The minute my ex-husband walked out the door, I went straight to the keyboard to work my grief out, word by word, page by page. I rewrote the story until I was finally healed, at peace, and over it. I wrote my way into claiming a new life that was beyond my wildest imagination.
In fact, it was this writing that led me to produce a book that was picked up by a publisher and will be coming out soon. (I’m SO excited to share it with you!)
Now that the book is coming out, I’m reminded of a book by Natalie Goldberg I read twenty years ago.Wild Mind—Living The Writer’s Life is about creative writing, but Natalie also shares her own personal stories.
I remember meeting Natalie for the first time after attending a conference where she was speaking. We were on an elevator and, thanks to reading her book, I thought I knew her, like she was an old friend.
Soon after that conference, I attended one of Natalie’s writing workshops near her home in Taos. She took a liking to me, we became friends, and she invited me to write with her and a group of local published writers every week. We met in the Buddhist zendo (meditation room) that she had created in her earthship (a sustainable home made of recyclable material) that was out on a northern New Mexico mesa.
After getting to know her better, I realized she was very different than who I thought she was. (Not in a bad way, just different.) Natalie shared with me that many people who read her book also thought they knew her. But, the truth was, she had written the book many years before it was published. And, by that time it had been out for many years too. Who she was when she wrote her personal stories, just wasn’t who she was anymore.
My point is that I’m shocked (but also oddly not shocked) that the material I wrote about over seven years ago is now completely behind me. And today, like Natalie explained, I am also a totally different person.
Letting go of the life I had when I was married the first time was extremely difficult. I worried that I left a life that could never be replaced. I feared loneliness and dying alone.
As I said, I wrote for hours every day, trying to make sense of everything. I allowed myself to deeply explore my past story and its wounds in order to heal it. I discovered how to let go by rewriting and rewriting until I felt healed. And until I could find a new ending.
I used creativity as my savior through my grief and darkness, whether that was creative writing, painting, or making conscious decisions to create the life I wanted—one full of joy, love, and interconnectedness.
Without my dedication to my creativity and my trust in it, I might not have gotten through. The creative outlet I chose to help me find a new chapter in my story didn’t necessarily have to be literally writing down the story of my life again and again. But, in my case, it was, and it helped.
With each Word doc page I came closer to my truth. With each tap on my keyboard, I reached a place of forgiveness and compassion.
When finally I no longer felt emotionally triggered by the material I was writing, I knew I was returning to my heart and love for those I was writing about. I knew I was returning to love for myself.
Today, I’ve changed beyond recognition. Who I was is now a phantom wandering through the landscape of a distant dream. I can remember her with compassion, but it’s no longer me.
You might be called to rewrite the story of a loss you’ve had, or a transition you’re going through, (and that could be an end of a relationship, a death of loved one, a loss of a job, etc.).
Be truthful about how you feel. Raw. Go to the places you fear, or feel anger, pain, hurt or grief. Express yourself fully.
Bring it all into the light. Flood it with positive energy. Remove any blame or judgment. Come to your story with kindness, acceptance and compassion. Find gratitude and appreciative joy for others and yourself.
Keep practicing rewriting this story until it’s fully completed within you and you feel whole. It might take some time. But as you revisit your experiences with the intention of love and compassion, you will find the pieces that hold pain lift away.
And you will be freed for good.
Wishing you ease through transition and a whole new you!