“You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself. “
—Glinda, the Good witch
Every one of us has a story to tell. We have our struggles and battles that can knock us off our feet and off-course. We can wander in a sort of fog, covering up great pain or sorrow with mindless attachments to our social media on our phones, our work, even various addictions. We forget, or lose touch with, who we are. We can survive and live this way for years.
In many traditional fairy tales, when a character, say Hansel or Gretel, or Vasilisa the Wise, enters a dark wood, you know that something big is going to happen. In fairy tales, the forest is often a symbol of the unknown, the primal and wild, the dark night of the soul, even the subconscious. Maybe a little of all those things. After unsuspectingly entering the forest, our hero or heroine immediately finds themselves confronting what seem to be unsurmountable challenges. Away from the security of their normal surroundings, they can’t rely on their usual ways of getting by. They must rely on their own wits, intuition, and strengths to avoid getting harmed by monsters or trolls, or perhaps worse, getting utterly lost, destined to wander without direction for the rest of their lives. In Snow White, the queen stares into her mirror, desperately seeking external validation about herself, afraid to look within her own soul for the truth.
But usually, in the fairy tales at least, people eventually emerge out of the woods, stronger, more resilient, and wiser having survived and overcome their challenges. They find their way home. In Hans Christian Anderson’s Ugly Duckling, the swan finally realizes who he is.
Fairy tales arose out of the oral tradition of storytelling. They often represent feelings and ideas that run deep within our collective thoughts about what it means to be human. Scholars like Joseph Campbell and Carlissa Pinkola Estés have written extensively about how the stories we tell represent not only how we perceive the world, but ourselves and our place in it.
Writing stories and journaling about our personal experiences can help us reconnect and remember who we are at our core. We can’t know what we really want, and where we want to go, without remembering who we are and where we’ve been.
At a writing coach, I help you to write about your life, either to gain better understanding of not only how your experiences have shaped who you are now, but also the possibilities of who you might become still. Or, you may want to write a wisdom or healing memoir to pass on to family members or a larger audience to share what you’ve learned on your journey. By writing and sharing our stories, we can make sense of and transform our own lives, and through our own transformation, bring more light into an often dark world.
For more information, please visit my serivice page: Memoir And Memories Writing