Books, Culture and Society

Why Write a Spiritual Memoir?

If you're breathing you're on the journey and you have a story to share. Not all spiritual memoirs will reach a vast audience, but their voices can still be heard and their impact can still be made. Consider the impact of sharing your story. Contemplate spiritual memoir's possibilities for yourself and your world.

Why Write a Spiritual Memoir?

Alisa E. Clark believes in the power of spiritual autobiography. Her website invites viewers to create and share one’s own spiritual memoir and allows readers to learn more about Alisa’s own spiritual autobiography: Dancing in the Doghouse. You can learn more by visiting www.journeyoncanvas.com

St. Augustine ignited the power of spiritual memoir 16 centuries ago. His spiritual memoir, Confessions, has its differences upon comparison to modern day spiritual autobiographies. Although, when we reach beyond the differences we discover a theme that drives all the writers of this genre: a deep hunger for something more.

Modern day spiritual memoirs, such as Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love (2006), are driving a resurgence of writings on the spiritual journey. Popular interest is enough that the movie industry has responded making Eat, Pray, Love one of its more popular recent releases. Rhoda Janzen’s book “Mennonite in a Little Black Dress” (2009) and Anne Lamott’s “Traveling Mercies” (1999) are other memoirs in on the spiritual memoir resurrection. There is great enthusiasm for the genre resulting in an increasing interest in writing about, and sharing, one’s own journey.

So why do it? Why write a spiritual memoir? Beyond writing about one’s life for popular acclaim, what is the motivation to explore and document the journey? In a fast paced, give me satisfaction NOW society, the invitation to reflect and share about the meanings and motivations for living has great appeal. What connects us all is a desire to feed the deep hunger for something more. Spiritual memoir offers us a venue for feeding that hunger, in ourselves and for others, making the writing and reading of spiritual memoir compelling.

If you’re breathing you’re on the journey and you have a story to share. Not all spiritual memoirs will reach a vast audience, but their voices can still be heard and their impact can still be made. Consider the impact of sharing your story with a small group of friends whose lives are forever changed by what you share. Imagine the power of offering your spiritual memoir to just one person, at just the right time, reigniting hope and altering the course of their life. Ponder the influence your own story can have on your own life: offering you a fresh perspective, revealing your hopes and dreams and uncovering the desires of your heart. Contemplate spiritual memoir’s possibilities for yourself and your world.

As we journey, we discover that things aren’t what we thought they’d be: the high power job doesn’t bring us the anticipated happiness, our kids aren’t the worldly success that we expected, the marriage hasn’t filled our need to be loved and friends and fame have proved to be less than enough. Once we come up empty we seek new possibilities that promise to fill our hunger for something more. The chance to give our lives new meaning, and the chance to bring that fulfillment to others, are chances worth taking for seekers who have come up empty. Those taking the chance that spiritual memoir might be the thing to fill them back up again is growing exponentially.

Greatness, education, financial success and notoriety are not the common threads that connect those that share their journeys. The forces that drive the spiritual autobiographer are needs. The need to give our lives (and the lives of others) meaning, the need for something greater than ourselves and the need to be loved, forgiven and understood are just a few of the needs driving the spiritual autobiographer. The spiritual act of writing and sharing the journey is achievable for anyone with the need and desire to achieve it. Being a spiritual autobiographer is a spiritual act meant to be practiced by more than just a select few. If you have the desire to write and share consider writing your spiritual memoir. You just might find yourself in the presence of something greater than yourself.

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