The Untold Story Of You
We are all part of this grand movement. A beautiful, but complex set of narratives that somehow intertwine and overlap. Like a way more interesting, diverse, and unpredictable version of Love Actually.
And you have a part in that story. A part that the storyline can’t develop fully without. A perspective, opinion, or experience that must be shared. Something, that when written, filmed, or captured, will change the world.
I believe that.
But you, like me, probably have fallen into believing that you don’t have a story worth telling...
You do it in the name of wanting to live a “private life.” Of not wanting to burden others. Of craving separation between church and state. Of not wanting to usurp conversation.
You think your successes and joys aren’t worth sharing because in comparison to the influencers on social media — they seem trivial. You think your pain isn’t worth sharing because in comparison to those who’ve survived genocide and war — it seems like child’s play.
But whatever it is, whatever story is coming forth in your mind as you read this, you need to tell it…
It’s owning you.
Author Michael A. Singer calls this “your thorn.” In his NYT bestseller, The Untethered Soul, he says we hold onto past pain out of the false belief that by ignoring it, we are limiting its power. We fight so hard to ignore it, not realizing the entire time that by resisting it, we are giving it all of our attention and power.
And so we are faced with two decisions:
- To acknowledge the thorn and rip it out.
- Or to go through life hoping and praying NOTHING ever rubs up against it.
Most of us (unfortunately) choose the latter. And in choosing the latter, the thorn becomes our way of life. Every decision, move, or choice we make is filtered through this thorn:
- Is there potential in this situation for someone to see my thorn?
- To rub up against it?
- What if I just built a cast around it?
This is the burden we face when keeping in the stories we should be telling. We allow them to determine how we live our lives. The entire time believing that BY NOT speaking them, we are in limiting the degree to which they can control us. But they do anyways…
For example, in Ryan Holiday’s newest book Conspiracy, he covers the 10 year conspiracy billionaire Peter Thiel (best known as the first investor in Facebook and member of the “PayPal Mafia”) organized to take down a tiny (and mean) media maven: Gawker. Why? Because they told the world he was gay.
And it was true.
One can make arguments that Peter’s decision to stay closeted was strategic in nature and it likely was. But I can only empathize with his strategic secrecy. What it must have been like to have to filter who he was for his entire life — a good portion of which was spent in the Silicon Valley spotlight.
It must have been so lonely, so painful.
Peter’s story is just one of a million examples of this universal human experience: the desire to fit in, to dim our lights, and to water down our truths.
But imagine a world where that wasn’t the case. Where you had nothing to hide.
You don’t feel shame. You aren’t avoidant of certain social situations. You are comfortable with everyone. You can freely shift between talking about your successes and struggles.
This is a world in which both the most vulnerable, difficult, and painful AND the most beautiful, esoteric, and touching stories you have to tell have already been told.
In my experience, telling the stories you think you can’t is the only way to:
- Be free.
- Inspire, move, and touch others.
When I say what I’m most afraid to say, I find greater freedom and comfort in my own skin. When I say what I think I can’t, that’s when people come to me and thanking acting as their mouthpiece, too.
Now I’m far from perfect. I’ve told 1/8th of the stories I have to tell. And it took me between 3 and 23 years (depending on how you look at it) to share this:
But it freed me. It changed me. It was the first step in a long and arduous healing process. The first step in accepting who I was. In moving forward. In dismantling my false expectations of self.
This kind of story, hidden behind all your masks, has the power to transform the world. I know you have one if you’ve read this far. I know you have something harbored so deep in your soul.
A childhood memory. A serendipitous interaction. An experience. Something.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve been through? What demons are you still trying to outmaneuver? Are you better at giving or receiving gifts?
How do you think? Why do you think you think that way? Do you love yourself? Do you love other people?
Who are you? And what is the story your soul is just dying to unload?
If there is a story that you feel compelled (and terrified) to tell, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m in the beginning stages of a really cool project and looking for people to collaborate with. If this idea of an “untold story in your soul” resonates with you at all, I’d love for you to be a part of it.
And either way, I want to hear your story. The one that’s been left untold. The one that you haven’t had the words to speak. The record that’s playing in your head. The gasp before you speak.
I swear… power comes in letting it go.