Yesterday, the women of our family (including Becca on Facetime!) celebrated my niece Ashlyn, the bride-to-soon-be, with a fancy, Texas bridal shower. We gathered to share a meal, laughter, and stories with this beautiful young woman, who will be committing her life to The ONE next Friday. As part of our time together, we went around the table, taking turns sharing our hard-won wisdom, encouragement, or advice about marriage.
It was so special to hear the unique messages each woman at the table shared.
There were thoughts about sharing hobbies together, learning to manage finances together, carving out date nights after kids, being quick to forgive, and holding boundaries. Even the youngest, had beautiful words to share. It got real pretty fast and was maybe a little more “honest” than any of us expected. While there was laughter, there were also tears, both tears of joy and of understanding as we told her that there will be days ahead that will surprise her, both in good and bad ways. As I listened, I couldn’t help but think of all the stories, all the struggles, all the moments, that have made each of us who we are. Most importantly, I couldn’t help but think of the immense value of women circling up, opening up, and sharing vulnerably with the sole intent of supporting one another.
It’s essential for women to gather to share their stories.
In our society, it’s easy for women to gather to share other people’s stories. At any restaurant or coffee shop in town, you can hear the latest gossip buzzing about. But I see a movement of women who want to change that. I see women gathering to share their own stories, in ways that are life-changing. I see women who are risking the safety of being liked or being popular, for the freedom of being whole. It’s a strength that only comes from being vulnerable, wholehearted, and true. It’s the strength of being the kind of friend, sister, aunt, or mother who is real, and present. It’s being the wise guide who can honestly say, in the face of the ever-present fear of shame, “I’ve been there. I’m open to sharing what I’ve learned. I will walk this road with you.” Or at the very least,
“I’ll leave the light on. I’m here if you ever want to talk.”
One day, Ash will look back on this brunch and remember. She may not remember our words, but she will remember our strength. She may not remember the stories, exactly the way they were told, but she’ll remember we gathered to tell them. She may not remember the wisdom we shared, but she will undoubtedly remember the openness and honesty with which it was shared. She will remember the moment her mother told her to look around the table and know she could call any one of us with ANYTHING and there will be zero judgments.
She’ll remember she’s never alone, no matter what the road ahead holds.
It’s true for you too. At times you may feel like you’re the only one who’s ever been where you are, but you’re not. It’s easy to sit around and share other people’s stories while holding yours back. It’s much harder to share your own. But it’s essential. If you want the freedom of being whole, it starts with getting real, being vulnerable, and telling the truth.
It’s healing for you and it’s a gleaming light of life-giving wisdom to the ones behind you, who are trying to find their way.
I see wise women gathering, in humble strength, and it’s changing the world.
Be one of them.
to more love,
p.s. This is the ENTIRE “why” behind the HeartStories GNO. It’s about authentically reconnecting busy women inspire the joy you crave and the courage to pursue your purpose. We’re celebrating 3 years of Girls Night Outs one week from tonight at the “True Colors Birthday Bingo Bash”. It’s a great night to gather the wise women in your life and join us for a night of fun, laughter, prizes, and celebration! You can get your tickets right here.