Amy Rees Anderson

The importance of sharing your experiences with other people

“It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.”  -Iyanla Vanzant

When my children were young they went through some really difficult things. Today my son Dalton, who is now an adult, was able to share some of his difficult experiences from his childhood with a young girl who is going through very similar difficulties currently in her life right now. Watching him share parts of his story with her I could see the relief in her face to realize that she is not the only person to go through what she is. He was able to share some words of wisdom that he had gained through his own experience that will help this little girl through her experience. And I couldn’t help but think to myself that one day when this little girl is all grown up that she too will sit at a table with a young person going through the same difficulty and she will be able to share her own story and use her experiences to touch the life of another child.

There is a tremendous comfort that comes when you can open up and share your hardships with someone who has been through it and who understands. There is also tremendous value that comes from hearing advice from someone who has been in your very shoes and lived to tell about it. That is why it is so important that people be willing to open up and share their story. It will inspire others to share their story too.

The other great thing about opening up and sharing with others is the bonds of friendship it creates. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”  -C.S. Lewis

There is so much truth to that. It is a wonderful thing to be able to take down your walls and be vulnerable with people who care about you and who can understand and relate to what you are going through. No doubt it causes friendship to be formed and deepened.

I acknowledge that it can sometimes require a lot of courage to open up and share your story, especially as it relates to sharing the sad times or difficult times you have been through in your life. But doing just that…being open to share….is not only healing for you but it is healing for others as well, and the very best way to overcome past negative experiences is to find a way to use them for the positive, and helping other people is a definite positive.

Have an amazing day everyone!
~Amy

 

8 Comments

  • Debbie Beck says:

    Wonderful counsel Amy. Sharing with others validates our own trials and binds us together in strength.

    This is the first time I have read your infamous blog Amy. Looking on facebook and was excited to see it. Hope all is well. We are in Ashton Idaho this week staying in a friends cabin. Coming down to SLC on Saturday. We’ll be here until the 8th. Maybe we can get together again.
    Debbie

  • Edmund says:

    Worth reading.

  • Danny Toney says:

    Love this post. Thank you Amy!

  • Maryann says:

    I’ve been thinking about this ever since we ran into you! There are no coincidences I believe. It wasn’t just Ella (and later DJ) who benefited from our conversation but as her mother, It was also validating to hear how you felt and how protective you were of your children. Your advice was timely and very appreciated. We both also felt closer to your family sharing empathy in a situation that seems so isolating. Thank you!!! Xoxo

  • Joan Landes says:

    It’s strange how we often forget the fundamentals in life like the ones you cite here. It seems to me that we grow up learning to conceal our real selves with masks. And when I counsel my clients we always explore how masks are protecting them but how masks can keep us disconnected from others. It seems to me that we grow up learning to conceal our real selves with masks. And when I counsel my clients we always explore how masks may be protecting them. But the question remains, “What happens when somebody falls in love with your mask instead of with you?”

  • WannaShare App says:

    Hi Amy,

    I really liked your article! I believe in every kind of share and I’m glad that you could have this experience. I linked your article in the WannaShare Facebook page.

    Thank you so much,
    Augusto B.

  • Alice Carroll says:

    You made a good point that finding someone who understands one’s experiences and problems gives a feeling of not being alone. I’ve been getting into reading some creative nonfiction books lately but I have been getting less and less time for reading because of my busy work schedule. I think it would be better if I switch to consuming podcasts on personal life experiences at this point.

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