Title: The Shoebox Effect
by: Marcie Keithley
All of us keep shoeboxes of some kind; mental ones or physical ones. Often, they are a key to our past complete with trinkets & symbols ...a Pandora's box, if you will. "The Shoebox Sherpa" (Marcie) asks questions & provides tips at the end of each chapter, based on her experiences. Marcie has some difficult things happen to her in her life; a loveless marriage (which she ends up calling a divorce on), a child out of wedlock who she then gives up for adoption, and a lonely lifestyle.
Marcie chooses to become an advocate for state's having an open birth certificate policy & working against birth mother confidentiality, since it took her & others so long to get in touch with their biological children. While she hadn't been ready for a baby in the moment her lover left her, she spent many years of regret trying to find her daughter, & she eventually did. It's nice that she points out that we all have to face or open our shoeboxes at some point; we cannot run or hide from the truth that is our lives.
"Though our instincts tell us the opposite, gathering courage & honestly dealing with what we've tried to ignore is the secret to lasting freedom from what haunts us. This is true even when our greatest pain comes from choices & situations we brought upon ourselves."
"The shoebox effect starts long before we gather memorabilia to put inside--it begins with the decisions that create our memories."
"Expressing my thoughts & feelings in words 'for my eyes only' did make me feel better. It also made it easier to review my past, process my present, & prepare for my future."
"As close as we were, we never talked about the shoebox effect, and how we'd used ours to try & survive our excruciating situations. We felt desperate to escape it, so we hid instead of healed."