THE GIFTS THEY MAY BRING US!
Do you enjoy stories? Are you a reader of biographies or autobiographies? Do you find yourself reading portions or vignettes of people’s stories online? Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to knowing about the experiences of others? Stories may bring us gifts that we do not even recognize.
My writing style has evolved over the years. As a life coach and a blogger, certain marketing and search engine optimization techniques are recommended. Part of me rebels. I seek to be authentic and true to myself. The business part of me knows I “should” conform more in order to enlarge my reader and client base. I usually lean toward authenticity over marketing. There is a part of me – the spiritual core – that trusts my future readers and clients will discover me.
Recommendations are given to write posts using a step method. An example is five steps to a new you or 10 steps to relieve stress. I understand these titles are catchy and do persuade people to read (or at least skim) these articles or posts. There are times that I do write using that step method. Mostly though, I choose to write by sharing my “experience, strength, and hope” as it is called in 12-step meetings.
My blog serves the purpose of helping others, providing information, and sharing who I am to readers and clients. When I am providing life coaching services, the focus is no longer on me. It is you I am supporting on your road! Your story, your desires, and your goals are a number one priority.
As a child, teenager, and young adult, I was an avid reader. I often chose autobiographies and biographies to digest. (Well, as a child I loved Nancy Drew books. An inquisitive, happy, and somewhat fearless girl solves mysteries that appear in her life. What a person I desired to be starting at a young age!)
A fond memory I have is walking to the neighborhood public library in Chicago with a childhood friend. We would each borrow an armful of books! A hot dog stand was often a favorite stop of ours on the way home. A bag of French fries, a pile of books, and a friend. What an idyllic way to spend a Saturday!
Human beings’ true stories shared in biographies and autobiographies elicited hope within me. If these human beings could survive adversity in their lives and thrive, then maybe I could also. This way of seeking self-help is not provided through to-do steps. Of course, the types of self-help I was seeking back then were both finding ways to end the present abuse in my life as well as a key to escape. These true stories provided me with a glimpse at a better life after the escape from abuse and from the control by others.
The author, Studs Terkel, provided oral histories of plain old Americans. His book “Working” is a book of his that I remember enjoying. (See: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/33716.Studs_Terkel) People’s life experiences intrigued me and still do. My life in an abusive household was not how one’s life should be. How did one lead a life of integrity?
When I began pastoral counseling and my healing process, I began to read articles, books and websites of others that shed light on my past and present life. Reading people’s stories (regarding their entire life or a very small segment of their lives) gave me knowledge and somehow fortified me. I learned how one person coped with family members who did not believe the abuse occurred and how it affected her emotionally; I read how others coped with the loss of a therapist; and I digested other stories that related to my life.
Before I tried EMDR (Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing), I viewed forums of those who experienced the treatment. When the option of neurofeedback became available to me, I read veterans’ forums. How many sessions did these veterans dealing with PTSD (as I was) need to see results. Did the results last?
(I then did further research about the types of neurofeedback. Gratefully, my therapist at the time used NeurOptimal Neurofeedback. NeurOptimal is non-invasive and non-linear. See: http://www.boulderneurofeedback.com/blog/. No therapist or expert had to program my brain. It is the only type I would have chosen.)
None of these venues I read and digested offered me step methods. None of them told me of five ways to heal from PTSD, etc. I needed and wanted to know of other people’s experiences. That was important to me. Although these veterans did not write extensively of their experiences in the military, they did share little moments of their experiences and the treatments that might help me.
Our stories often provide gifts of encouragement, wisdom, awe, and hope for others in need. Personal reports may cover small moments in one’s life or longer times of great upheaval or distress. Transformation may erupt or gently grow from both the small and/or large moments in our lives. That adds to the excitement of life. You never know when one small deed of kindness may provide the seed for someone to endure and to grow. We may never know what good we contributed to the world. The point is to provide compassion and love to ourselves and others.
It is my wish that one of my blog posts resonates with you, that it provides you strength and encouragement to live your life to the fullest. I trust my readers and clients will pass my blog and website links to others.
Life is filled with possibilities. Change is possible. It is not to be feared. Positive change occurs. All change brings the opportunity for personal and sometimes even communal growth.
Some individuals may read my bigger story and see only the evil deeds and the horror. Others might see the strengths, blessings, and love contained in my past. There are times we need to read or listen less with our minds and more with our hearts.
Victor Frankel’s story as written in “Man Search for Meaning” is a story filled with the unbelievable, evil deeds, and horror. It must have been in high school that I read the book for the first time. Initially I only saw the angst, evil and pain. It was not until years later after my heart healed more and I could open my heart wider that I could more fully discover the strength, compassion and love contained in his life. His story was filled with love as well as not.
As survivors of abuse, torture, and/or mind control, our stories are sometimes only seen from the view of the awful. It is a gift to be able to revisit the past and see the good and love that also existed. This is a challenge for most of us.
In conclusion, I trust many of my readers and clients will receive gifts such as positive benefits from my writings and stories as well as the narratives of others. My life coaching clients will receive my support as each one of them delves within their own self to find the wisdom that will form the basis of the steps they need to take to proceed on the path of their personal desires.
Each one of us has a core of inner wisdom, compassion and love. I, as your virtual life coach, can help you access your strengths. It would be a pleasure to work with you on this exciting journey of your life.
Change in your life occurs today.
Please do not hesitate to connect with me!