The Healing Power Within You
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to give presentations about my latest book, The Refuge. I love sharing my story with audiences and listening to their feedback as well as answering their questions. It’s always a fun experience. Sometimes, even after the event is over, a particular question will continue to resonate with me. I had this happen just a few days ago. A woman had asked me if I had ever experienced a great loss similar to that of my main character, Anna Waters. In reply, I shared about a loss that was very personal to me – the loss of myself years ago – which opened up a whole new conversation about wounds and healing. The woman went on to say that she could tell my writing and my life were very closely connected. When I got home that evening, the woman’s question re-entered my mind. As I pondered it further, I was reminded of the important role writing played in my healing process. Many years ago, I decided to write a book with its sole purpose to help me heal, and it did just that. I never intended to publish the book, and I never did. But writing that book also helped me realize my deep love for writing. It even turned out to be the catalyst for my future writing endeavors – even though they wouldn’t materialize for more than ten years.
Reminded of the important connection between healing and writing, I thought about the author presentations I had already done. Usually, I focused my talks on the inspiration behind both of my books as well as the writing process. I wanted the audiences to learn about my particular writing style as well as “behind the scenes” tidbits that would be both interesting and entertaining. Although my audiences enjoyed my presentations, I now realize that what I was sharing with them was only part of the story. I hadn’t been sharing the deepest, darkest parts of myself because, honestly, those were things I didn’t even share with people who knew me well. So, if I didn’t share this information with friends, why would I share it with complete strangers? Yet, a part of me knew the value of sharing in a deep and vulnerable way. Healing happens when people are willing to connect with themselves and be vulnerable – it truly makes such a difference. But sometimes, it’s hard to know just how vulnerable to be.
The Refuge is a book about healing. Two of the central themes revolve around discovering who we are and loving ourselves no matter what. Although my experiences in life may have been different from Anna’s (though not always), the lessons remained the same. That’s why the book is so close to my heart. Within those pages are my own pain and struggles. Many of the journal entries I included are actually entries from my own journals over the years. That’s part of the healing/writing connection. Ultimately, this novel is about Anna’s journey of self-discovery, but it’s about mine as well. And the journey was not an easy one for neither Anna nor myself. As many of us know, facing our fears and admitting our deepest worries are difficult things to do. But it’s our struggles that lead to our liberation – that’s how we finally feel free. Pain is how we grow. It’s how we learn. It teaches us our most valuable life lessons.
So moving forward, I have decided to incorporate the healing/writing connection as well as my own vulnerability into my future presentations. People need to know that they are not alone when they experience dark times in their lives. We all have challenges; we all face difficulties – but it’s what we do with those that matter. It’s that we keep on going and never give up. We endure and come out even stronger on the other side. We all have so much brilliance and healing power within ourselves, and we just have to discover it. That’s part of being vulnerable, and that’s how we heal.
This week, explore the healing/writing connection as well as your own vulnerability. Are there some areas of your life you would like to change? Are there wounds that need to be healed? Look within and examine where you are on your journey. What are some valuable life lessons you have learned along the way? Journal about these questions and be honest with yourself. Be willing to work through your fears, not letting them hold you back. Write whatever is on your heart. Discover your brilliance. Your healing is worth more than all the money in the world. So, take a look inside and find the healing power within you.