Owning the Story

I don’t believe in living in the past but believe it incredibly important to make some sense of it in order to understand ourselves today. If we don’t know where we come from, how will we ever know where we are going.

The past is important in that it has shaped us into the people we are today. Our lives are dictated in a way by our experiences, good and bad, and if we don’t understand them then it is difficult to fully understand ourselves.

Many of us recreate events unconsciously because we don’t understand them. I married my father, or somebody very similar because my father walked out on us when I was a very young child. I know it’s quite common that we might marry someone very similar to our own parents, familiarity maybe but it’s good to understand why. When we understand where we come from it’s less likely that we will keep repeating the same mistakes.

I spent a period of time not believing in myself as my experience told me I wasn’t worth believing in, I had a terrible time with rejection of any sort. I still don’t like it much but I know now, I’m okay. I won’t continually be judged because of who I was, but who I am today. I spent a long time gathering possessions that might up my status somehow, I didn’t come from a wealthy home and believed I needed possession to speak for me. Only on thinking about where I come from and getting to know myself better am I able to let some of these things go.

Life story work is a process that’s often undertaken with children in care so they are able to recognise their past, understand the present and plan for the future. It’s also a routine part of preparing children for adoption. Life story work is often used with those suffering dementia to develop a biography and help those caring for them communicate their backgrounds, like interests, identity and who and what is important to them. It’s hugely beneficial in helping someone understand their past experiences and life events.

Our life stories are so important, we need to understand and own our stories. Some of us do better than others, writers for might as they find inspiration from their own experiences. I’m sure there are plenty of other examples such as therapists who have had to undergo therapy as part of their training. But I find it amazing how many people don’t understand their own stories.

I’ve worked with life stories during my career with children, I’ve also worked on my own life story and helped others with this too. I think life story work is beneficial to anyone wanting a better understanding of themselves, it’s healing and can remove the blocks that hold us back. It’s more than just a therapeutic tool, it’s helpful to anyone working on themselves, and lets be honest aren’t we all?



Visiting the Past




Do you travel back in time in your day dreams, do you ever visit your memories?

Memories are often precious because of the experience of feelings within them. The feelings of love, laughter and safety being the most powerful memories for me. When I think back on my life, the most prevalent memories I pull out are of laughter and love, the feelings of being loved and cared for and among friends and family.

I’ve had my ups and downs in life like anyone else, but the memories from those bad times are never as powerful as those of the good. For me I view the more difficult periods of my life in a detached state, I observe what was happening but don’t associate with the feelings as I survived them, they won’t occur again at least not in the same way because I have learnt from them. But to view those happier moments I’m back there, I step right in, I’m loved and laughing, I get every one of the feelings as if I am reliving the event.

I can close my eyes and walk back into my childhood home and feel as loved and safe as I ever was, when I do my mum is still alive, I can speak to her, smell her and hold her. I usually find myself sitting at the kitchen table and watching her as she cooks, at other times we might be on one of our long walks.  Sometimes these dreams are so real it is as if I have crossed time, I observe the most intricate details, things I might have forgotten spring back into mind.

I can also see myself, if I try, desolate and lost after my husband left me, standing in a field in Spain, but as I look back, I’m looking towards the future across that field. On going back to what was at the time a painful experience, I take the knowledge with me that I survived and moved on, it was for the best and meant to be. So while the love never dies and can be captured at any moment the pain does in fact fade.

I can step into any moment because it is all part of me, I don’t hesitate, I know where I’m going. For me it only takes a slight change, a mediative or altered state to get there.

We can shudder at the thought of some of those more difficult events but are they the same as those wonderful memories? I bet if you give it a go, close your eyes and reconnect I think you’ll find that the good floats far more easily to the surface.



We’re told time is of the essence, a fact the whole world knows.

We read the time the same old way, as those days so long ago.

Time’s still measured by the hour, which is sixty minutes long.

Once the hands go round the clock, you know your hour’s gone.

Time here on earth has great control, as it measures everything.

From the minute the bank opens, to how long he might be king.

It can be seen in days and years, a number we spend on the earth.

Counted up on that final day, since the very moment of our birth.

They say that time is all we have and one day it will be to late.

As time runs out on earth too quick, each of us have this fate.

Just a blink and the day has gone, I really don’t know where it goes.

Time is quite extraordinary, in that it always seams to go.

But what if time is all made up, just an idea made of man.

What if there was no such thing, since all of life began.

What if it all happens now, or maybe in some parallel.

From birth and through to dying, honestly who could tell.

What if we turn off the clocks, or simply turn them back.

Would the world stop spinning, would that be the end of that.

What if we just thought of now, for us to get things done.

With no time to worry us, would it be so much more fun.

What if we could travel back, or forward just the same.

Make amends and put things right, even wipe out any pain.

If everything just happens now, and not in some place else .

Wouldn’t now just be space, to make the most of ourselves.