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The Power in Owning Your Story

The day that I found out that I had a brain tumor was a day that I’ll never forget. Since it was only 3 months ago, it makes since that my memory of that day is still so vivid, but I think it will be one of those days, much like my wedding day or the day my father died, where no matter how much time has passed, I will always be able to recall even the slightest details. I remember what I wore. I remember the face of the technician who did my brain scan. I remember how the prick of the needle felt when she put in an IV to add contrast. I remember how my lunch tasted. I remember the songs that played on the radio on the way home. And, I remember, that once the dust settled and the initial shock wore off, I wondered to myself and asked God, “What the heck am I supposed to do with this? How am I supposed to use a brain tumor?”

Own Your Story

You see, I am one of those people who believes that everything that we go through is for a reason. I believe that we grow through what we go through and that God always has a purpose. My goal is always to be an instrument – an instrument that provides inspiration to provoke change and growth, and at first, I couldn’t figure out how my brain tumor would ever inspire anyone to do or to be anything. So, for the first two days after I got my diagnosis, I considered keeping that part of my life to myself. I considered taking a break from social media and only sharing my recovery with my close  friends and family, until it dawned on me that if I did that, the brain tumor would win. Sharing my life is a large part of who I am. I pride myself on being transparent and open, and to keep such a monumental moment to myself would not only be inauthentic, but it would also allow the brain tumor to take more from me that it was already trying to. I decided to be true to myself and what I try my best to stand for by sharing what I was going through openly and honestly. I decided to own my story.

The Power in Owning Your Story

When something that is out of your control occurs, there is so much strength to be found in taking your power back. While the bad breakup or the family problems or the infertility or the health scare may be out of your hands, you are in control of what you do with whatever it is that you’ve been though. You have the power to rewrite the narrative.

The impact that my story has had on others has been truly eye opening. I figured that if what I was dealing with could help just one person, then it would not all be in vain. When I decided to share, I didn’t know how people would respond or if they would respond at all (because sometimes people don’t know how to deal with the hard, scary things), but the response that I received was huge. Quickly I found that my authenticity was helpful to more than just one person and that, whether they had dealt with anything similar health wise or not, people could relate to what I was going through. Not only did people contact me to let me know that reading about what I went through spurred them to see their own doctors and listen to their own bodies, but people also reached out just to thank me for being so transparent. Seeing someone overcome something was just what they needed to push through their own “things.” Everyone is tested, and seeing someone else turn a test into a testimony is both powerful and encouraging.

Your Mess is Your Message

So, I say all this to say that you matter, what you’ve been through matters, and your story matters. You never know who’s watching or reading and who needs to hear about your personal journey, even if it’s one that’s just begun or one that’s unfinished. Share your truth and own your story. In a world that’s plagued with loss and tragedy, every now and then, we all need to hear a success story. We all need to hear a story of triumph and resilience. Your mess is your message, and, trust me, no matter how small that message may seem, it’s a message that will have an impact.

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