than the image—you take the leap.
We can never be whole when we deny parts of who we are and our experiences. We can't simply edit out the bad parts because when we do we often lose the pieces that others need to hear the most. I am not saying we should recklessly bare our souls to strangers or emotionally unavailable friends and family. I am saying that we should live in the consciousness that:
1. Perfect is a word, not a reality: Sometimes we feel trapped and struggle to find answers because we don’t think anyone will understand the craziness that can sometimes be our reality. Thinking that we are alone, we fail to make progress because we hold the wisdom, experience and knowledge of others at bay.
2. The healing is in the hidden: Precious gems must be mined. You will have to some soul mining to discover your story. I started writing poetry that I would only share with my closest friends. Seeing the impact, I then shared my poetry with a larger audience. Eventually, I was able to understand my depression and healing to the point where I could coach others and wrote my book, Thrive! 7 Strategies for Extraordinary Living.
3. Your audience is waiting: You never know when your story will change someone’s life. Just this week, a business conversation ended in me sharing a few of my experiences. I felt like an emotional exhibitionist because of my transparency. I was tempted to hold back, but didn’t. In the middle of our conversation, the other party told me with tears in her eyes that I’d helped her find the answer for similar issues in her life.
Do Your Work! Tell your story…write a poem and allow others to read it. If you dare, post it in a blog. If that’s not for you, simply dare to share with someone from your heart. Or, the next time you’re tempted to tell the story that you’re afraid to tell… DO IT!
Define Your Wealth! Affirm out loud, “My life, my story has an irreplaceable and invaluable place in this world. I dare to share it with those I am called to touch!”
Recently named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Felicia T. Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who empowers her clients to turn their Worth into Wealth as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO the WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH. Get more insight, download the FREE “8 Choices Winners Must Make” seminar MP3 on her website.