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Heart of Your StoryAn article by Tom Gilbert - © April, 2010
There’s a Don Henley song that talks about “getting down to the heart of the matter”. When you make the decision to tell your life story you are faced with a big task, because ultimately you need to get to the heart of your story. You want to gather your thoughts, mine memories and pass along the lessons of your personal experiences. I imagine you, like most people motivated to share their personal history, want to tell others what really matters to you.
To do that well is not easy work. Not everyone is cut out for the task. If you are able to write it yourself that may be best course because you know yourself better than anyone else. Nevertheless, not everyone has the writing ability or desire. But if you find someone whom you can trust – a good listener and a gifted writer – your story can spring to life from the pages of your very own book.
One of the questions I get a lot is how to start. Most people are unsure how to begin and the task a getting their life story in print is frequently intimidating.
Here’s what I recommend first. Get to know yourself. I mean, find out who you really are. Doing that is not an overnight endeavor. Most of us take years to discover our true inner self. But that’s the real you and the one with the great life story!
The heart of your story is inherently spiritual. I’m not talking about your personal religious beliefs (although that certainly can be important). I’m talking about the inner self that has dreams, hopes, and valuable experiences. This inner self is passionate. Your deep inner you is who you really are when you strip away all the surface stuff. There is no room for masks or falseness. The real you has the real story.
Once you are in touch with your true self you can then decide how intimate you want readers to be with your life experiences and your inner being. Not everything may be appropriate. Some parts of your story might be better left unsaid. Avoid sharing what can intentionally harm others. But also know that tapping into your true inner self is a gift. It’s a gift to you. Sharing who you really are, what you believe and what truly matters can be a powerful gift to others.
Everybody has a story to tell!