Guided Writing Sessions

Guided Writing Session Directory

Below, you will find recordings for each Guided Writing Session dating back to August 2021 when the sessions were began.

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On Pain - A Dream Not Realized

What is causing you pain today? Include your stories about your pain. Be specific.

Today, my pain is about my Mum's death and Samson's (pet) death in the past two weeks. As for the story, it's that "there was a world before, and that world is permanently changed." No doubt that's normal, given the magnitude of these losses.

Apart from feeling numb and very sad, I have moved past the story of two weeks ago, that I could not go on without Mum in the world. That story was wrapped up in the guilt that 30 years ago, I decided to separate physically from her and the family when I moved to another state. That separation was a shock to them, so it is perhaps not surprising that the guilt of that first separation came up after Mum's death.

Today, I know I can go on. However, once again, I've awakened from a long period of numbness to realize that, at age 54, I have not achieved my first and overriding dream. When I started writing at 14, I dreamt I would be a novelist by the time I was 30. Roadblocks to that dream arose immediately - some placed by my mother's application of shame and ridicule, some by things I could not control like prolonged physical and mental ill-health, and yet others by an inner critic based on fears: some, my mother's; some, my own.

Of course, the age 30 milestone was arbitrary. When I was a teen, I also thought I would die by my 30th birthday, so make of that what you will - I had planted the seeds of my demise at the ultimate achievement of my dream!

Over the years, I have taken on many roles: daughter, sister, friend, colleague, wife, and mother: roles that always came before my dream. The story then, as it is now, is that I wanted people to like me. To that end, meeting their needs and encouraging them to reach their dreams came first. The story was and is that it was selfish to put my needs and dreams first. That story came down to me, lived and breathed by my mother, who lived that story to her last breath.

After 40 years, have I made that story real? I have, through words and actions, leaving me now to wonder if I will go out like my mother: known for being kind, loving, and liked, while every day being afraid that one action will bring down a lifetime of good works.

I don't want that to be my story. Can I find my way as someone who is kind and supportive and yet able to make time for my own dreams? Can I overcome that definition of chased dreams as selfishness? I'm not sure. I'm not sure where to begin.

- me

Thanks for this writing, Jane.  You ask, "Can I find my way as someone who is kind and supportive and yet able to make time for my own dreams? Can I overcome that definition of chased dreams as selfishness?"  The answer is: absolutely, but only if you really want to. You can use this period of loss as the beginning of a new phase of life when your mother's voice, now gone from this world, no longer has the power to inhibit you. Now that she has left the body, you can take this opportunity to stop attributing your fear to her -- or blaming her for anything it all -- which is the greatest honor you could pay her. She's off the hook and so are you.  That can be an enormous relief.

I suggest that you get clear on what you want to write, and start feeding the desire to focus on your creative work. It sounds to me like this is your growing edge.

Great to have you in the Forum!  Stay healthy and safe,