Sharing Your Journey

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I’m reading an excellent book right now, Praying for Strangers by River Jordan. It is the true story of a woman who’s two sons were going off to war. As a means of coping with her own fears she made a New Year’s resolution to pray for a complete stranger every day of the year. The book follows her journey of choosing that stranger each day, telling how it touched their life, and how the connections she made with other people changed her life forever.

The back cover reads:

What if there was something you could do–something simple, yet so powerful–that could positively influence others and change your life in the process? Critically acclaimed author River Jordan discovered that very thing…

While reading Jordan’s book I also had to do a read through of my book, Say It Out Loud: Revealing and Healing the Scars of Sexual Abuse as a final, pre-publication edit. The combination of the two books got me thinking about the connections I’ve made since breaking the silence of my abuse. In the book I devote a section to Sharing Your Journey. I talk about the “gifts” I received, the courage it brought to others, and the bonds I created all by sharing my story of abuse.

When I first started telling people that I was writing a book for survivors of sexual abuse because that was my life’s story, it was scary. The more times I did it, the more I witnessed the powerful impact it had on others and on me, and the easier it became. Now I often find myself looking for ways to fit it into a conversation when speaking to someone new. Even if the person doesn’t respond initially, I know in my heart that somewhere, someday, with a friend, family member or in their own life, either my story or my courage to tell it will have a positive influence. I just know it!

We don’t have to do “big” things and we don’t have to be celebrities, philanthropists, or Mother Teresa to make a difference in other’s lives. I believe we all have something to share that can make a difference. Did you survive a medical condition, grieve the loss of a loved one, face a personal trauma, experience an emotional awakening, recover from financial devastation, face infertility, adopt a child, support a loved one through a crisis? The list is endless, we all have had an experience that has changed our life. Now let it change another’s.

River Jordan took her greatest fear, that she would lose a son to war, and turned it into a gift for strangers and in turn for herself.  I hope you read her book, Praying for Strangers. I openly discuss my journey from victim to survivor, person to person and soon with the publication of Say it Out Loud, and my life is enriched by the experience. Don’t be afraid to share your story. Yes, I know, it’s scary at first, but once you realize the benefit to others you will gain courage to continue sharing.

What if there was something you could do–something simple, yet so powerful–that could positively influence others and change your life in the process?

Do it! It’s worth it. I know because I am blessed with the connections I’ve made by doing my “something simple.” Roberta

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