[Tuberculosis was] the best disease I ever had. If I hadn't had it, I might be a second-rate shrink practicing in Birmingham, at best.
-Walker Percy

From "Nothing Left Unsaid," by Carol Orsborn:

You and your loved one have lived through challenging times before. There was the destiny of your birth, which placed you with a certain family and in particular circumstances, and there were the important people who came in and out of your life. There were the tragedies that dulled the edges of your arrogance, giving you depth and compassion. There were brave choices and poor decisions. Arguments and reconciliation. Things happened to you that you could not possibly have anticipated. Certainly there were mistakes you made that you never need make again. The one for whom you care so deeply made mistakes, as well.

But you have had wonderful things happen to you, too: twists and turns of fate that sent you off on adventures you could not have anticipated. In fact, if you were to put the events of your life together in the hands of a great storyteller, you would soon see yourselves as the protagonists of a wonderful tale. And why not? This is your opportunity.

First, think of a good title for your story, something that captures the flavor of this important relationship in your life.

Next, identify three or so turning points in your relationship. What are the three most important events in your life together to date? Once you have your list of the three most important events, here are some suggested topics to discuss or think about in relation to each turning point.

1. What is a particular memory from that time of our lives that captures the flavor of my experience?

2. Could we have done anything more or different about our situation, given the circumstances we faced, where we came from, and what we knew then?

3. How does the situation that happened at that time relate to what I am feeling today?

4. What do we know now that we didn't know then?

* * *

Also on Beliefnet:

  • Prayers of Hope

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