During my undergraduate studies, I read Natalie Goldberg’s book, Writing Down the Bones. She had profound wisdom and encouraged us to, “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” Oh, what a call to action it was! What a scary and liberating invitation! Who will tell your story? Will it be you? Begin somewhere. Anywhere. Just begin.
When I wrote A Life Suspended, I often found myself standing on the fringe of heartache. I wanted to be brave enough to step inside and to shine a light to illuminate what needed to be told. The dormant tendrils of fear began to stir within me, as I pressed pen to paper. My intention was to bring this story forward to help others, and in the end, I received more than I ever could’ve imagined. As I plunged deeper into the past, I grieved once more. I found pockets of gratitude and sadness, asking to be opened. As I answered the call to write my story, a gift was given. What was once broken, was now healed. I began to feel whole again.
People often ask me about writing their stories. The biggest question is, how would they begin? I feel a residence within Natalie Goldberg’s words, in a way I hadn’t before. What I know is this; write for you. Write the story you needed to hear when you were five, ten or twenty years younger. Don’t be afraid to explore the dark corners of your heart and allow yourself to become cracked open. Through these fractures light filters through and illuminates the softness of you. This is where we gather. In the places where rawness and courage intersect. Allow yourself to be seen. Sit in the stillness of your story and let others bathe in your truth. This is how we create dialogs, bridge understanding, and cultivate empathy.