Our lives are composed not only of facts and dates but also of dreams, expectations–realized or denied–and hopes. You are not alone in having lived an inner life. Others too have experienced much of what you felt and dreamed for yourself and are likely to identify with some, or even much, of what you say. You are more likely to attract praise rather than scorn for sharing your inner life.
You’ll derive several benefits when you share the inner you.
1) If there is a place where you can say, “This is who I really was and who I really am,” where you can share with others who’ll understand the hero’s journey you have undertaken, it is in your life stories. Here, you can document the inner changes, the emotional turmoil, the psychological victories, defeats and challenges that have made you the person you are today.
2) You will gain respect for the inner journey you have taken in your life; you will appreciate the uniqueness of your responses to people, events and developments.
3) If you have not always lived your life wisely, what better time than now to come to terms with that? Memoir writing offers you the chance to examine without judgement patterns of behavior and attitudes from the past and to explore new ways of how you go about being yourself. Fresh insights gained from memoir writing will infuse your awareness. Your writing–the act itself and the resulting stories–will allow you to see and utilize new ways of being that serve not just survival but positive personal growth.
4) Your readers will be comforted. By not holding back, you offer reassurance and guidance that others may need, and even crave, as they make their own ways through life.
5) You will create access to your family history’s inner story–a benefit future generations can use and enjoy. Understanding the inner life of your family can help you and your descendants to appreciate your cultural inheritance. (And those who ignore family history are destined to repeat it!) Don’t shortchange yourself and your family with a memoir that is just a chronology of dates and facts. There is so much more that posterity deserves to know–the inner you!
6) Remember: it’s okay to write something you do not reveal to anyone! You don’t have to share every scrap you write. Once you have benefited from the insights you gain, you can destroy that piece or store it where only you will see it.
7) Interestingly, even insights you don’t share will become part of your legacy. Shifts in your understanding of the inner you will influence your theme; your understanding will have an impact on the on-going inner life of your family and its awareness of its past.
8) The journey of self-exploration is as old as the human race. Writing it down it is not vulgar or self-important and it certainly is not always easy. Rather, it is a commitment you make to your true self–the inner you–and a gift of understanding, guidance and reassurance you give to those who come after you.
Good Luck sharing your life story–and the inner you!
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