In my recent blog post, “Living a Story Worth Telling,” I encouraged you to remember that you only have one life to live and to consider “what do I want to include in my own life story?” I ended the post with two exercises that are helpful for identifying specific things you want to experience during your lifetime. But imagine that you’ve written a letter to your closest friend five years from now and to your surprise, you’ve told him/her that you’re living somewhere different than you are now. What if, you’re living in your home country now, but you’ve realized that in the future you want to live abroad and/or travel extensively? Continue reading
One of the coolest things about therapy is that it offers the chance for us mental health professionals to help clients rewrite their own stories. Sometimes this is done by looking back at their past and reframing the way in which they view a big life event. Or transforming a current crisis into the turning point in their life story. Instead of a victim they’re suddenly the author of their very own journey. By viewing tragedy, pain, and disappointment as moments in the stories of our lives, we realize that just as in any good story, these experiences are not going to endure until the end of the book. What more, since we ourselves are the AUTHORS of these stories, we get to determine which direction the story will go when we bump into the unexpected twists and turns. What sort of ending do we want to arrive at when we close the book?
In yesterday’s blog post, I touched on how fragile life is and how tragic deaths can shake us up, doubting everything we once believed and causing us to question the very foundations of who we are. I don’t have any answers as to why life is full of tragedy, but the fact that it is, is undeniable. However, we do have the chance to choose how we respond in the face of the inevitable curve balls that life throws our way. And when this surprising and shocking news is that of someone’s passing, I think we can use it as a chance to ask ourselves, “how do I want to LIVE?”