When you are in the story of your past, or the ‘what ifs’ of the future, there is no way for you to be present. ~Yvonne Tally
I am a big believer in the power of story! I’ve said many times to pretty much anyone who will listen, that daily journaling is the sh*t when it comes to sorting out, well, your sh*t. The relief it brings from the ‘voices in your head’ is second only to the clarity it offers in terms of what is really important right now. By voices in your head, I don’t mean actual voices. I mean the self-critic and the storyteller who waffle on all day long about what you did wrong and what other people probably think of you, what’s going to happen next and how scary it all is.
Getting away from the story is crucial! Journaling is a brilliant way of stripping away the layers until the heart of the matter is revealed. Healing can take place and you can move on to something more enjoyable than mulling over a problem (or imagined problem) all day! I have talked about Julia Cameron before, but I have recently found Jordan Peterson’s program, The Self-Authoring Suite. I haven’t tried it yet, but I once I finish my latest novel draft I will get into it. I feel it will really help me with the memoir I wrote 12 years ago that has so many demons in it to slay before I can think about releasing it!
The plethora of memoirs and motivational speakers telling their story is almost a contradiction to the quote I opened with. Even Tony Robbins tells us the story of his abusive childhood to show that anyone can rise above anything! But, coaches and therapists tell us to “Let go of your Story” often with a slightly superior tone. It’s annoying but it is so important to get out of the grip of the past and stop using our past to predict our future! As much as the therapist wants us to move on from it, often we want to tell our story, knowing somehow that the best way to get past something is to GO THROUGH IT!
I maintain that daily journalling is a great way to do just that.
By going deep down into the story you have the opportunity to slay those demons and uncover the gems – the lessons – that are buried deep. Let go the story, but don’t lose the lesson!
And in telling your story, you heal and possibly help others to heal too.