Examining and Writing About Your Life

By on July 11, 2019

There is much we can learn by looking back and studying our lives; things that may not have seemed significant at the time become more meaningful as time goes on. The process of writing is a good one for examining our lives, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The dance we do to discover our bliss and the stories we tell can help us focus on finding a life purpose.

Life Purposes and Themes

Your life theme concerns what drives you and what you are always searching for. When the theme is right for you, you will feel a sense of flow, as if you are headed in the correct direction and everything feels right.

Rather than following the path suggested by someone else, those “in the flow” appear to be living their chosen authentic dreams. When your theme is connected to your life purpose, you will feel motivated and intrinsically happy. While others may suggest what life theme or profession suits your personality, nobody can completely convince you what your life theme should be. You need to discover and nurture it on your own and find your own sense of purpose.

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Sometimes life themes are established early in life and might be in response to childhood experiences. Perhaps the experience was a joyful one, or it might have been related to trauma or pain as a result of loss, abandonment, being orphaned, or being severely hurt physically or emotionally. Not everybody responds to challenging situations in the same way, and it is not so much the experience you had that matters but how you reacted to it and what its effect was on your life. Some people are blessed to be able to turn disorder into order, or to make good from bad, or to draw meaning from their lived experiences.

If you are at a crossroad, or even if your life path has been as a seeker, chances are that you will ask questions about your life purpose, your destiny, your right path, and how you discover it. These are indeed sacred questions. They are awakening questions, and they are questions that inspire us to transform. They inspire us to look for the messages elicited by our hearts that compel us to examine what matters most of us.

Writing Prompts        

What really matters to you?         

What is your soul’s purpose?

What has been your life purpose?  

The Meaning of Experiences

Central to our needs as humans is the need to understand our world around us. In knowing the causes and meaning of certain lived experience we come to understand the role and impact of those experiences in our lives. We can say that the search for meaning continues until the day we depart from this world. Often it takes some distance from a lived experience for us to be able to understand it. Some people reach out to religious or spiritual paths to help them gain such an understanding. Some refer to writing as a spiritual practice because it cuts through the illusion of the self.

As humans, we are complicated and affected by our environment (nurture) and by our genetics (nature). We are shaped by our experiences and the landscape of our childhoods, whether joyous or wounded. Essentially, we are our childhoods, and the patterns established during childhood often continue into our adult years. Throughout our lives, nature and nurture weave together, forming the landscape of who we are and what we respond to on our life path. We are forever shaped by these forces. As we evolve and move into our golden years, we are able to look back with the perspective to see these facets more clearly, knowing that no two people evolve in the same way.

Diana Raab, PhD is a writer, poet, and memoirist. She facilitates workshops in writing for healing and transformation. She’s the author of 9 books and over 1000 articles.


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Examining and Writing About Your Life