Your past, with all its beautiful and haunted memories, is written in your mind. What if you could learn how to access your past and “re-truth” it? In other words, what if you could re-write your past? Would you find this liberating? Your past and learning how to mine it is what connects you to your calling in life. No matter who you are or what business you are in, your story is what connects you to others. Understanding your story is key. By creatively reflecting, analyzing, understanding and recasting what happened in your past, you can become more empowered and fulfilled in your present.
My publisher, Michael Wiese Productions, recently introduced me to John Schuster, author of The Power Of Your Past: The Art of Recalling, Recasting and Reclaiming. They felt that John and I would have a lot in common because of my book, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story; in it, I teach writers how to mine the gold from their pasts and fictionalize their truth in their writing. I was immediately fascinated by the concept of John’s book. I could see the connection in our themes. My book explores how to look into your past, draw from your emotional truth and fictionalize it in your writing while John’s book delves into how you can actually ‘extract’ those truths from your past. I was particularly intrigued by his concept that you can “re-truth” your past. John writes, “Once you begin to ‘re-truth’ your past with balanced and thorough reflection, you are more free to choose a future that you want, not the ones determined by your compressions.”
John explains, “Society and its institutions, and your specific interaction with them—in the form of taunting fraternity brothers, an aunt who taught you how to garden, a lifelong friend who has always gotten who you are, a boss who demoted you over a mishandled project—all these and way more evoked and compressed you into the current version of you. Let’s more thoroughly check out your interaction with those surroundings with specific methodology. We want to fully understand our essential gifts on the plus side, and we want to re-do our less than useful ways of being and doing on the minus side.”
Most of us are afraid to go into our pasts in any real way. We distract ourselves in the present. We hide some of that discomfort through success and achievement, thinking that the higher we climb up the ladder, the brighter the light shines on our present and the more our past can be forgotten. Yet, being in touch with ‘what was’ can mean everything to us in authentically creating ‘what is’. When we understand who we were, we have a much better understanding of who we are now. When we take the time to look at our pasts with the wisdom that we’ve gained from it, we can recast and “re-truth” it in a way that further connects us to our true destiny.
Sharing pivotal life moments is a huge part of what I do. In consulting with writers, I find that when I show them how far I am willing to go into my emotional well, it helps them to do the same. By engaging them in this process, I know that they will find and enhance their voice. What John’s book did for me was to give me a much wider array of stories to draw from in my own past. He helped me to see the value in stories that I had forgotten, suppressed or just no longer saw the value in. He awakened me to more of that which is inside me. By doing this, I am able to teach writers how to go further into their pasts and see so many of their life experiences as universal and rich with true potential for emerging in the present and connecting them to their genuine possibility.
I’ll end with one last quote from John’s book. He writes, “If we think about our past from the factual level only, we are like a Cyclops with one eye—we see just the facts and only the facts, and miss the depth of perception that comes with being bi-ocular….” He provides a solution to this by writing, “If we raise our thinking, however, and go at our past from multiple levels and with both eyes, our recalled yesterdays are a living 3-D movie from the emerging truth of who we are, what we are becoming, and where our commitments can take us.”
I love this book. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in better understanding the past through a clearer vision so that creating the future will come from a more authentic place