Usually on Sundays we celebrate children and youth and all of the beauty and wonder they contribute to our world. However, because we missed our writing prompt yesterday I thought it would be great to combine the themes of these post days into one.
One area I seem to be known for is my reflective writing. Even in my novels, I try building a plot around a specific issue or experience, show how the characters I introduce deal with these events, then move forward through the character(s) eyes to see how they take what they've learned to make their situation better. There's no room for judgement or lecturing here. It's all about how a situation effects us personally and what we've taken home from that situation to enrich our lives.
One definition of this form of writing is described as, "a way to explore an experience, reflect on the positive and negative aspects of it and to formulate goals to improve the experience or results of the activity the next time it occurs." And when it's done in such a way that another person out there seeking enlightenment on the very same experience is touched by what we've learned, it makes it even more worthwhile.
Like most everyone else, I have made mistakes and poor decisions. Some have been small, others have been big. I try as hard as I can to consider every person involved in every decision I make, especially my children. After all, they depend on me, they look to me for guidance and they rely on me to keep their best interests the focus. And when times come where my ill choices or decisions negatively effects them, I take that to heart...deeper than you could possibly imagine. But this is an important experience for them. Let me explain.
I contributed, in a way, to my own current health struggles. I chose to go a different path to cope with my very busy, consuming often overwhelming life, and it hurt my children. I also let many things go that I held true to who I am, and raised them to believe in themselves, and it hurt all of us. Not only did I allow them to see me suffer, they watched me give up who I am. When I realized that, saw the worry in their eyes, I re-evaluated my situation and steered my path back to how I had always raised them to feel safe and secure.
I can never take away or erase the choices I made then, all I can do is realize what I did, change the things that are changeable and live the rest of my life the way I always had before. This experience taught me that no matter how many apologies I make for past doings, the damage left behind will always be there. Reflection is knowing this, accepting this and living from this point on. And that is what I try to instill in others, especially my children.
So, there is the writing prompt for this weekend. Think back on one of these times...the feelings, what pushed you there, how you got there, what you did to let go and what gave you the strength to get there. Reflective writing is as powerful, in my opinion, as counseling. The only difference is that in counseling, there is an outside third person prompting you to see what you aren't, or don't, see while reflective writing comes from within you after self-realization.
One last point before venturing into this form of writing. Reflective writing is honest, sometimes to the point of being painful. Yes, mistakes - good or bad - are how we learn how to deal with the world we live in. Children need to see us making mistakes so they learn that it's okay to make them, as long as you understand how to turn things around. And it is also a path to forgiveness. Forgiveness isn't just given to others, it's something we should also embrace for ourselves. Because in order to forgive, or be forgiven, we need to forgive ourselves first.
Be well and happy writing.
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