Sunday, November 28, 2010

"story"...or "Story"?


Everyone has a story. 

And it was when I learned how to tell the difference between "story" (little s) and "Story" (big S) that I began to understand the power of 


"story" I came to view from a writers perspective as "backstory".

"story" lays the groundwork, tells who the players are, give atmosphere and lays a foundation for the ending, like in a novel.

Its the framework for a creative ending.

But - if the entire novel is written only about the "backstory" that lays the framework the last chapter never gets written.

We are stuck in WRITERS HELL....

That file on our hard drive that is never quite finished

and causing us all kinds of irritation

or distress.

It is when we move from laying the groundwork, setting the stage and telling the backstory to telling about the emotion, the experiences and the drama behind our feelings about the 'story", like when we

 step to the edge of the mountain,

that we begin to see how the story might evolve and in time come to a conclusion worthy of a pulitzer...

so to speak:)

Throughout my journey, when I was stuck on "story" that focussed on what others had done or things that had happened TO me - I was stuck in anger, resentment, hatred and rumination...

not resolution.

I was stuck in the pain of the past. 

In time, I learned to recognize this was where I was at by who and what my focus was on. 

If the focus of my story was on the things that had happened; the people, the places, the things going on that I'd had no choice in - well, those were things that I could not change. 

(God, grant me serenity....)

These were those things I was truly powerless over - people and past circumstances.

That was backstory; the details, the players...the who, what, when and where of my bigger "Story" and the framework for the final chapter. 

It was in shifting my Story to be about me, my anger at being violated, my power and my choice taken from me, to feel both the anger and the grief, to tell why this was important to me that I was able to move myself into, through and out of the healing process and

give meaning to the backstory by telling MY story.

Getting entangled in "story" made it impossible to tell my "Story" and write that new ending where I am

no longer 

a victim

and much more

than a survivor

where I am

creating and living my best life

each day....

in spite of the past I'd had.

See the post: It is Unwritten....(today is where your book begins:))

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!


Grace said...

My therapist STILL says when a memory surfaces to focus on the message. Why were they doing it? What were they saying? Look beyond the abuse. It makes processing go faster and alleviates a chunk of that horrid stuckness. Great advice, Susan!

Unknown said...

Hi Grace! I am so glad that you found this post to be useful! I know therapists mean well with their efforts:)

The resolving of the past comes down to grieving my losses...focusing on those things like the players and the physical violations left me simply reliving the powerlessness of the abuse.

It was in shifting to what I DID have power over - me and how I choose to make meaning of this experience - where I finally made peace with the past:)

Thanks for your note Grace!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post, Susan.


Unknown said...

Thank you Lynda!

Good to see you! Hope you are well!