“Tell your story…” is what Medium.com has its writers begin their writing with. It’s those three words we start at when we sit down to write. We tell stories. We write what matters to us. We share. And most importantly, we connect when we share. So, what’s your story?

Julia Alvarez, a Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist says, “I write to find out what I am thinking. I write to find out who I am. I write to understand things.”

My own story has helped to inform me who I am as a person and is interwoven all through my life experiences. It makes me the mother I am. It makes me the teacher I am. It makes me the friend I am, the colleague I am, the sister, the daughter, and the wife I am. As Julia believes, it helps me find out who I am.

Whether something gets me emotional — sad, angry, happy — comes from what fuels my passion, which comes out of my story. By listening to others’ stories I get to look through a window into their lives and their experiences, which has shaped who they are and how they are. Hearing their story enables me to better understand where that person speaks from, what their intentions could be, and how we are connected. Knowing another through the lens of their story allows me to sense our connection as spiritual beings having a human experience, together. That connection brings forth the empathy and compassion that we have for each other, and all of a sudden we’re not alone. We’re supported, and we feel safe.

And when we share our stories about challenging times in our lives, that sharing becomes a healing modality. When we share our stories we heal ourselves and we give those who are listening permission to heal themselves.

I’m advocating for the power of a story. Every story is important. I need you. You need me. Let’s share how powerful and empowering our stories are.

Author of 🦋Life is a Classroom, A teacher's journey. District Resource Specialist, & Teacher Educator who ❤s learning and advocating for students & teachers.