Why you should tell your story

My adult children encouraged me to get back into public speaking. But Hubby and I had always told our story together and I was somewhat fearful to present alone. What if no one laughed at the humor?

And then an invitation last week to speak to nursing students. Who laughed in all the right places. (And I may have made a couple of them cry, which wasn’t very nice of me.)



Photo credit: Pixabay


Our own stories are quite possibly more interesting than we realize.

What are our life experiences, and areas of expertise and creativity? Why should we consider sharing them? I can think of at least 6 reasons:

1. Telling our stories can spark hope. Really? Your husband lived eight years longer than the original prognosis? And with a good quality of life? How? Well, since you asked, here’s how he lived long and full with cancer.

2. Telling our stories inspires courage in us. Trying something new that we’re not entirely comfortable with makes us braver for the next uncomfortable step. And then, all of a sudden, we find yourselves living audaciously. This thought from Donald Miller in his book What I Learned While Editing My Life:

Fear isn’t only a guide to keep us safe; it’s also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life … the great stories go to those who don’t give in to fear.

3. Telling our stories can trigger encouragement in others. What are our life goals? You know … those dreams we set aside because we’re getting too old. Or we don’t have enough connections or resources. Or we’re in the middle of adversity and it drains us of all energy. We can’t wait for the perfect conditions to tell our stories. We should roll up our sleeves and work in the direction of our dreams — and watch how that can spark bravery in others.

4. Telling our stories can create partnerships. By stepping out into uncomfortable places with the goal of sharing ourselves, we’ll more than likely meet some pretty incredible people. People that will enrich our lives. People we can’t imagine living without.

5. Telling our stories can incite creativity in others. I have a friend, Jim Dailing, who is married to my friend, Michelle (hi, Michelle!). Jim designs beautiful rings. I knew this, but I didn’t know the details behind how he does it. Until I watched this short YouTube video at his website that outlines how he interviews the couple, and finds out how they met, and what is important to them. And then he creates an exquisitely unique ring that fits their narrative. Beautiful story, right there.

6. Telling our stories creates a more interesting story to tell. I started blogging in 2008, mainly to keep family and friends updated on how Hubby was doing and where we were traveling and speaking. There were times we intentionally tried something we might not have otherwise … just so I’d have something to blog about. Smile.

A friend mailed this cartoon from Wizard of Id. It shows two men tied to a stake with firewood piled underneath. One guy says to his captors: “Would you mind updating this to my blog? This is all very exciting!” (My friend knows me too well.)




By not being willing to show vulnerability and those things that make up who we are, we cheat ourselves. And we cheat others in the process.

My mission and passion is to share Hubby’s and my love story — of how we persevered and lived forward through financial reversals, an aging live-in parent sinking further into dementia, a cancer diagnosis, cancer death, and stumbling into widowhood.

My intention is to encourage others in the living of fuller lives and the telling of their own great stories.

How about you? Does your story offer encouragement or instruction or hope? What venue would be best for sharing it?

P.S. If you found this blog helpful or inspiring, please share, tweet or pin!


Wedding ring on right hand


What we learned about a cancer diet on our way to living better


  1. Mary Tomjack

    You are an inspiration Marlys. Thank you for sharing your journey so beautifully and yes, with humor.

  2. Juanita Vianelle

    Hi Marlys. Is that a new scarf you’re wearing in the photo? You were my inspiration when it comes to my now huge collection of scarves and also in my passion to write. I was once told by an editor that “Everyone has a story.” After cancer treatment, some of my sweetest passions in life (Yes baking included),vanished! I thought writing was doomed forever until I started following your story and praying that all good things come your way. My friend,by sharing yours and Gary’s love story, especially the struggles, you have turned up the heat on my desire to find the passion to pick up the pen once again.

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