We all have a story to tell whether we publish it or keep it for just ourselves or family; allow yourself to be heard.
Everyone, at one time or another has wanted to express his or her story. Writing a memoir to read privately, share with family or friends, or publish is an emotionally satisfying way to gain perspective on your experiences while sharing your unique voice. We’ve all experienced feelings and events in our lives that we are longing to write down. Tapping in to that creative urge can provide an outlet for removing any deeply held frustrations, anxiety, or other long-dormant feelings. No one else has to read it. You may even want to write your story without reading it right away. Satisfying the need to tell your story is not predicated upon your writing ability. It does, however take effort to write down the truth in detail. Your memories, captured on paper as descriptive scenes, sights, sounds, and scents, may at first seem disconnected or incomplete. But rest assured that you possess the ability to shape your recollections into stories.
Everyone wants to be heard. Reading your story to others can meet that need. Writing your story can also help you understand your life experiences. And when you finish writing, you may be surprised at what you have accomplished. Your story can encompass as much or as little of your life as you prefer. You may surprise yourself with new insights, or you may find yourself exploring your roots, your identity, and your future through your words. Allow your writing to guide you and write as truthfully as possible. Don’t worry about what others will think of your personal journey, your style of writing, or your words.
Research has shown that writing a personal narrative filled with feelings and perceptions can create long-term health benefits. As you write, remember to have compassion for yourself, particularly when writing about traumatic events. If you are a young person, you can add to your life story as you grow older. Your writing may help family members know you better, or they may understand themselves more through reading about your experiences. More importantly, you are expressing yourself in a permanent way, giving a gift to yourself, and letting your voice be heard.
I teach journal therapy to persons experiencing grief. This is a place where writing can truly assist in healing your soul. When in grief, the immune system is compromised and journaling about your raw emotions (feelings and perceptions) for as little as 15 minutes a day for 4 consecutive days can provide you with increased immune functioning, and it’s benefits are long-lasting.
Having been on a sabbatical of sorts in the north woods at a small cabin on a lake, attempting to get more in touch with spirit and soul as well as write, I can attest to the fact that writing is healing and its effects do continue for weeks. While I was not as productive as I had hoped I might be on this self-imposed sabbatical, and some of my world was turned upside down while in the woods, I did come to the realization that putting down any emotions on paper is cathartic. Capture your own life story, or emotions and heal your corner of the world in order to transform the world into one of more compassion, love, and light. Each of us feels an aspect of the world’s suffering, and it is ours to save by starting in our little corner with self-healing.
I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing. ~Anais Nin