I have this core belief that inside each of us rests a story that needs to be told, and we are doing the world an injustice by not sharing it.
But sometimes – before we share a story with the world, we need permission to accurately share it with ourselves, without explanation or apology.
One of the best ways I have found to do this is to explore your story from the third person point of view. Let your “me” become “she” (or “he”) and give this character room to breathe. Let her be imperfect. Let her be brave. Let her be emphatic in her weaknesses and let her be strong in her strengths.
You don’t have to tell this story to anyone, but write it down just for you. And don’t worry about getting it right the first time. Remember, you are giving a story you’ve nearly suffocated with censorship some time to unravel. You are taking a step away from the details you have known intimately and seeing them sideways, in a different light.
But while you do this – don’t forget: all well-written characters have depth and are worthy of love. So if your first draft “she” is mean or sloppy or rude or self-centered but nothing else, that’s a sign you have work to do: work on writing, but also work on your perspective. God made you, and that means you are more than actions and circumstances. Write yourself in the third person until “she” is someone you can love.