I tell stories for a living. I told the story of Leonard who thought he knew his beloved wife until he found something in her handbag that changed everything. I wrote about Ruth who gave herself three months to decide whether or not to kill herself.
Why do I tell these stories? What drives me to write?
Because my main characters turn up in my head and ask me to tell their story. Because I am deeply in love with language. Because I find things out about myself and about the world as I write. Because I want to be heard.
But for me, the most important thing about writing is that it helps me to uncover the truth, and it helps other people to uncover their own truths.
People read about Violet’s awkwardness in relationships and they recognise parts of themselves. They read about the very worst of Ruth’s depression and they feel less alone in their own darkness. They read Joe’s journey and it helps them to understand their friend’s son, or to acknowledge their own need for acceptance.
When we uncover our own truth, layer by layer, when we can be more honest with ourselves and with others, we are led to a deeper understanding of why things are the way they are. Through truth (when we get past the ‘ouch’) we find compassion for ourselves and for others.
The most important thing about truth is that it leads us towards love. It helps us to love others and to love the world. And it reminds us that we are loveable, just as we are.
…and they lived happily ever after.
And if you’d like to explore meaning in your own life during May, join me for one of our mindful writing e-courses – Writing Towards Healing, Journalling Our Way Home or how to be idle with a Mindful Moodle – all starting today.