Everyone has a story. We all carry hurts, baggage, dark places. We spend so much effort hiding these parts of our lives; put on a mask, smile, pretend all is well. Hide it away. We do this in an attempt to protect ourselves. If we show others this dark side of our lives, there will be more pain. Yet, instead of protecting ourselves, we isolate ourselves, along each person we meet. When we are all doing that, masquerading through life, we miss the blessings in the sharing.
I cannot count the times I have stood in a store, tears flowing as hearts are opened and stories are shared and broken hearts are made vulnerable, trusting that they are safe in their sharing, thankful in me sharing with them. In the baring, we say, "you are safe!" Through our stores, we can learn from each other. Through our illuminating our darkest places, we gift something beautiful to those receiving and give room for our own healing. We are not alone, and in that companionship, bridges are crossed and connection is made and we stop being islands alone in the vast and sometimes raging oceans of life.
Voices of Hope is a series I am starting; a place for families I am honored to be able to participate in their journey with, to share their stories. Through their stories, inspiration will be found. Empathy will be learned. And, the message of hope shared to those who are feeling hopeless. And maybe, just maybe, you too will find the courage to share your story, your voice of hope.