I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”
Gilda Radner

We all have a story.

Over the last four weeks, I’ve been sharing my story about my Achalasia journey. You’ve sent so many well wishes and “I hope you feel betters” and for that I am most grateful.

I love stories.How can a girl not feel better when a bouquet of sunshine and love arrives
on her special healing anniversary, she finishes a whole bottle of water (which
before was a real struggle), and she gets a heart-shaped pizza from her hubby?
I couldn’t resist, so I cut a square piece from the cheese side into little bites.
It was heaven. Times of struggle make the little things in life so much better.
Better…there’s that word again (smile).

Will you share your story?

In honor of this special day, I’d like to ask you a question: Will you share your “I hope you feel better,” story with me? I’ve got an idea whirling around in my mind (this tends to happen when I am rested) and I need your help. I can’t do this “project” alone. If interested, click here: ShareYourStory. If—wait…WHEN…this project comes to life and I use your beautiful, funny, inspiring, life-giving story, we’ll celebrate together.

*Enjoy this little trip to the archives, where I shared almost a year ago now, on why I love stories.

From the Archives

I love movies and I love stories.

We all have a story. The beauty and power is to share them with others. Maya Angelou tells us, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

That is why I write. Why I do what I do. Why I love to help empower others to tell their stories—either by using the spoken word or the written word. Both wield power and affect change.

Last night John Ridley won the Oscar for his Best Adapted Screenplay of “12 Years a Slave.” His acceptance speech brought tears to my eyes when he said something to the effect, “This is for all those soul-crushing inadequacies.” There were so many layers to that comment. Once again, I was hearing a new story. One I could really identify with. I’m sure you can, too. In some way, we’ve probably all faced naysayers and their negative criticism.

Words that crush the soul.

overcomeOne of several different Chinese symbols for overcome.
Symbols combine: to defeat, to triumph, to overcome, to vanquish, win a victory

Soul-Crushing Inadequacies

To be inadequate is to be:

  1. lacking the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task.
  2. not capable or competent; lacking.
  3. insufficient.

Someone somewhere told him he was “inadequate.” Maybe they sincerely meant it or maybe they didn’t. Either way, winning this Oscar was very, very sweet to him, because he overcame those negative words. His story made me sit up a little straighter in my chair. Gave my heart a boost.

If he can overcome, I can to.

Shaking Negative Criticism Off

I love movies.Remember those adorable “Air Bud” movies?
Ah, they sure taught us how to overcome and shake off naysayers.

In an interview on why negative criticism sticks (CBS, Sunday Morning), film critic Leonard Maltin alluded to the upcoming Academy Awards, “The fact is, criticism sticks. Beneath every designer outfit on the red carpet there’d better be a thick skin.”

The news story continues, “That kind of pain [negative criticism] is hard to shake for any of us. So why are the unpleasant things so unforgettable? Scientists call it negativity bias. The theory is that bad news makes a much bigger impact on our brains.”

Simple truth: “Nastiness just makes a bigger impact on our brains.”

Overcomers with Thick Skin and Tender Hearts

But, we are overcomers with thick skin and tender hearts. And there is a simple way to counterattack.

“Other researchers have found that the frequency of small positive acts, in a ratio of about five to one,” will make “the necessary impact on our brain to override the tilt to negativity. It takes frequent small positive experiences to tip the scales toward happiness.”

And so I repeat myself, that is why I do what I do (smile). By intentionally “having eyes to see” and “beautifying our worlds” and “sharing stories” and “writing words that uplift,” we can overcome.

And if you still aren’t encouraged in some small way to share your story, I know you will be when you watch this inspiring clip from a recent Google commercial, written by Director Andrew Stanton of Wall-E.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCA4yaZos7Y