What links your life together?
Start with ten. (This is one of the assignments I frequently give my clients.)
You can choose life events, demographics, influential people you’ve known, talents, even “aHa” moments.
Mine might be:
- Born female, in the USA, to a progressive, liberal mother.
- “Abandoned” at four years old (for a year).
- Abused by my stepfather, resulting in their divorce.
- Moved, age 10, from a middle-class neighborhood to poverty neighborhood. I was suddenly a “minority”.
- My mother worked 18 hours a day, so my siblings and I raised ourselves.
- Growing Up in the 70’s.
- Studied spiritual philosophies, finding an affinity with Christian, Buddhist, and Taoist ideas.
- Became a mother of twin boys.
- Started my own business as a psychotherapist.
- Killed a person in a car accident.
(Wow! I just did that off the cuff! Very powerful!).
Next, you fill in the chapters. What about (That) affected you? What characteristics were created because of ________? You might ask yourself:
- How did ____ influence you?
- What did you discover about yourself?
- What did you have to learn to overcome?
- How did ______ wound you? Strengthen you?
- Define your gratitude for these occurrences/events
Using one of mine as an example:
Yes, I killed a person in a car accident.
- I discovered that life can change – drastically- in an instant. And in THAT particular instant, I didn’t even know it. For a long time, I’d have terrible dreams, I’d have flashes of people appearing in the road before I could do anything about it… I struggled with my connection to God (I’d like to have made it through my life without killing someone).
- I discovered that I loved and understood myself, even if society didn’t. I confirmed my value of always telling the truth, as I knew it, and that I continue to do what I think is right – even if others disagreed (I wrote to his family against the advice of my attorney, who thought such an act would be misinterpreted as guilt).
- I had to learn to live with knowing most people would make up stories about me that weren’t true (“she must have known!”, “She must have been drinking!”). I had to overcome needing people to understand me.
- I will always have this heavy burden in my soul.
- I am grateful for the people in my life that tried to help me. I’m grateful to learn that other peoples opinions of me no longer affects what I think of me.
What have been the greatest influences in your life? What ties your life all together?