I am a writer. I was born to be one. From the very moment I knew what the practice of journaling was, I began to record every thought I had. Since the age of eight, I have filled over 25 journals full of my thoughts, ideas, and observations. It is quite the collection of mostly nonsense or what I did that day, but as I was reviewing over my journals, I’ve realized that hidden between the pages are also experiences and wisdom I’ve collected over the years, which in reality is priceless.
And today, as I write yet another piece, I’ve come to realize that the writing process is not simply writing words upon paper or screen, but rather a process of sharing. When we write we share an experience. We share our knowledge. We share our truth. We share our emotions. We tell a story. And sometimes within our writing we make connections to our readers who make their own relations to what we have written. That in itself is also priceless; to be able to create that kind of connection between two human beings. So it got me thinking. It made me ask myself what is the greater purpose for my writing? Is it to make those connections? Is it so that I can find my own voice and let it be known to others? Or do I write for the purpose of giving something away – a little piece of wisdom or knowledge or truth that may further someone else’s journey and help bring them that much closer to figuring it out themselves. I believe that is the greatest value of our lives – when we can use our experiences, our failures, our successes, and our insights, and give them away to others living in similar circumstances and help them further move forward on their own journeys, in hopes that some day they will do the same for someone else. In the end that is the purpose of life, right? To produce growth. To move forward. To expand into something greater.
I believe that the greatest disservice we can do for the world is not to pass on our knowledge. This is why it is so important to share our experiences, by any means of creativity – whether it be through writing, music, art, film, or even simple conversations. When we connect with others through our own self expression, we pass on that wisdom and knowledge. We tell stories about the times we’ve failed and how much we’ve learned from our mistakes, and how after gaining some knowledge we tried again and succeeded. This is what art is to me – telling a story in creative form. This is the purpose of my writing.
So what I’m trying to get at is this: our greatest value in life will come from whether we passed on our stories or not. So we must tell them. We must not be afraid to share or be vulnerable. If something wants to come out of us, we must create it and let it live, so that someone else will feed off our creation and be inspired by what we have made.
We are all a unique combination of our personal successes and failures. We all have gained a certain amount of perspective, wisdom, and insight and it is our natural duty to pass on these things to others. I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, Magic Lessons, today, and she was speaking to a woman who had recently lost her sister and was having a hard time with moving on after her loss and getting back to working on her music. She felt like her loss had blocked all of her creativity. As I was listening to this story, I noticed how immediately Elizabeth used whatever knowledge and experience she had to help connect with this woman. She even brought on her friend and fellow author, Ann Patchett, who dealt with similar loss circumstances to help connect with this woman and help her find inspiration again after her loss. It was beautiful how a community of woman, all from different backgrounds and experiences could connect over one other woman’s story and circumstance, and by sharing their own wisdom and insight, helped this young woman become unstuck and move onward on her own journey.
This is why it is important to share our stories because of this greater value that they bring after we are able to help someone else move forward after hearing our own experience.
I was also thinking about the different generations in my family. How my grandparents are constantly giving us grandchildren advice on what they believe we should be doing with our lives. Most of the time we brush off this wisdom because we think we know better, but in reality, this wisdom is great value. They are sharing their experiences, their successes, their failures, and the wisdom they have gained after many years and we must listen in order that we might learn something and grow in our own journeys.
I know this may not have much to do with self love, but sometimes self love isn’t necessarily all about the self but rather doing a kindness towards humanity, which does relate back to ourselves. When we contribute to creating a better world that we live in, it will come back to us. We will find happiness after doing it. We will feel that kindness shine back into our hearts after hearing that our experiences were not wasted and instead were valuable for someone to hear and use for their own future journey.
Everything we go through in life is for a greater purpose. The experiences I’ve been through so far, even though many have been tragic, are still experiences and stories that I will one day share with someone else who might find them useful. That is the greatest value we can pass on in our lives. Sharing our stories. Sharing our experiences. This is why I am a writer. So I can help even a single soul get further along in their own journey towards healing, wholeness, and finding the happiness that comes with self love.
The Self Love Challenge: Share an experience with someone who you think is going through a similar challenge. See if you can connect with them in some way and help them find a way to move forward in their own journey.