The Power of Our Stories
Theresa Polley
October 17, 2022
August 16, 2023
Be Inspired

As a child, I was taught to keep things to myself. Especially anything difficult. As an adult, I struggled to speak my truth and often found myself in relationships afraid to be my authentic self. My journey to speaking my truth began the first time I did plow pose, I felt pain in my throat chakra and I immediately began crying. Recently divorced and in a questionable relationship, I was going nowhere fast. In a huge break through, I realized I was unable to be my authentic self with anyone except for my children. They appreciated my goofiness even though my ex and friends did not. I realized I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness. ~Brene Brown

Finding Myself Through Telling My Story

Speaking my truth and sharing my story became my mantra. I recognized I'd become so disconnected from myself, I didn't even know what I liked. I had spent many years being someone I wasn't. I began with the simple exercise of writing down all of the things I liked. That was difficult. So then I wrote down everything that I hated. Much easier. Gradually I had a list of my likes, dislikes and more importantly, loves. That was a turning point. Now I don't even think I can be anyone else other than my authentic self. I simply don't know how.

Some stories I stopped telling. The story of a difficult father, the ex who did me wrong, the friend who wasn't really a friend and any story that reinforced a victim mentality instead of healing. The stories I share now are the stories that I hope inspire and encourage. These stories are mine, the telling of my resilience and my survival. The story of how I got to where I am today, not in spite of what happened to me, but because of it. Every "no you can't," every put down or insult, every word meant to hurt instead of heal – I am here because I chose to get stronger and stand up for myself and prove the naysayers wrong.

Sharing Our Stories Connects Us

Hearing women tell their stories is powerful. When we make space for others to tell their story, we give them a lifeline. I know I will never know anyone’s experience as well as I know my own, but I believe sharing our stories allows us to connect with each other, in spite of our differences.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to hear deeply personal stories of women triumphing over difficult situations. I’ve watched women supporting and encouraging each other as they share stories of challenges they are facing. We come from different places and different backgrounds, you’d think we have nothing in common. Yet we are women - we have everything in common.

When we truly allow ourselves to be vulnerable we can find that connection to each other on a cellular level. Vulnerability can be difficult, but it is incredibly freeing to speak your truth and share your story. Sharing your story is the first step on your journey of healing. Recognizing we are all in this together and you’re not alone in your struggles can bring comfort when facing challenges. While some days we struggle to keep our head above water, other days we can extend a helping hand.

As women, many of us have experienced challenges and struggles - and in some situations - out and out trauma. Yet in spite of what we’re facing we continue to move forward. Baby steps in some cases and three steps forward and two steps back in other cases - it all counts as forward motion. 

When I’m facing challenges, I find it’s the act of moving forward - putting one foot in front of another - that gets me through. And on the days forward motion seems impossible, I give myself grace and know that tomorrow I can try again.

Share Your Story and Find Connection at a Retreat

A guest who frequently retreats with us shared her thoughts on why our retreats are a magical experience of connection and community. In her words, "Retreat in the Pines is where women feel safe telling their stories."

I’ve often felt alone in my struggles, and then I have a conversation with a guest at a retreat and I realize I am not alone at all. That's actually how I met Michelle Brazell., that's her and I pictured together above laughing and having a good time per the usual. Not only has she become a great friend who I love to have Zoom lunches with (she lives in Tulsa), she's also an incredible Retreat Leader and we host the 4-Day Love Yourself Retreat together.

I invite you to join us at an upcoming retreat to share your story or hold space for someone else to tell theirs. Witness the power of our shared stories and watch how each of our stories lift each of us up in community and connection.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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