We sometimes think that we are alone with our story, but that is far from the truth. In fact, we can only really find our true story—so that we are telling stories about ourselves that support, instead of hurt us—with the help of others.

We might think that getting our story straight is no big deal, but in fact, it’s utterly crucial—and revolutionary.

Christianne Northrup, a pioneer in holistic medicine and in women’s empowerment and wellbeing, talks about the importance of story in her groundbreaking book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing,  (While Northrup is talking specifically to women, I think her message is helpful for everyone, men and women alike.)

Northrup lists twelve steps for healing.

The first step is: Get Your Story/History Straight.

We might want to jump over our story/history. But we can only truly move forward in the direction we want to go in if we accept our reality, and ourselves, for who we are and where we have come from. Often this work is best when we do it with the support of others. We must learn to be our own best witness, but usually we can become our best witness, if we have the help of other loving witnesses first.

The second step is: Get Your Beliefs Straight.

Included in this section Northrup asks the question, Are you following your life’s purpose? and Do you regularly acknowledge your strengths, gifts, talents, and accomplishments? If you’re not, get the support you need to pursue your own fulfillment.

If you don’t get clear on our beliefs and your own source of strength and life force, your own health may suffer, because our life force is cut off if we are not living from our authentic center.

Sometimes we may think that following our purpose and our gifts is self indulgent—but if you have this belief, it may be time to change that. After all, our life strength is what keeps our energy flowing and our immune system working and allows us to help others.

To live fully is to inhabit our strength, our “courage,” the root of which comes from the French word “coeur,” or “heart.”

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