WRITING TIP: Create a life-affirming past.

writing tip

It’s easy to mistake “what happened” for the truth, and write about it as though it were mere fact. But the string of events that make up our past — whether personal or collective — is just an ingredient until we’ve assigned meaning to it. Facts don’t speak for themselves — our assumptions, beliefs, blind spots and undigested feelings all color them, no matter how objective we think we are being. For this reason, there is no such thing as a definitive history, for we are dynamic beings, always in the process of opening or closing, expanding or constricting our ability to see clearly and compassionately. Seeing the past in this way, we are never the victims of something solid that happened, and which we can only report on. Rather, we can claim the power to create a new, life-affirming story of the past, for ourselves and for the world, and in doing so, create the basis for a life-affirming present and future.