Getting to the Heart of What Really Matters
Sharing the stories of how we traveled through our life journey – our unique experiences, life lessons and nuggets of wisdom – can help us get to the heart of what really matters. We gain a greater sense of purpose and direction for living our own life when we reflect upon our past, and we help shape the path for our loved ones as they find meaning and inspiration from our footprints.
-Tracie Bluse Ward
What is a Life Reflection Story?
Stories are what make us human, setting us apart from all other species. Your own Life Reflection Story goes a step further and sets you apart from all other humans. It is a way to share your unique experiences, observations, beliefs and feelings as nuggets of wisdom for those closest to your heart: your intimate circle of family and friends. Unlike lengthy memoirs, a Life Reflection Story is typically comprised of short stories or vignettes that share your life experiences one bite-sized nugget at a time.
Why are Life Reflection Stories Important?
The impact of writing and sharing your Life Reflection Story is profound on two levels. It gives you, the writer, greater perspective and understanding of your own life, even helping you find significance and purpose going forward. And it gives your loved ones insights and wisdom, a connection to their past, a richer understanding of who you are, and a new perspective on their own lives. It provides them with real life examples of how to understand and cope with life’s quandaries as they continue along their life journeys.
Recent research indicates that children who know their family life stories and history have higher self-esteem and are better prepared to handle life’s ups and downs. Additionally, engaging in life reflection during difficult times often results in greater resiliency and hope.
When would I write a Life Reflection Story?
- To mark our own life milestones.
- To celebrate our children’s life events and special milestones.
- To celebrate the lives of our parents and grandparents.
- To share our family heritage, customs and traditions.
- To gain insights into our life lived so far.
- As we embark upon significant life transitions.
- Throughout our lifetime.
- Whenever the spirit moves us!
- Any time is a good time, but don’t wait.
Recognize that one of the unique benefits of Life Reflection Stories is that you can choose to write one story or create a whole series throughout your lifetime.
Bonnie and David Williams describe the experience of creating their Life Reflection Story and the value they have found in the process for themselves, their adult children, and their grandchildren.
Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.