Writing, like nothing else, gives people a chance to examine personal history and rewrite the narrative. Literally. We call this “reframing” in the narrative therapy workshops I assist with. I credit author, Sandra Marinella, for introducing this potentially life-changing and scientifically supported writing technique to me. I have personally benefitted from this writing approach, and I have witnessed hundreds of workshop participants over the last three years be transformed by the power of revisiting and revising troubling personal stories. This isn’t about avoiding true events and living in a state of denial. It is about having the courage to write a difficult story from a different perspective, to discover truths that might otherwise remain hidden.
I caught myself replaying worn-out inner dialogue, which led to the writing of this post. I decided to reframe limiting messages, told to me as a child, into empowering messages. It wasn’t difficult to accumulate a list – evidence of how the brain stores information that is of no use at all! My writing exercise, shared below, will do more to rewire my brain than allowing these messages to repeat. You may have limiting messages running through your brain. I believe most people do, to a greater or lesser degree. I encourage you to disrupt them! Reframe them! Replace them!
Caveat: if a troubling or traumatic event has recently occurred in your life, it is best to wait before attempting to write it out.
Note: My reframed thoughts are in bold.“You don’t need to know how to do that, you’re a girl.”
Relying on a man for everything is limiting and potentially dangerous.
“Don’t be a smart ass.”
Sarcasm is part of my nature. I will not censor my true nature. I will proceed with caution in certain social settings.
“Don’t do things half-ass.”
I value my time and work. I do my best and move on. Perfection is not attainable. Learning and growth is.
“Who do you think you are?”
The answer to that question has yet to be written. An unfolding life continues to reveal. I do think I am worthy of all the joy life has to offer and when that is absent may I continue to recognize my worthiness.
“Speak when spoken to.”
When, how, and with whom I choose to speak to is my choice.
“You have a bubble-butt.”
I appreciate and respect my womanly form and applaud other women who do the same. May we uplift others who carry body shame.
“You’re too sensitive.”
Being sensitive is a gift in a world that can be materialistic, rushed, insensitive, and cruel. I will protect my sensitive nature. I will not conform to the ways of the world.
“Be a nice girl.”
I am. Unless there is a reason to not be. In those moments I will stand up for myself or walk away. I have the presence of mind to make the right choice.
“We can reimagine new ways of understanding our life stories, and we can re-create new ways to live with our troubled stories. While we need to avoid erroneous fabrications, our inner storyteller can help us rewrite and reframe our traumatic experiences.”~Sandra Marinella
Thank you for visiting and reading. Be well. 💗Michele
Photo 2: notepad & laptop by Ann poan, Photo 3 & 4: my flower images, from my “Mornings like this” morning
Marinella quote from The Story You Need to Tell (133)
© 2022 Michele Lee Sefton