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The Only Three Stories We Ever Experience To Live Better Lives

The Core Stories We Live to Heal and Develop Ourselves

I was talking to my son-in-law the other day about what makes the difference for us all in experiencing major life challenges: to be broken by them or be better through them.  He looked at me, smiled, and said, “You know, I remember talking years ago with my Dad about the really great stories in the world – the ones that are so old and powerful in teaching us about transformation.

“He said, ‘I think there are only three kinds of great stories – the ones with the heroes who somehow, despite everything, come through – that we all live, and have to face.  They are about either Coming of Age, Being Lost, and Redemption.’”

How to Survive and Prosper Through the Real Power to Transform Our Lives

I was really struck by that, and found myself reflecting on my own past and current life challenges and those of my late husband, my parents, my children – everyone who I have been close to, and famous people I have deeply admired.  In thinking more about these three key themes, I felt very strongly that they each seek to gift us with essential keys to heal, empower and develop ourselves – and be able to survive in a most complicated and precarious, as well as wondrous. world.

Here are three key journaling questions I have developed and invite you to explore to access these transformational gifts:

Coming of Age

Name three movies you really identified with that you consider to be coming of age movies.  Write in a sentence or two what you most liked about each of them.  Consider how they have translated and played themselves out in your own life, and record your thoughts and feelings.

Imagine you now have a central opportunity to come of age.  Let yourself play out a whole story about how this happens, and journal your story and your feelings experiencing it.  List five things you could do now to begin to set in motion this result, and commit to carry these out.  See what happens!

Being Lost

Do you have the courage to deeply reflect on when you have been truly lost in your life?  Can you think of three myths or Bible stories about the hero or heroine being lost, and what happens to them through this experience? 

Imagine you are lost now.  Honestly explore the depth of your feelings, noticing if you are yanked back into your childhood, and how.  Journal about being lost and your sense of what it means to be found.  Imagine you are found.  What happens then?

Redemption

Reflect on what you understand this word means and write your definition.  Then ask yourself if you have ever experienced your definition of the meaning of this word in your life, and how your story unfolded.  Write about it, and when you’ve finished, read through your story and record your insights.  What comes to mind when you ask yourself to remember one story you know about redemption?  Is there anything about that story that could also be your story of central self-healing and transformation?  Journal your impressions.

Three of My Favorite Stories About Coming of Age, Being Lost and Redemption

These three fundamental human stories are spiritual development stories, guides for healing and transformation, and how we become whole and evolved in our lives.  Here are three of my favorite stories that each demonstrate all three:

Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment and Homer’s The Odyssey.  When we are inspired by great, timeless tales we are moved to become greater than we think we are, and fully embrace the overwhelming and amazing adventures of our own well-lived and challenging lives.  Our life stories are meant to change us and strengthen us, allowing us to offer more to the world.  We each have unique and heroic potential to transform and be the vehicle for transformation, with tremendous and critical impact.  

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