By Nina Norstrom
“Life is not just a normal destination think of it as your personalized journey. It’s about life experiences. About the hardships we face, the struggles we endure, the challenges we overcome, and the journeys we must all take. Life is about discovering the beauty of living. You see, life is so full of stuff: the good, the bad, and the ugly. An everyday life experience brings on new lessons. Hold on and enjoy your walk through the journey. --Not a Blueprint It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter: A Journey Through Toxic Relationships By Nina Norstrom,
As writers, we each have varied approaches to why we sit down and write. When thought out there are a variety of reasons. It’s a career for some and perhaps a hobby for others. Then some may write to ease their emotional pain, as they sort out their life challenges. Some even have stories to share or tell. While others just write for the passion of it all.
Writing can be useful to reflect on our experiences and learn from them. So really, why does one tend to write?
For me, ‘tis about my life . . . my journey. Guess, I can say, “It was simply how I found that new beginning.”
As I sit here composing this article to submit to Southern Writers Magazine, listening to that instrumental soft soothing music is oh so refreshing and rewarding. I can now think about from whence I came in a more positive direction, leaving behind the negativity from it all.
Of course, there’s a story behind my writing . . . my journey. And ‘tis ain’t anything nice. Still I must realize it all began somewhere, at and a place in time that brought me to its ‘writing’ point.
I didn’t write because I thought I was a writer or author. My writing was all about therapy journaling. Through that journaling process, it was about trying to make some sense of those dysfunctional everyday relationships, and defining where I was in life. I knew my life of living with toxicity was manifested in a whirlwind of toxicants. Blinded by the darkness of those toxicants; it became difficult to see the beauty of daylight. And yes, there is beauty in the art of living.
I must confess I have such a beautiful life, now. A life I never thought I’d live. But it hadn’t always been that way. Just like any other person, I had my own personal struggles and challenges.
For over twenty-four years, my life journey of living with tainted and damaging relationships were deep seeded, raw, and all buried inside. Spanning from my role as a mistress to letting go of those religious beliefs, the toxicity of those unhealthy relationships crippled by ability to function, and its writing eased my emotional pain, nurtured those wounds that took over my body and helped to find a safe haven . . . for the dark world I was lost in.
Inside that world, I was broken and messed up. I was tore up to the floor up, whacked, and zoned out. I was crazed and had literally loss my mind. Through it all, I felt suffocated by the toxicants. That poison had taken control, the emotions running wild, anger, guilt, hatred, rage, and depression; the disease coming and going, coming and going, coming and going; and all that other stuff getting in the way. Truly, life is so full of stuff (the good, the bad, and the ugly). So ugly that once I was known by folks on my job as the ‘crazy lady.’ But who wouldn’t be crazed from the raft of toxicity.
It took years of recovery. After undergoing heavy rounds of therapeutic work (one-on-one sessions), groups, and writing therapies, I’m in a better place mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And that’s most important!
Ultimately, therapy writing was a way to expressively break through those barriers and release the toxicants. It became the prescription for “a physical wound healing relationship.” Now when I speak and share the details (about my journey), it’s evidence how I needed to find that “healing medium.”
When I think about the topic of my storybook, I think about the importance of it. It’s all crystal clear:
An everyday experience brings about important life lessons. We’re living inside the topic each day we inhale anew breathe. In these days and times, we are living in a toxic environment. Have you thought about those everyday challenges? Seemingly, when we wake, we’re on the battlefield fighting a war. And just feeling its impact where there’s: good against evil; sons against fathers; daughters against mothers; nations against nations; drugs against diseases; and the list goes on and on.
The title alone speaks volume. There is depth in its meaning. How does this grab you?
We can sit down and map out a Blueprint about our life, and the direction we expect it to go in. But it’s not that Blueprint that determines our destiny. It will be the shoe prints from our imprints that will lead us to the path of our life journey.
Walking that path through the journey, it has become readily easy to avoid toxic relationships. ‘Cause with drama come toxicity. So I tend to steer away from drama scenes, and the negativity they bring. Having been through the drama scene, I now live a drama-free lifestyle. Most importantly, I’ve regained my faith and belief in our Maker which helps tremendously.
Through it all, writing therapy became a huge part of my journey. It was how I’ve found that new beginning. And discovered its beauty of living!
Nina Norstrom, grew up in a small suburban town outside Chicago, Illinois. She received her bachelor’s degree from Concordia University. Norstrom is affiliated with and a member of various writers’ groups. In 1992, she started journal writing to help find solace. It wasn’t until 2010 that she was able to publish her first writing experience. The book, Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter,A Journey Through Toxic Relationships, is a representation of her growth and signifies a milestone in her recovery from toxic relationships, to the transition of non-toxicity. She is a passionate champion for many noteworthy causes, including those battling toxic relationships. When not reading or writing, she can be found mountain climbing, taking long walks in a park or alongside a beach, sitting at an entertainer’s concert, supporting an author at their book event, somewhere traveling, and even jumping in to exert her energy by doing volunteer work, at a variety of venues.