Tell your story
The significant events that have driven the dynamics of your life may be helpful to others.
While knowing that our individual stories are different, the underlying behavior patterns may be similar. Telling your story can be as cathartic for you as personal journal writing, and can open you up to a deeper understanding of your issues. However, it is not a good idea to share one’s story with just anyone; only when one’s internal guidance urges you to do so is it appropriate and safe.
As a teacher, I have noticed that my personal story increases interest in the subject that I am teaching. Many people find our personal stories interesting with some relatable commonality.
It is important to live in the context of who you are. Your DNA, fingerprints and life experiences are not identical to others. Your journey through life is unique to you. Your gifts to share are also unique to you. You can only be your best self and no one else. Honor who you are.
Admittedly, some personal traits and passions are not socially acceptable to all. The need to be oneself can conflict with one’s need to be respected and accepted by others. This can be a difficult balancing problem and can include guilt or those “What is wrong with me?” thoughts. Only you can resolve this in a manner that works for you. How you feel about yourself is a good place to start.
I grew up with many separation issues that took me years to overcome. My parents were strict evangelical Christians. I was not allowed to attend high school dance classes. I felt quite different and isolated from my friends. My biological father and mother divorced when I was young. My mother then married my uncle, who became my stepfather. He was an exceptionally good man. Neither my mother nor stepfather were considered well educated. The combination of these family dynamics affected me with low self-esteem. Then in the seventh grade, I was completely paralyzed from the waist down by polio. My doctors told me they would do the best they could, but I would be crippled. Fortunately, I never thought about being a cripple and focused only on the things I would do once I left the hospital. This was a painful experience that ultimately had a positive effect on my life. Subconsciously, I learned that I could do anything I wanted to do. I would continue to do things that the well meaning adults in my life said was not possible. Yes, the experience of polio was a true blessing for me, although I clearly do not want to repeat it.
While many factors can add to feelings of separation — religion, culture, gender and sexual preferences, to name a few — society includes everyone in it. Everyone has a responsibility to help create a more inclusive community. This is a lifelong journey.
The journey into the recognition of your true passions can be disarming, alarming and confusing. But your focused efforts can be rewarding. Understanding and knowing your true self brings new ideas and knowledge, which then enhances how you feel about yourself.
Although most of us tend to feel more comfortable being similar to others, deep down this is not very satisfying. There is a great deal of peace, fulfillment and personal satisfaction when we become comfortable with who we are. Our personal conflicts seem to dissolve more naturally into our way of being. When honoring oneself, recognize that there is a great deal of difference between believing that one is the smartest with all the right answers, and being conscious of the wellbeing of others and the vitality of the planet, which fits in with the oneness nature of our existence. This is a solo journey where your internal guidance can direct you to a peaceful shore. Tell your story. Whatever you are dealing with, there is something good in it for you.
Rogue Valley resident Charles “Al” Huth is the author of “Recognizing Your Immense Possibilities: A Unique Approach,” “The Evolving Higher Self: A Directed Guide to Fulfillment,” “Living an Extraordinary Life: The Magic of Oneness” and “Living Harmoniously with Yourself and Others.” See his website at lighthouse-empowerment.com.
Everyone is invited to email 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Sally McKirgan at email@example.com.