“The stories we create to make sense of things become real for us. We live inside them. Your house is not your home – your story is. We think we build walls to protect ourselves, but eventually they imprison us. When our stories are secrets we stack them high until we’re trapped behind them. You know what the difference between a home and a prison is? It’s just your ability to step outside it to freedom.”
Laura Parrott Perry
A little over three years ago, I launched this blog. I had less than no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about or whether anyone would care about what I might have to say. I wrote a few posts and I lived and died by whether people read and responded to them. By people, I mean the 43 people who followed my blog in those early days, most of whom were friends and family, who were basically required to do so.
Then a little essay I wrote went viral and our cozy community got a bit bigger. This blog became a place where I started really telling the truth – and here is the thing about truth-telling: it gains momentum. It’s very hard to be rigorously honest in one corner of your life and still keep secrets in another. At least for me. And the more stories I told, the more shame drenched secrets I dragged out of the shadows, the more of you there were stepping forward and saying those words that have become a call to arms of late – ME TOO.
With every single me too I felt a little less alone, a little braver, a little bolder. Every time I survived the telling it reinforced what I have come to believe- the work is never worse than the wound. Every story shared with me in the comments, by email, Facebook message, or in workshops, helped me to understand the profound impact secret-keeping has in our lives.
I’ve said it before and I’ll just keep saying it, forever and ever, amen: If you have a story you’re not telling anyone, anywhere, in any way, that is not privacy, it’s secrecy. Privacy and secrecy are not the same thing. Not even close. The difference between privacy and secrecy is shame. Our shame stories wield enormous power in our lives. If you have a story you’ve deemed unspeakable, I guarantee it’s running the board. It’s in charge of your whole life.
When we tell our stories we connect with each other. When our stories are reflected back to us with empathy, we come to understand them differently. You can survive the telling, but sometimes your story cannot. A story told is a story reclaimed, and sometimes, re-written.
This blog and you readers have helped me transform from a secret-keeper to a storyteller. That change, that shift? Well, it didn’t just change my life, it saved it.
This January, I hope you will all help me welcome our book into the world. It’s OUR book. Yours and mine.
Isn’t she gorgeous?
Soon there will be some changes here on the blog- it’ll look different and have a new name, but please know that what truly matters will remain exactly the same. You’ll meet me here and we’ll tell our stories. We’ll shine a light in dark corners. We’ll widen the circle. And when someone lays down something dark and heavy? We’ll bear witness. We’ll take a corner. We’ll lift. We’ll say, We’ll carry this with you.
We’ll drag our own secrets out into the sunlight.
We will write them down.
She Wrote It Down: How a Secret-keeper Became a Storyteller will be available on Amazon on January 23rd. Thank you again for making this possible and for coming along on this ride with me. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this space and this community – for you.
Love you so,
We’re launching a book here!
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