What Story Are You Telling?
Every year on the anniversary of my brother’s death, I throw a party.
There’s music, dancing, and always donuts. Scott loved hunting down the nearest neon red Krispy Kreme sign that indicated when donuts were coming out of the oven, hot and fresh. I’ll never forget the time he challenged himself to eat a dozen in one sitting, and drink a gallon of milk. As his little sister, I tagged along to gather photographic evidence. And to see if his stomach would revolt in a spectacular, publicly embarrassing manner (which I also planned to capture on camera).
One friend commented on how “brave” I was for hosting a party. To welcome joy and levity on a day that marked such tragedy and sadness. “I don’t know if it’s bravery,” I told her, “so much as a necessity.”
There’s no roadmap for healing, no Lonely Planet guidebook. We each find ourselves stumbling along our own paths, not always sure what way is forwards. We turn towards solutions not because they feel brave, but because we don’t know where else to turn.
But it’s not a hopeless excursion. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the human heart it’s that it has an incredible capacity to heal. Not “heal” as an end destination, but “heal” as an ongoing process. Bravery is not found in polished armor or long broadswords. It’s found in the vulnerable moments of shakiness, maybe even darkness, when we don’t know if we can find our way through, but we keep walking anyways.
We keep going to discover if healing is possible.
In my work as a professional editor, writing coach, and ghostwriter, I have experienced firsthand the power of stories to help us along our healing journeys.
Stories are the fabric from which we are all woven. And when tragedy or trauma or struggle strikes, it’s easy to feel as if that story defines us.
But what if it doesn’t? What if we could tell a new story? When we take control of a book narrative—whether memoir or fiction—we change our internal narratives, too.
It is through the authentic, honest, imaginative, creative exploration of our “story” that we can find new ways to live.
I’m a story midwife. I work beside my clients—whether they’re writing their own book, or I’m helping write some of it for them—to craft the new reality they want to be living. For their benefit, and for the benefit of their readers. There’s a reason we often feel compelled to write about challenging life experiences. The more we can lean into that invitation, the more we step out of the small confines of what has happened to us, and emerge into the possibility of what life can be for us.
If you have a story inside you, and you’re not sure how to move forward, or you’re looking for support, please reach out through my website. I’d love to talk with you, hear your story, and explore together what possibilities are waiting for you as you boldly step into a new story.
Laura Thomas is an author, storyteller, and professional editor. Her book, The Magic of Well-Being, explores how ancient wisdom can be translated into lasting happiness in a modern world. She lives in Colorado with her husband and a unicorn named Shadowfax, where she writes, bikes, and empowers others to tell their stories.
Editor website: https://www.nextlevelstory.com/
Author website: https://www.laurathomaswrites.com/