|Jack Frost at work|
Are you keeping an untold story in lock down? A chapter stored somewhere in your heart under lock and key? A tender memory moldering out of sight?
Perhaps your story is too painful to revisit. Too achingly sad to put into words. Too confusing to make sense of.
Or, perhaps the voices have been messing with you. The voices that insist you have nothing important to say. That you have no talent for this kind of thing. That no one wants to hear what you have to say anyway.
If this resonates with you, you MUST begin writing. Do it for the rest of us. Start with a grocery list, write a letter, or run out and get yourself a journal that strikes you as welcoming and forgiving. Go now! Hurry! We’ll wait.As Maya Angelou reminds us:
Can’t do it? Try this. Ask yourself these three questions:
1. What do I know?
Perhaps you lost a child. Maybe it happened because of a miscarriage no one saw coming. Perhaps someone convinced you to have an abortion when you were too young to understand what was happening…and now you can’t forgive yourself. Maybe you spent an inestimable number of sleepless nights at your child’s bedside fighting for his survival to no avail.
You know everything there is to know about suffering.
2. Who else needs to know it?
If you survived, someone else needs to know how you managed to pull it off. Someone, somewhere needs to know that survival is possible. It might be the father who suffers a disabling injury. Or the parent of a child with special needs. Or the woman who is hearing the word “cancer” for the first time.
The story of your journey maybe a wellspring of hope for others. Your strength may be the only thing that keeps them standing under the weight of their own burden. The expression of your anguish gives them permission to admit theirs.
3. How will I tell them?
One painful word at a time. One affirmation after another. Honestly. Openly. Courageously.
Still can’t do it? Try writing a poem or a letter. Perhaps instead you should run out for some new paints and a fresh white canvas. Or raise your voice in song. Or put on some music and dance.
There is more than one way to tell a story. How will you tell yours? When will you begin?