If you’re like me, loyalty is huge. My sense of loyalty to others got in the way of me being true to myself when I was first learning how, when, and who to share my story with. I guess I didn’t quite understand what loyalty is, because I felt this need and urge to tell every one I knew about this sacred part of my story, and that felt like loyalty to me. Here’s what I didn’t know back then:
Many of us have scars no one can see, yet we believe it’s obvious, and that can create this desire to share our story impulsively. Your story is so precious. Handle it with care. You owe it to yourself to do the work, and share with discretion. Be loyal to yourself.
Sometimes we want people to reassure us we are okay, that we’re not damaged goods. That is unfair, especially when we haven’t done the work for ourselves. Handle other’s hearts with care, too. Sometimes that means refraining from sharing this part of your story with them, maybe for a season, maybe indefinitely. You don’t owe anyone access to your story simply for the sake of validation. Your story is deeper than that. Be loyal to yourself.
Some questions you may ponder before sharing your story with someone are:
Do I feel like I owe it to them? If so, why?
Has this person earned the right to know this about me? How do I know this?
Based on what I know, can this person hold space for me? Now? Maybe later?
Am I sharing this to fulfill a need they are unaware of? If so, what safe person can I talk to instead? Can I process this with a mentor or therapist first? Can I journal and pray for now?
You deserve your loyalty first.
Jennifer J. Jones