Bishop F. J. Johnson Ministries 

In follow-up to the Sat, Aug 2, 2015 Discipleship Conference, I have recommended that those attending participate in the exercise noted below in order to create a positive life narrative.

In his excellent book, Strangers to Ourselves:  Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious, by psychologist Timothy D. Wilson, he cites a writing exercise that Psychologist, James Pennebaker and his colleagues have found, through testing, which help people construct meaningful stories out of their lives that have beneficial effects.

“For the next three days, I would like for you to write about your deepest thoughts and feelings and about an extremely important emotional issue that has affected you and your life.  In your writing, I’d like you to really let go and explore your deepest emotions and thoughts.  You might tie your topic to your relationships with others, including parents, lovers, friends, or relatives; to your past, your present, or your future; or to who you have been, who you would like to be, or who you are now.”[1]

This exercise helps people change their narrative or the story that they tell themselves to make sense out of life.  A positive narrative can came from you or significant others.  It’s your narrative that will help you move towards positive practice.

[1] J. W. Pennebaker, “Writing about emotional experiences as a therapeutic process,” Psychological Science 8, 1997, pp. 162-166.