Monday, January 19, 2009

Experience Healing Through Remembering the Past's no secret that I am hooked on reality shows, and one of my favorites right now is VH1's Confessions of a Teen Idol.

Conceived by Scott Baio, a former teen idol himself (Happy Days, Charles in Charge), the show puts 7 former teen idols (like Christopher Adkins of The Blue Lagoon, Billy Hufsey of Fame) and places them in situations in which they have to confront their famous pasts--and the fact that they are no longer famous.

Today at lunch I watched the most recent episode, in which the 7 were taken on a Hollywood bus tour, with the twist being stops in their own famous pasts.

Several of the idols admitted that they either left their series' in a huff of ego, or in Adkins' case, were too messed up on drugs to move forward in their careers (Adkins admitted for the first time that he lost the role in Footloose because he was high when he went to talk to the producers. The role instead went to Kevin Bacon and that was the making of Bacon's career).

Adkins stated that the opportunity to talk about this on the show, and shed a tear or two, was very healing for him and empowered him to move forward in his renewed quest for fame via acting. Several other idols had similar experiences as they confronted their own pasts.

Confessions of a Teen Idol is functioning like a series of memoir in a documentary film format, and offers a key reason for writing--or filming--one's lifestory: healing.

It helps to come out of denial, open up, share with others, and experience acceptance as these 7 former idols gave to one another.

It definitely can be challenging to confront your past through memoir writing. I know, because I've done it myself.

Depending on the severity of the experience and how much emotion has been repressed, it can bring a big, dark cloud swirling around.

Often as you write, you begin to remember things that you had completely forgotten because they were so painful.

Eventually, though, if you keep breathing and keep writing, the sun does come out, you begin to forgive yourself and others, and healing takes place. The writing (which you may or may not choose to share with others) begins to have a transformative effect, and you might even begin to recognize some good in the experience.

Then it's time to write about a beautiful, new future!


Your writing may take place as a "stream of conscious"--writing anything and everything that comes to mind within a specific timeframe of 10 minutes, 20 minutes or whatever feels comfortable.

Or you may uses old photographs and other memoribilia as writing prompts, and writing about a specific event, like a parent's funeral, or breaking up with your first boyfriend or girlfriend.

You may choose to write in poetry instead of prose, and to even incorporate drawing or painting into your healing memoir.

Be free to choose your own path to healing through remembrance writing.

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