Whether it’s been in a prison, a homeless shelter, a hospital cancer unit, or a post-9/11 first responder treatment center—crowded environments filled with trauma, stress, fear, depression, and isolation—people relax. Their voices become stronger; strangers bond intimately; they laugh and weep together; life force flows; and profound healing occurs.
Again and again, an image, character, or situation in a modern story, fairy tale, or myth makes a connection with someone that has never been made before, or opens a blockage at a level of a listener's psyche that is inaccessible to their rational mind and ordinary language. Sometimes unimaginable transformations in mood, behavior, and life flow from this opening that emerges between a story and a listener.
While trauma or loss may have tossed you out of the web of life, writing and sharing your story is the way back in. You’ll enter a larger field of human energy where you’ll find nourishment, light, restoration, and resilience based not on hope but on the reality of life’s hard beauty and its continuation. You’ll find sanctuary where new and healthy realities can emerge.
“Even the worst losses become workable over time,” writes American Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. “They become part of your life story and destiny; they become an important part of who you have become. Through surviving your difficulties, tenderness and compassion naturally arise. Your hardships are not only something intensely personal and intimate but also something you share with the entire world.”
If you have experienced a traumatic event or a devastating loss; if you are feeling depressed and anxious; if you are stuck or lost, writing your story will endow you with a spirit of life-giving adventure. Sharing it with compassionate listeners will help you create a rich, warm life from the inside out and provide a channel for extending that warmth to others who are starved for light.
All Rights Reserved, Juliet Bruce, 2015, from "A Write of Passage"