Have you ever thought of writing your life story? Getting your story down on paper is a process that can bring you much insight and peace. You’ll learn a lot just by doing it. This is a case in which the journey really is more important than the destination.
You may not believe your history is particularly interesting or full of adventure. However, your life story is important because it’s uniquely yours. Nobody else could write it – only you have access to your unique cornucopia of thoughts, feelings, and experiences!
Consider these reasons why this activity can be therapeutic, restorative and healing:
1. Writing helps you remember. When you reflect on what has happened in your past and start putting facts on paper, you’ll be surprised to see that you’ll recall more and more details over time.
* At first, you might feel like you can’t remember enough specifics to write your story. However, as soon as you begin, you’ll find that more memories pop up and just keep coming. In a sense, just by starting to write, you’ve “primed the pump.”
2. You’ll reflect back on your childhood with adult eyes. You can use your adult knowledge and maturity to “review” your childhood. Processing these experiences now will change how your see those early situations. This can bring healing, hilarity, or even just a sense of peace.
3. Gain insight and correct errors. Remembering now how you felt as a child will bring insight into your own feelings. New light is shed on your past when you write your story. You’ll experience some “aha” moments when you reflect on your past and record it.
* For example, you might realize that even though you were afraid of your Aunt Sally, she was a kind and considerate adult in your life. It was simply her size and loud voice that frightened you. With this new insight, you may be able to re-connect with people from your past.
4. Realize a fresh understanding of your history. When you reflect on your life and write things down, you begin to understand more about your family, what your parents were experiencing, and what you were going through as a youngster.
* Feelings of confusion about your past might dissipate and be replaced with deep understanding.
5. Renew relationships with family members by asking for help. You may want to tap into their memories to fill in details of past situations.
6. Let go of old hurts and fears. Using your adult mental and emotional skills to “go back” and see what happened in your life can help you resolve an old hurt or fear. You’ll accept that you cannot change what happened and that it wasn’t your fault because you were only a child at the time.
7. Re-discover childhood loves and topics of interest. Recording your memoirs will spark memories of how much you loved a certain hobby, idea or person.
* For example, maybe you loved painting and yearned to be an artist. Recalling and writing about those experiences might re-engage your love of art. You might visit art museums or take painting lessons to again enjoy one of the early loves of your life.
Putting together your life story can be a powerful experience with enormously positive results. Consider writing your memoirs to bring clarity to your life. You deserve to live a life filled with insight, self-discovery and passion, and writing your history can usher in all of those experiences.