"Stuck in the same old story, many of us remain so entrenched in tales of victimization and martyrdom that we can scarcely imagine an alternate, positive or redemptive reading of the text of our lives. Perhaps because we have been taught to view life through one particular lens, we simply don’t see other, more inspiring versions of our tale that could liberate us.” -Unknown
If you have been writing about the pain of your story, hopefully you have been feeling better just by getting the story out of you. Speaking the words of your story will lessen the grip it has on you. Now you are ready to repair the narrative that has kept you in bondage.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” -Brené Brown
Psychology Professor Timothy D. Wilson suggests that writing your story of pain and tragedy will help you overcome, because labeling the experience and your reaction to it gives it life again. He says, “Once an emotional upheaval is put into words, it is easier for people to get past it. They sleep better, pay attention to other things in their worlds, and can become better friends to others.”
“Man goes to Doctor. Says he’s depressed, that life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, ‘Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up.’ Man bursts into tears and says, ‘But doctor….I am Pagliacci.”
Larry Heimlich, a 92 year-old Holocaust Survivor, is pictured here reading a dedication plaque at the Holocaust Monument in Chicago. With the exception of his sister, all of the members of his immediate family were murdered at the Auschwitz-Birkanau concentration camp.