Have you ever thought of your life story as having a theme? There’s some interesting psychological research about how you retell your story and what it can reveal about your emotional well-being through the theme that you use. Since I love listening to people’s life stories and and saving them for future generations, this really piqued my interest. I recently recorded the stories of a husband and wife and the wife’s recollection of the same events differed from that of her husbands. I mentally chalked it up as the difference between men and women but this article got me to thinking that perhaps there’s more to it than that.
Since the beginning of time, stories have helped us make sense of the world around us. It’s how we relate to one another, how we share information and wisdom, and how we reconcile our own lives. Thoroughly evaluating one’s life helps to make sense of it. There’s an order to our lives and a perspective that can only be discerned by looking back in review. But how is that review then relayed? How do you make sense of your life journey and the challenges and blessing you’ve been dealt along the way? Maybe your life theme is one of redemption? When the bad times came, you ultimately saw them as a lesson or an obstacle that strengthened you. Well, good news for you if this is how you categorize life events. Even without a “happy ending,” those who viewed their lives with a redemptive theme, reported stronger life satisfaction.
Why not walk through your story again? Has time changed how you see the challenges you’ve faced? What meaning is there to the life you’ve lived and the way you've lived it? What's the theme of your life?