Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Healing powers of Your Story

I have always been a firm believer that everyone has a story to tell.  Why do I think that?  I know this to be true because even if people have shared similar experiences, like war, poverty or family tragedy, each person's experience is unique to them.  

I could be in the same war, same natural disaster but I will see it totally differently.  My experiences will cause me to see things in a different light than even a person standing next to me. 

That being said, it is good to write about our lives, about what we personally have been through, how we may or may not have handled the situation.  By writing, by sharing, we just may touch on the heart string of another reader who has or is now, going through something so similar that they are changed, forever, by what we have written.  Is everyone an excellent writer?  Maybe not, but writing your story isn't as complicated as you might think.  With self-publishing these days, I know that what you might see as ordinary in your lives, can now reach hundreds maybe even millions of readers.  I love self-publishing because I think the reading public is not stupid.  I prefer to let the readers decide what they like, not some publisher who chooses for them.

I have assisted people in editing, arranging and telling their stories.  I enjoyed it very much.  Why?  Because while helping a writer arrange their thoughts and notes, I have read some very touching stories.  I am going to show you some great examples of that.

My husband's book is at the top of this blog.  While I may be a bit biased on his, I can assure you it is somewhat a universal story about war.  About one soldier's experiences of a war that has been such an embarrassment to the United States government, that for a very long time, the government tried to bury it and pretend it never existed.  Kind of like the WMD fiasco that has now drawn us into wars where we do not belong, to this very day.  Steve tells about his experiences in Vietnam, how it's so easy to be drawn into a war and hate faceless enemies.  But once there, once he got to know the people of that country, it became increasingly harder and harder to hate people who did nothing to us personally.  He tells of the fears soldiers face when fired upon, how most soldiers, from both sides, will shoot others more from fear than from hatred.  How propaganda about the perceived enemy, is the driving force behind all wars.  He tells why he chose to make the military his career and why he chose to become a Drill Instructor to be able to teach all soldiers how to survive when faced with combat.  I'm sure anyone will love his story. 

 Poems of a Forgotten War is a series of Steve's feelings about a war he participated in.  They express how he felt.  Sometimes torn, sometimes he loved the country, sometimes not so much.  But they can certainly express how many people in a war feel about those sometimes mixed emotions.  Did he have regrets?  Well, does anyone ever experience anything as emotional as war and not have regrets?  Vietnam may be in the past, but stories he has read about concerning our recent wars are similar.  So he has come to the conclusion that war is war, no matter the era in which it takes place.  These are poems that modern military people can relate to.

The nursing home book is my story.  I guess you can call it my baby.  I've worked with the elderly in nursing homes for a long time.  I've worked with the elderly in the community for a long time too.  This is a book about my observations of the situation that many elderly find themselves in when they are too frail to take care of themselves at home.  It is a tale of many people facing this situation.  Some like nursing homes, but far too many hate the experience.  I try to explain why people hate it, what causes them to feel like it's hopeless.  But I also tell how and why, it can all change, if people stand up and demand changes for the better.  I explain how the Federal Government and state governments think throwing money at the problem should change it.  It doesn't.  But I also tell of the Culture Change movement taking place in America right now.  I explain how it can change for the better and why it should change.  I'm hoping everyone will read it, learn from it and I hope they will demand changes and understand that the government is not the hope for changes they might have expected them to be. 

I have one more story to share.  I'm hoping this writer will not mind my sharing it.  I chose it because it is so powerful, I think everyone should read it.  This story is set in a time when home health for someone who is dying of cancer, did not exist.  This writer tells about a time when a woman, her own mother, had to experience the shame of having a child out of wedlock.   She tells of growing up and feeling she was hated by her own mother.  How she, as a very young child, had to care for a mother who was so sick, she almost felt overwhelmed by it all.  But most importantly, it is a story of healing.  A story of coming to understand that it was not her that her mother hated, but it was the situation her mother found herself in, that was the object of her hatred.  She tells of a mother who was so proud and strong, she felt like she lived in her mother's shadow as a child.  A very unique story that anyone who may not have the perfect parent, can relate too.  I hope you will take time to read it.  The author related to me how just telling her story has given her the emotional healing she so desperately wanted and needed.  A good author, a powerful book.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the healing power of stories.  Do you have a story to tell?  If so, I'd be happy to help anyone compile their story into a manuscript.  Yes, I charge, but I charge far less them others and far less than you might think.  I can work on a sliding scale. 

Thank you for reading this blog.