The Let My Legacy Be Love (LMLBL) Discovery Process
The process used to create the book Let My Legacy Be Love, A Story of Discovery and Transformation: Tracing Adult Issues to Childhood Hurts was born out of friendship—a friendship that is like so many others. Close friends have a shared history that offers a unique and intimate understanding of each other. Over time, friends develop trust and mutual respect which leads to an opening into vulnerability. It is this vulnerability that is the key to being successful in this discovery process.
The LMLBL discovery process is based on the natural conversations between close friends. By nature, close friends confide private thoughts and help each other move beyond them. In the process, though, the conversations are more deliberate, and in some cases, they are planned rather than being spontaneous.
Person Open to Discovery (POD): This is an individual who is open to identifying the root cause of issues that are negatively affecting her/his life. A few examples of such challenges may be that the POD is struggling in relationships, has a poor body image or is suffering from a mystery illness. Maybe the person is lacking personal boundaries or is a workaholic who is neglecting her/his family or health. These are only a few examples. There could be any number of issues.
Discovery Partner (DP): This is an individual who is willing to support the POD in her/his discovery process. The DP assists the POD in identifying a painful or traumatic event and helps her/him to gain a better understanding of the experience and how it may be impacting their adult life.
Role of the Person Open to Discovery
This person has a desire to better understand an issue that is adversely impacting her/his life. She/he should be willing to commit to thoughtfully examining her/his personal story and actions from a different perspective. It is critical to be open to feedback from the Discovery Partner (DP).
This person identifies a close, trusted and respected friend with whom to share their feelings about a chosen issue. (If you’re not sure where to start, see the ACE Test below.) After picking a story and sharing the discovery process in the book with your chosen friend, ask if that friend is willing to take on the role of the DP.
It is critical to remember that your DP is not your counselor. Your DP is a trusted friend—one with your best interest at heart.
If you do not have someone with whom you are comfortable choosing as your DP, you have other options. You may want to locate a professional counselor or therapist in your area. (We believe that taking a completed Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Test to your first appointment will be a good starting point for you.) If finding someone in your area is not an option for you, you can contact us through www.letmylegacybelove.com. We will assist you in personal mentoring sessions.
Start by taking the simple ten-question ACE test which can be helpful in pinpointing an adverse childhood experience. Your tallied score accounts for different types of abuse, neglect and other hallmarks of a stressful and possibly traumatic childhood. The more difficult your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be. As is noted in the book, a higher score can indicate a risk for physical and mental health issues, as well as negative social consequences that can develop later in life. Nearly seventy percent of the U.S. population has an ACE score of at least 1.
Next, choose a predominate childhood memory. You can either discuss the story with your Discovery Partner (DP) or you may decide to write your recollection of the experience in the form of a journal posting or as a story. Choose whatever option feels best for you. Be as honest as possible about the event and your feelings about it.
PLEASE NOTE:If you are someone who dislikes writing, you or your DP can create an outline that captures the key points of your story.
If you choose the option of sharing your story with your DP before writing it, record any insights gained through your discussions. You don’t need to be a great writer. This is only about getting the story out on paper. Just tell the story to the best of your ability. **If you do choose to write your story first, be sure to record insights gained after discussing your story with your DP.
You may need to go work through your story several times to get to the root. But with courage, conviction, and patience, you will develop clarity on how the chosen experience affected you as a child. You will also understand how it has been playing out in your adult life now.
These are your personal discoveries. Take plenty of time to understand what you have learned. Your discoveries are your path to understanding, forgiveness, and transformation.
Role of the Discovery Partner
It is important to remember that as the Discovery Partner you are not a counselor. If you become uncomfortable at any point, be honest with yourself and with your friend. Some experiences are best handled by a professional.
Always be yourself when your friend is sharing her/his story. Also, be sure to “keep it real” and natural. For example, if humor is a key component in your friendship, you may find the humor helpful even in the most challenging moments. Below are some practical techniques that may be helpful while your friend is sharing her/his story:
- Practice compassionate and active listening. As a DP, you say very little as you listen for the deeper meaning of the POD’s story. As you listen, be sure to convey empathy, acceptance, and genuineness.
- Remain fully present in the process, including maintaining good eye contact.
- Ask open-ended questions intended to get to the heart of the matter. Focus on getting answers to questions that begin with who, what, where, when, how and why. “How” and “Why” questions offer a great deal of insight. For example, “How did that make you feel?” or “Why do you think you made that choice?” These questions are part of the natural conversation and are not asked in a particular order. Remember that you are listening to your good friend and your job is to help your friend gain clarity.
- Validate how your friend is feeling without making judgments.
- Paraphrase what your friend says when you are trying to gain clarity for yourself. Paraphrasing is also helpful when you are assisting her/him in understanding a point.
- Take notes through the process, so you don’t forget anything important. You want to record the “aha” moments.
- Assist in developing “discoveries” when your partner asks for help.
Always be patient with yourself and each other. The LMLBL process is new to both of you, and there is a learning curve.
That’s it! Please reach out to us at www.letmylegacybelove.com if you have any questions or need clarification on any part of this process. Plus, we are here, and we want to help.