Creating Your Life’s Map The Life-map is an exercise that I’d like you to take some time to put together. The correct approach is to sit quietly and ask God to reveal all events that shaped your life. Those events can be people, places, experiences or influences that you might readily remember the first time you sit down to do this. Once your Life-map is completed then you can prepare it for sharing with others. Each individual life-map is really the ‘story’ of that individual’s life from your childhood through to the present.
What is a Life-map? The Life-map is simply a tool, a framework within which to explore the many different factors that have shaped who and where you are today. In many ways these factors powerfully influence the way we feel, how we relate to others (including God), and how we interpret and even experience the ways others relate to us. It is a personally powerful exercise that most people unfortunately never experience even once in their life. Doing a detailed life-map can help persons focus their time on the areas that are most likely to bring them growth and freedom.
Why a Life - Map? There is lots of power in telling your story to another, and persons with experience doing this testify that each time it is repeated there has been significant experience of God’s continuing revelation of what shaped and misshaped them. While everyone’s journey is unique, it is not unusual for God to use the often uneasy experience of creating one’s Life-map, as a transformational turning point. And remember, as in most things we get out of this exercise what we put into it. I hope you will put your heart into this, the creation of your own life’s story.
What to do? • You are being asked to, through reflection, identify all important events that occurred in your life, starting with your birth. Next, subdivide those events into three categories: • Spiritual • Emotional • Other Events (Note there are no Accidental or Luck Events) • Finally, next to each identified event, put the words LOW or HIGH in brackets, to signify whether that event led to a low point or high point in your life.
Important Caution! It’s important on your Life-map not to hurry to get it done. Just take some time and work on it and see how many times of focusing is required for you to feel like it’s somewhat complete. Remember, not every detail exactly or totally comprehensive is required, just a good picture of your life and the people , places and experiences that have shaped you.
Some Suggestions to Get You Started • What might you share about yourself to a friendly stranger on a long plane ride? • Important People and Heroes • Places (i.e., geographic locations, houses lived in, etc.) • Events (include any before you were born that significantly shaped the emotional, relational environment you were born into) • Education, Job’s, Ministries, Hobbies and Interests • Your Journey to Salvation
What would you share about yourself with a dear and trusted friend? • Successes – what has delighted you the most in your life? • Failures – what has disappointed you the most in your life? • Were there major personality, mood, relational shifts in you at any point?
On these next two, think of those things you have done as well as those things that have happened to or around you: Joys - what have been the people, places or events in your life that have been most positive and/or about which you are most proud/happy when you recall them? Sorrows – what have been your deepest hurt(s) and disappointments?