Integral Life Coaching

Writing a Memoir and Handling Memories of Closed Relationships

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(509 words – 4 min read)

I had a feeling something was missing from the first chapter of my memoir. I had a sentence or so about how my first husband and I got together. Then I wrote page after page about how the relationship declined. There were so many reasons why we got together but regardless, we were attracted to each other. There was a spark that pulled us together.

Writing a memoir is supposed to be healing and believe me it is. It is supposed to help the writer put things in perspective and look at things with wisdom, to feel better about the past. However, the way I had written my story made me feel like an idiot marrying a person who was obviously the wrong match.

Practicing self-compassion to avoid blaming myself, I though, may be not everything was as idiotic as it sounded. It just didn’t make sense. As unwise as my decision was to marry at age 19 for my type of personality, there had to be more to it. I started questioning myself why I got attracted to that person. It took me a while to admit to myself that there were good moments in the beginning that drew my attention to him. Since we had a painful divorce, I was denying any good memories. I did not want to remember them, so it was easier to think there were none. But that is what made me feel like a total failure.

One day driving home from work, listening to an older song, and drawn into my thoughts about my book, I remembered the song was my ex-husband’s favorite song. The train of memories came back. Suddenly, I remembered all the poems he wrote for me in the beginning of our relationship. I remembered he told me our relationship was provoking his thoughts and he could write a lot more poems than before. I remembered we had good memories even for a short time. I felt a lot less than a failure. I felt so much more compassion towards myself.

There is no right or wrong and under the circumstances, I became attracted to him for a good enough reason for my 19-year-old self. Then things turned out to be very difficult because we were very different. We ended up hurting each other. I am not proud of that, but I came to accept it as part of my growth process. This way he was not a total failure either. I seriously disliked a lot of his actions but not his existence. All these thoughts created a big wave of peace coming and washing over my soul. There it was a little more compassion, a little more inner peace. Building it piece by piece!

Once again, I arrived at the conclusion of looking at the big picture of each event, trying to avoid removing any of its pieces. I remembered again, life is complete with all its ups and downs. More importantly, I remembered to accept my past with all the beauty and the blemishes in the picture.

Celebrate life!


Editing Credit: Mike Curtis

Picture Credit:

Author: Shabnam

Shabnam Curtis was born and raised in Tehran, experiencing the Iranian Revolution of 1979 firsthand. In 2004 she immigrated to the United States, where she now works as a passionate life coach and a writer. Shabnam is a certified Integral Coach with New Ventures West and International Coaching Federation. She offers one-on-one coaching sessions as well as workshops for groups. Since September of 2021, she also has been the life coach in residence for Dimension Science Bridges Non-profit organization.

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