Today, I am thinking about our experiences, especially those that make us happy or fulfilled or make us feel connected. This experience could be a new restaurent, a trip somewhere or even your culture.
Some experiences we are born into, like those around us or our environment. These, we we have little control over. At least until we are old enough to start venturing outwards to what feels right or exciting or promising. We reach out and embrace new experiences for all they could hold for us. They could range from life-changing to meh. Ironically, sometimes a walk, a meal or a conversation can be life-changing and travel can be just meh. Depends on you, I suppose.
The joy or sadness we get out of an experience is our own, but it is all too natural to want to share it with someone. I sometimes read a book and immediately wish there was someone else who had read it too. We could talk about the characters, the themes and so much more. But, that’s me. You might like talking about travel, or your past semester or an upcoming milestone. The same extends to negative experiences. The hurt we take from those also feels better when it’s shared.
All in all, it feels pretty good to share both positive and negative experiences. But what do you do when you can’t?
Some people may choose to ignore, invalidate or dishonour your experiences, perhaps unintentionally. They simply might not agree with you. They may just be having a bad day. Or perhaps the emotion of your experience isn’t all that important to them. Whether done out of spite or unknowingly, it can hurt all the same.
In those times, I think it’s comforting to take refuge in our experiences and what they mean for us. The fact that we cannot share our stories does not diminish what they meant for us. It is simply a single avenue that may be closed off to us, but others exist. I like to write about my experiences. Some people scrapbook. Others simply reminisce over cups of tea.
Your experiences are your own. If I tried to explain why I choose to be spiritual or what it means to me, it could be exhausting for you to listen. But it is MY experience which means I can find solace in it like nobody else can. I find that to be a comforting thought. That while sharing is a happy act, a lack of it doesn’t invalidate what I take from any experience.
I invite you to honor your experiences, what they meant to you, what you took from them and carry them in whichever way you choose to. Own you experiences, even if sharing them is not always an option!