What’s your story?

Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Happy Birthday!

Twice the celebration today for Lori!

Today is my younger sister Lori’s birthday.  And because it fell on Easter, she ended up with birthday cupcakes, presents AND a giant, chocolate Peter The Rabbit.

We had a wonderful weekend of “sister adventures” including going to the spa where Lori relaxed in her first Watsu with amazingly skilled Woman on Fire Tamara Caggiano.

Lounging at the Golden Door Spa in Naples, Florida

Many of you met Lori in our first Women on Fire book.

She wrote a chapter about how after 18 years of dating she met, fell in love, and married the man of her dreams — and how she coped with becoming a widow.

She was still in her 40s and a newlywed when Tom was diagnosed with Stage 4 head and neck cancer.  He died a month after their second wedding anniversary.

“Writing my story was beneficial to organize my feelings. It was the beginning of understanding the process of grieving and how to grieve,” she reflected this weekend, five years after writing her chapter.

“I worried if I wrote the truth — how I was struggling; how empty I felt; and about the anger and hurt — people would view me as weak and vulnerable. But it turned out to be quite the opposite.”

Lori’s courage to tell her story as she was going through it reminded me of the power we unleash as Women on Fire when we share our true selves — and the enormous potential benefit for others.

I was recently touched reading this thought-provoking sentence: “can you imagine if you had two paragraphs of truth written from a great-grandparent about their life?”

We feel energized and alive when we hear the truth; we feel cheated when we don’t.

“To share my story with others actually made me stronger and connect with more people,” Lori said.

“Many people thanked me for sharing it and a few said it made them look at their own relationships (with husbands, partners, boyfriends) differently. It made me feel good to know telling my story made a difference.

“If it helped one person, it was worth telling it versus being safe and keeping it inside,” she said.

Looking back now, six years after Tom’s death, Lori realizes what a long process to heal.

“Telling the story is what got the ball rolling — the beginning of the healing process — and now these many years later, I feel I am finally at the end of the process.

“I can now see my story, beginning to end.  And, the end is where I truly have started to live and feel again.”

Earlier this month, Lori took a final step in her life with Tom when she spread his ashes in Peru at Macchu Picchu, a destination that they had planned for their 5th wedding anniversary.

Lori at Macchu Picchu 

“I look forward to being in a relationship again. I can honestly say ‘I’m ready!'”

How is it for you?  Have you considered writing a chapter or a full memoir of your life?  How might it benefit your family and friends — or even a complete stranger?

Do you tell the truth about your life to those you love and care about so they can learn from your mistakes and successes?

The reluctance to share that I hear most often — and an excuse I’ve used myself:

I can’t tell my story. If I told it, it would hurt _____________ .

To that, one of my all-time favorite writers Anne Lamott says, “you own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”

This summer you will be able to read a whole new set of Women on Fire stories. Our 21 co-authors of the next Women on Fire book are hard at work crafting their own life stories to share with you.

I have read a few of the completed ones, and I must tell you I have laughed, cried, learned and been uplifted by each one!

I know you will be, too.

Recent gathering in Columbus with a few of the co-authors of Women on Fire Book 2. You’ll be able to read their empowering, courageous stories this summer!

I hope you will continue to share your true self with other women, in particular. It is the single, greatest resource we have to give each other.

Thank you for being in our powerful circle of fabulous women!

Wishing you the safety and courage to tell your own powerful story ~

*This week’s Spark PINspiration*  

Pin to Pass on the Love!


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