Smells Like... Vomit!
Stories are life souvenirs. I talk a lot about those ordinary moments that create our most extraordinary stories.
Some of these stories are sweet, nostalgic amusements that just bring in all the feels. Those picture-perfect Instagram moments that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Think baby coo’s, puppies, and well… you get the idea.
Then, there are the life-documentary stories that cry out your presence in the world. These are your achievements, milestones, thoughts about anything and everything, and the things you enjoy while you are on this planet. These are the scraping-the-surface stories about who you are that you could easily answer when being interviewed for an article or podcast.
This brings us to another kind of story. The stories that we often find difficult to talk about. The ones that throw some serious shade on our beautiful Instagram-worthy life we wish to present to the world. Our pastor just last week made this statement:
Let’s be strictly honest here: Who wants to vomit our yuck all over the world, right? But you know, if anyone is gonna talk about bodily functions on this planet, it will be me, right? Have I told you about the time I was having a nice dinner out with a new friend and brought up poo in the conversation? I had young children at home & forgot that it’s not really the best of table talk topics.
Anyway, let’s talk vomit a second. Ever heard of ambergris? It’s one of the most precious, expensive materials in the world. Perfumers all over the world love the stuff! It is an ingredient in perfumes that helps scent with its staying power. Know what this precious substance is? It’s whale vomit!
Now, fresh - it has a putrid, rotting marine life scent. So, don’t think for a minute that Jonah came out of the whale smelling like Valentino. But as ambergris ages, it develops a sweet, earthy scent. Our shipwreck stories of our trials and deliverance from them gain a similar sweet, earthy staying power element about them. When time rescues us from the raw, fresh experience, these stories teach us lessons about us and our choices and circumstances. And then, when we allow them to, they inspire and teach others when we share about our experience. We comfort others by reminding them they aren’t alone. We can often stand with them through our stories and show them a way out & give them that sweet smelling gift of hope. Our shipwreck stories also have staying power and endure and are passed on again and again.
While I don’t go around trying to hide my stories, it’s hard to open up and be honest about where I’ve failed in my life. I admitted to a close friend in recent weeks - the hardest thing for me to do is to admit I failed - especially when it comes to failing a friend who has done and been so much for me. It’s hard enough to confront failure with confession through private prayer. But to admit publicly I have failed? That’s hard. I’d rather present an Instagram-worthy, polished lifestyle than the true, authentic yet raw reality that is life as we know it.
So, I invite you to join me as I disrupt Saturdays starting Saturday, August 31st. I will be sharing some of my own shipwrecked stories on my new blog and social media streams. I challenge you to share your own “shipwrecks” whether from your personal life or business setbacks. Will see you then!