Change Your Story, Change Your Experience of the Past
In your life story is a chapter on the story of your health, which has elements you can’t change. If you were in an accident or had a health crisis, that will be a part of your story forever. However, you can create a different narrative about your experiences. Doing so can change the way a memory lives within you and it may change your life going forward. For example, if you had cancer you may consider yourself a warrior or a victim. You might want to put the experience behind you and move on. Or you might choose to explore the experience and see if there are lessons to be learned.
My wife, Patricia Greer, psychotherapist and Jungian analyst, undertook such an exploration of her experience of breast cancer in her book, Breast Cancer: A Soul Journey, which has just been released as an audiobook and is available through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. Every cancer patient will have a different story of how she experiences and relates to her disease. Breast Cancer honestly portrays the shock of diagnosis, the fear of facing one’s mortality, and the emotions that arise when grappling with the uncertainty of what comes next. Patricia’s experience became a story of a soul’s journey, of reconnecting with Spirit to discover a deeper sense of meaning and purpose and authenticity.
I believe that right-brain-hemisphere techniques such as working with images, analyzing dreams, writing poetry, and having dialogs with inner figures can all help to access wisdom from the unconscious and lead to healing in different ways. Patricia shares her own experiences of using these techniques to engage her serious illness and begin to write and live according to a new story, one that involved spiritual and psychological growth. While she could not change the fact that she had breast cancer, her experience of dealing with the disease was different than it would have been had she not worked with her unconscious to gain helpful insights for growth. She shares her exploration with the hope that it may help others to reflect on their experiences and find meaning and insights from understanding illness as a source of wisdom.
Breast Cancer: A Soul Journey reminds us that we are the storytellers of our lives and can choose to engage our experiences differently—and that doing so might lead to different outcomes than the ones we expect and/or fear.