In my first year out of high school I had a friend say to me ‘I couldn’t live your life’. I was what you may call a bit of a square. Although not top of my class, I worked hard. I went to church every Sunday and I didn’t do drugs or drink alcohol. To many, my life looked rather peachy. He on the other hand had faced many challenges. His brother was addicted to drugs and in trouble with the law. He was more of a bad boy and owned his role in the school as such. Why would he say that he couldn’t live my life? His answer was simple, he said; ‘I have had the experiences that have given me the skills to deal with what I face on a daily basis. I know how to react. I know how to play my role. I have the coping strategies to deal with my life. Your life however is totally foreign to me. I would not be able to cope being called a square, or dealing with what you deal with.’
I think that far too often we minimise our own life experiences and what they have prepared us for. We look at the lives of others and think ‘I couldn’t do that’, but we are not seeing everything they have gone through to get to that point, and we are dismissing everything we have gone through to get to this point. Your story and what you have learned so far is extremely valuable. It has brought you to be who you are now. Every one of us has a past, and none of us can go back and change it, but we can take what we learnt from our past and use it to make a difference in our world right now.
So think about your life. What unique experiences have you had? What special skills have you developed? What learning have you undertaken that no one else has?
Like my friend saying to me, ‘I couldn’t live your life’ what are others saying or thinking when they look at you? What aspects of your character to they wish they had? Everyone of us has a story worth telling, and those around us have stories worth listening to.
How will you tell your story? And Who’s story do you want to hear more about?