Reading the text of our own experience

Reading the text of our own experience helps us heal old wounds and uncover more empowering lessons

Photo source: PhotoXpress.com; Design: Carma Spence

Every experience you have, has a lesson. Sometimes we take away an empowering lesson, one that helps your growth and moves you forward. And sometimes we take away something much less positive, one that stunts our growth and holds us back.

When going back through the text of our lives, the recollections of our memorable experiences, it is possible to uncover the empowering lessons … even if we missed them before. Let me explain.

There are four primary ways you can look at your own experiences:

  1. Through the lens of the moment, as you were experiencing it
  2. Through the lens of time, looking back with new eyes
  3. Through the lens of others, using empathy to understand another’s point of view
  4. Through the lens of love, using love to re-interpret the experience from all sides

The first lens is the default. It is challenging to experience anything but in the moment, feeling the emotions that are evoked on the spot. The second and third lenses are common practices when working through tough times in our lives, usually through therapy or coaching. But the final and fourth lens is the one most in alignment with a spiritual connection.

If you can go back and read the text of your life, either literally by reading your diaries or journals, or virtually by perusing your memory, and re-evaluate your experiences from a loving vantage point, you can profoundly change your life.

Yes, it is easier said than done, but it is a worthy exercise. Here is a simple explanation of the process:

Step 1. Recall a moment in your life. It can be one that is challenging, or one that is memorable, or simply one that comes up for you in the moment.

Step 2. Journal about the lesson you took from that experience and answer these questions:

  • Does that lesson make you feel good?
  • Does that lesson empower you?
  • Does that lesson help you be a better person or grow?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then you probably took the empowering lesson from that experience, and can go back to step 1 for a new experience. But if you did not, it is time to delve further and uncover it.

Step 3. Take a look at that experience again and answer these questions:

  • Would the you today take away the same lesson? If not, what other lesson would your present you find?
  • If someone else was involved in that experience, what might their version of the story be? What do you think their experience might have been? What lesson do you think they took away?
  • What would a loving parent say about this experience? Imagine what God/Good/The Creator/The Universe might have to say about that experience and write it down.

Step 4. Now take a look at your answers to the above questions. Is there a theme? Can you state a new empowering lesson from that past experience?

It might be useful to have a special journal or notebook to write through this exercise. That way you’ll have a new text of your experiences, as well as something to look back upon in the future when you wish to read the text of your experience again. It is possible to re-do this exercise for the same experience months or years later and come up with something new. Your journal will help with that.


May is Spiritual Literacy Month, so for the five Friday’s in May, I will be covering various topics that touch on spirituality. Here is the planned schedule.


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About the author

Carma Spence is an international best selling author and award-winning speaker who helps women, introverts and shy people unleash their content creation superpowers and communicate their message with confidence so that they can create meaningful and fulfilling legacies.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.