Even before I put pen to paper, I was awakened in the early morning hours with scenes, faded by time. Drawn into the story they revealed, I began to write. Soon pages of text accompanied these reveries and though I captured some on paper, others hid and waited—for yet another night. My crowded desk of post-it notes became my companion and sometimes friend, helping me with the scattered pieces.
This process, unexpected and bewitching, guided me through the corridors of my heart, where I wrestled with haunting flashbacks and elusive threads of connection. The difficult years were long past and in tow—its numbness. I could feel again; and, the tears and gasps came and went—because they could.
Don’t we all carry stories deep within the chambers of our heart? Stories of hardships and triumphs, stories of love betrayed and love found, stories of cruelty and tenderness -- stories linked by people, places and time? And when these memories are awakened by new life events or midnight terrors, don’t we struggle to make sense of it all?
The person we were decades ago may have quietly slipped into the shadows of our life, but old traumas will haunt us until we find a way to let them go. Writing has become a means for me to make peace with the past. And as I have done so, gratitude has emerged. Not for the painful events, not for the human failures, not for the indignities. The gratitude I feel is for what was ultimately evoked by those sorrows: determination, courage, and wisdom.
Gratitude can transform how we see our past, when we identify the strengths that were evoked by our challenges.
What is your way of healing old hurts or disappointments? Do you write, paint, or dance? Perhaps you create music or get lost in nature’s mysteries?
By what means are you piecing together your patchwork of stories?