Writing an Autobiography – Try it. You’ll Like it.

Writing an autobiography (a memoir) is the height of self-involvement, one might even say egotism yet there’s much more to it than that. I think everyone over sixty should give this a try, it’s therapeutic and enjoyable. Digging seventy or more years into my mental/emotional steamer trunk was, on the whole, a pleasurable and surprising endeavor. One of the surprising parts of the experience was noticing how much detail I was able to recall of events that happened even before the first grade and on throughout my Tennessee childhood and the life-changing move to California when I was thirteen. Thirteen turned out to be a very lucky number for me.

Bish & Little Benny

Bish & Little Benny 1938/’39

But the therapeutic aspect of the enterprise is my subject here.

A revered eastern Master, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj once said that “If you are serious about the sufferings of mankind, you must perfect the only means of help you have – yourself.”

I have never been all that serious about the sufferings of mankind but I’m not a callous man, I do care but my focus has been on myself for most of my life and if you’re truly honest you’ll admit that yours has been too. This is true of all humans and rightly so. A commonplace variation on Sri Nisargadatta’s lesson is when the flight attendants tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help someone else. Even the most altruistic of us perform their “selfless” acts because it’s self-gratifying to do so.

There were around five years of psychotherapy in my life long before I began Three Stages in 2011. As valuable as those many shrink sessions were, the personal growth I received from examining my first thirty-seven years while writing that first book was, I believe, as valuable as the hours I spent with my two psychotherapists (maybe even more valuable).

If you are brutally honest with yourself and your readers it’s likely that you will learn a lot about your behavior, thinking, attitudes and beliefs while engaged in the process of writing a memoir.

As the old Alka-Seltzer commercial told us: “Try it. You’ll like it.”

I’ll say the same for Three Stages. Click here and try it. You’ll like it.







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