This past week I have come to know the true beauty of sharing struggles.
I wrote my first published article and the response I received was not what I was expecting. It was on my struggle with breastfeeding. You can find it here: Her View From Home - Love is Best. Before it was published I was so nervous about it there was a night or two where I couldn't even sleep. I was scared to share my story. I was fearful that others would be judgmental in more ways than one - Maybe I shared too much, maybe it was a struggle that no one else could relate to in the same way, maybe it wasn't told right, maybe others would think I was weak because of my struggle...etc. etc. Many of these fears were irrational but they were real feelings of worry of sharing my struggle.
After publishing this article I realized these fears were unnecessary. I began to know the benefits of sharing my struggle. While it is always a risk of getting hurt in one way or another it is truly worth the risk.
Here are four main blessings that I came to know from sharing my story:
1. Relatability - By opening up about the hard aspects of life you become more relatable to the people around you. No one lives a perfect life and as soon as you are able to admit that and be willing to share those tough times you become a person that others can feel connected to.
2. Support and Encouragement for myself - When writing my article I never knew how many people struggled with what I did..in fact part of me thought maybe nobody chose to do what I did! When it was published, the amounts of comments it received about how others had experienced much the same was overwhelming. Suddenly I felt a wave of support and encouragement - something I wish I had, had when going through the hardship itself. It made me think of how beautiful it would have been, had I been more open about my struggle at the time.
3. Support and Encouragement for others - On the opposite end now others who had in the past, are currently, or will in the future struggle with this same thing will have somewhere to look for that support and encouragement. Whether they simply read my article and know they are not the only ones, are able to now feel able to be open about it to others, or they can now have someone to contact...they will have more support and encouragement than if the words had not been said.
4. Growth in Relationships and Connections - Through the relatability that others might find through your struggle, you may also begin new relationships and connections, or grow in old ones. You maybe be able to grow to become open to each other about more than simply that one struggle and therefore begin something new.
Above all - sharing struggles promotes community..and community is so important in this world where many of us feel isolated and alone. * Let's combat this by being open and honest with one another about those difficult aspects in life. *