Through this blog, I have cited numerous research studies pointing to the benefits of sharing your life story. Whether one is looking for physical benefits, emotional benefits, or familial benefits, there is no doubt: writing, reframing, and telling one’s personal journey is enormously healing.
In a Washington Post article released this month, author Dr. Dhruv Khullar added his own voice to the subject. A doctor who works with seriously ill patients, Khullar struggled with helping those facing the end of life. He watched them battle emotions, he watched peace evade them. Eventually, after one particularly poignant interaction with a patient, Khullar had an epiphany.
“I began to wonder whether the secret to a good death wasn’t looking forward, but peering backward — whether retrospective examination might be more therapeutic than prospective preparation.”
Referencing a Journal of the American Medical Association study, Khullar asserts that patients, in preparing for a “good death” are enormously focused on coming to a place where they genuinely feel that their life is complete, that their life mattered.
And the best way to do this, Khullar asks?
“…A powerful but underused method of creating this sense of mattering is storytelling — reflecting on the past and creating a narrative of one’s life, what it has meant, who you’ve become and why.”
Of all the reasons, I adore life story writing, the ability to find meaning—and peace—in one’s life is my favorite. And best of all, the promise of these rewards is open to all of us regardless of one’s age.
Writing one’s story, or even pieces of one’s story, can be life-changing. I’ve experienced it myself and I’ve witnessed it again and again with my clients. In fact, one client recently remarked: “This is the best thing I ever did.”
Please let me know if you’d like my help in realizing this benefit for yourself. There is a pot of gold waiting. I’d love to help you discover it.