sharing our stories

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about writing lately. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about writing lately. And here I am now, writing about writing. How trite!

As I have begun to reflect on the role writing has played in my life from a very early age, I am reminded of a particularly difficult time in my life, when I know for a fact, that writing helped to save me.

After my third child was born, I sank so deeply into a very dark hole of postpartum depression. As an early form of treatment, I saw a counselor trained in postpartum issues and worked through some cognitive-behavorial techniques to help reduce my unrelenting symptoms. One of the methods my counselor suggested was to simply journal about my high-risk pregnancy, fully flesh out my feelings and fears and reflect on the positive outcomes.

That practice, the eventual use of a mild SSRI, and the healing gift of time, I began to feel a major improvement in my outlook on life. It was also around this time that I wrote my very first blog post (February 2008). I quickly began to see the connection between telling my stories, joining up with a community and watching the fog lift off of me.

Smilebox_3478539455

{Summer 2009}

It was during this trying time that writing started to feel like a precious gift to me.

In her book, Living to Tell the Tale, Jane Taylor McConnell says,

“Writing is a second chance at life. Although we can never go back in time to change the past, we can re-experience, interpret, and make peace with our past lives. When we write a personal narrative we find new meanings and, at the same time, we discover connections with our former selves. I think all writing constitutes an effort to establish our own meaningfulness, even in the midst of sadness and disappointment. In fact, writing sometimes seems to be the only way to give shape to life, to complete the process which is merely begun by living.”

Our stories are personal and sacred. Good stories must be shared. Good stories must be passed along. You, too, no doubt have journals to fill, fingers to dance across a keyboard, notepads on which to jot down feelings and reflections. Your story can help you to find new meanings and discover yourself. Your life is full of stories to share. Someone needs to hear them.

“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.” {Psalm 66:16}

In what way could you use words and anecdotes to help give shape to your life? I’d love to hear from you!

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