In her memoir, Living Hope: Steps to Leaving Suffering Behind, Lynne Cockrum-Murphy shows that when we become more committed to our growth than we are to the pain caused by traumas in our lives, we truly open the door to healing ourselves and reaching our potential. I know of few people who suffered the traumas that she did… but her path to recovery is one we can all learn from, however much we feel we have suffered.
Lynne Cockrum-Murphy was three years old when she was rescued from a burning house by her father, who later died along with her two sisters. From that time on, she not only had to recover from her burns, but from a childhood of neglect by an alcoholic mother, then instances of abuse, rape and further horror. Living Hope follows her life from those tragedies forward to a life of peace and happiness.
Lynne shares the tools and actions in her process of moving past pain, including ThetaHealing®, which I am now anxious to explore. She speaks of karma and the Law of Cause and Effect and how she realized that every action she took could create a different, healthier future. Her book is a celebration of the fact that we can keep going, in spite of our suffering, and certainly keep growing spiritually because of it.
Today, Lynne is an intuitive consultant specializing in helping those who seek assistance with their spiritual path, in addition to facilitating physical healing, emotional growth and removing blocks to a life of joy, meaning and purpose. She has a doctorate in Education, is a licensed substance abuse counselor, an Access Bars® instructor, and an advanced level certified ThetaHealer® and course instructor. She continues to teach for Northern Arizona University and maintains a private practice in Phoenix, Arizona.
Here, Lynne answers my questions:
Becca: What was it like to write such a personal book?
Lynne: Writing Living Hope was both easy and hard. Easy because I’d written my autobiography in 2001 as a chapter in my dissertation so I had a lot of material ready. And hard at the same time because I added in the childhood abuse I experienced plus I shared my metaphysical perspective on my life. I checked in with my sister on several topics in the book because I talk about her in it and wanted to be sure she was OK with that. In addition, I had worried about my cousins’ reactions to exposing the abuse and as family members’ inappropriate behavior comes to light.
Becca: What was your purpose in writing your book Living Hope?
Lynne: I had a sense that I lived a hellish life and in sharing my story others with depression or PTSD or trauma might be encouraged to keep trying. My purpose with Living Hope stems from knowing others are suffering too while achieving inner peace is possible.
Becca: What would you like readers to take away from the book?
Lynne: Really it is all about Hope. I’d like the readers to try some of the suggestions, to feel free and encouraged to break tradition and find what works for them. I ran into a woman recently that told me she had finished reading Living Hope and because of the book she now prayed more. She appeared really happy about it.
Becca: What are a few of the actions, steps and tools you recommended?
Lynne: Meditation, seeking, questioning, researching, trying autobiography, journaling, using resources (such as Dan Millman’s The Life You were Born to Live), checking out ThetaHealing® and Access Consciousness® and much more are included. All are effective in moving one forward.
Becca: What do you mean by “suffering has purpose?”
Lynne: Nothing in life is random. Possibly there were multiple purposes in the suffering I endured. It certainly created the virtues of compassion, inner strength and empathy in me. My life events also drove me to find solace, which I have, through meditation and connection with Source. Plus I had the benefit of clearing all the remaining heavy karma I carried.
Becca: How was suffering purposeful in your life?
Lynne: Possibly one of the most important purposes was what I considered the lack of connection with my mother. She was unavailable, busy, and unhappy. And especially after the fire when I wanted to be held and cuddled, it was difficult for her to touch me because of the burns covering the front of my body. Later the abandonment continued, for example, with leaving me (at age 10) in the park past sunset watching my 3 year old sister while our mother did laundry (went drinking). I believe that loss of nurturing led me to decide people could not give me what I need. I must look for another source for love and comfort which led to my spiritual life.
Becca: How do you think your experience can help others?
Lynne: Truly there continues to be a great deal of suffering in the world both from real events but also from what one does in one’s own mind. If reading Living Hope inspires anyone to try something new, to keep going or to break the cycle of suffering, then my experiences and my story made a difference. Making a difference in the world is rich with meaning and purpose.
Becca: What advice would you give to new authors who think they have an inspirational story to tell?
- To persevere. Pick it up again. Start again. Add more. Ask for help.
- If you believe you have a story to tell then trust yourself and know that you truly do.
- Read Stephen King’s On Writing for ideas on how to be a writer.
- Use a writing workshop, such as Tom Bird’s in Sedona, AZ, to get the book out quickly.
- Practice positive self talk. Challenge and replace limiting self talk.
- Meditate with Sanaya Roman’s 4 CD set, Becoming a Writer.
- Don’t share your writing with people. No critiques until finished, edited and ready for publishing. Don’t allow anyone to kill your spirit or your process with the book.
- Share from the heart, show what you experienced and know. Don’t tell.
- Allow your book to have its own voice, to exist as its own self. Then communicate with the book. Let it guide you.
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet