Some of you might be sick of me telling you that I am writing a book, and maybe you don’t even believe me! But I’m making steady progress, and in January I decided to make it the focus of a lot of my energy. My friend Marion, who is an author from Oregon Christian Writers, has offered to help me put my book together, and we are both pretty excited about the headway we have made.
To my surprise, some of this process has been a little bit difficult. I have been pondering how deal with the darker parts of my life as I write my story. Maybe part of your story isn’t so happy and you might not want to talk about it, but those hard struggles are what teach us valuable lessons and help us to grow in the future. As children, we might have grown up learning not to talk about certain things or feel negative emotions, and so we just avoid them. We make people think that we are just happy and in control all of the time. A lot of this is because we are afraid that if people only knew what we were really thinking and feeling, they wouldn’t like us.
This reminds me of a class my friend and I taught at Good Samaritan Ministries called ‘Letting Go of Fear.’ In one session, we covered some of the coping mechanisms that many are often taught to us as children. They were ‘don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel’ mechanisms, in other words, just keep a smile on your face. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work because it can lead to addictions that will help to numb the painful experiences.
These patterns are very hard to break, but it is essential to living a healthy life. Actually, the hard things in life can bring strength; if you are open to talking about them and receiving healing from the Lord and through the encouragement of others. Not just in my writing, but in my life I have had to figure out ways to communicate the difficult things in order to bring restoration. When I have shared these things, I have received healing and have been able to encourage others to look at some of the messy parts of their lives as well. Sharing with others helps both them and I take one step closer to freedom.
What are some positive experiences that you have had when you have shared the difficult parts of your lives with others? How do you feel when you share with others?