January 21


Should We Share Our Personal Story?

By Celeste DeCamps

January 21, 2020

heart to heart, mindfulness, personal story, share your story

I grew up knowing very little about my parents’ childhood. Everything was a secret. Any questions I had for either of them was met with silence or a change of subject. Eventually, I gave up. As I got older I did get some insight from my grandmother about my mother but it wasn’t much. My father’s brother gave me a better picture of how he and his brothers grew up. The information helped me have more understanding of my father. We are all the product of our upbringing and experiences. I think if we shared more about ourselves, we would all develop a sense of compassion and empathy for each other.

We all have a story. It’s those stories that shape our perception and decision making. I’m sure you’ve seen this quote “Don’t let the past define you.” The reality is our past is what made us who we are today. I know the quote is trying to say that our future is still in our hands. We can’t let yesterday keep us from moving forward. Putting the past behind us is a good thing unless we didn’t understand the lessons we needed to learn. Events in our lives, good or bad, are there to help us grow stronger. It also gives us a unique outlook on life. 

I spoke at a women’s conference a few months ago. It was the organization’s annual meeting. The program opened with five attendees that were chosen beforehand to speak to the group. They were asked to tell the audience a little bit about themselves. Each woman spoke about their background and a synopsis of what led them to be part of the company. I was impressed with how each woman spoke about her challenges and struggles. It gave everyone a sense of how much we collectively go through in life. I recognized that sharing personal stories helps build a strong bond with each other.

I’m not saying we have to spill our guts to everyone we meet. I’m suggesting that we be a bit more open to our family, friends and co-workers. I think it helps to explain the decisions we make and how we navigate our different relationships. Understanding each other on a deeper level makes us realize that we have more in common than we first thought. I believe we would have more patience with each other. The idea of giving everyone the benefit of the doubt could prevent us from getting frustrated. 

We’ve all experienced having a bad day. It seems once one thing goes wrong the whole day becomes quicksand. We snap at our co-workers and our family. We spread our misery until it feels like the world is against us. Fun times. We can continue this way or realize we are hurting the people that we love. We are creating undue stress and anxiety. When we take a moment to be absolutely present and be mindful of our actions, we can change how we feel. We can stop and take a breath. Are we repeating an old worn out pattern from our past? Is the problem we are dealing with insurmountable? If so, ask for help. 

I’m a big believer in therapy. A professional therapist can give us the guidance we need to connect the dots of our past. Sharing old traumas can help us move into a healthier future. We can understand what is not in our control and more importantly what is. We can find out what causes us to feel anxious. We can overcome our fears. We can get the tools we need to create a successful future. 

Sharing our experiences gives us the opportunity to see them in a whole new light. We remind ourselves just how far we’ve come. We can help others by letting them know they are not alone in their private battles. Telling our story to someone just might be the message they need to help them move forward. I believe the more we give of ourselves the more we benefit. Today is my mother’s birthday and I wish I could ask her one more time to share her story with me. My advice: have a heart to heart with a loved one today. You may be surprised by how much you both learn. 

About the author

Celeste DeCamps has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Miami. She worked in radio and television, was a professional belly dancer, drummer, percussionist, nightclub owner, and a sales rep for Southern Wine and Spirits for 12 years. Throughout her different career moves, speaking to and teaching women how to be more confident is Celeste's most fulfilling job.

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