As I was driving home from work today, I was listening to an NPR interview with Rosanne Cash whose book entitled “Composed” is newly released. I have long enjoyed her music and that of her prolific parents Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. I was particularly touched by a description of a traumatic incident she witnessed. In the 8 month of her pregnancy, she wanted to protect her in utero little one by calming herself so as not to allow stress hormones to invade her body. She said that she was “borrowing from her future”, in essence seeing herself and her child healthy and strong (my interpretation) and having moved beyond the here and now. It sparked in me an appreciation for all of the times that I have been able to walk through otherwise fear-filled situations by tapping into a past or future ‘self’ and having a conversation with that aspect of me that either needed the guidance of the wiser, more mature Edie or was calling on the me ‘yet to be’ who had lived what I had not yet. In either case, I recognized the inherent gift of knowing that I had survived everything that had ever happened in my life, because I was here to tell about it.
In what ways have you been able to integrate the various aspects of yourself who have lived through joys and sorrows and allowed him or her to be your teacher and guide?
T Throughout my life, there have been so many experiences that reflect bliss. One that comes to mind at the moment is my 50th birthday. Dear friends hosted a party in their lovely home. Kindred spirits from up and down the East coast gathered to celebrate with me. 50 felt like such a huge milestone, that marked a turning point. Unlike many people, I actually felt a sense of satisfaction when I received my invitation to AARP. It meant I had ‘arrived’ into mature adulthood, while still maintaining a sense of the playful child. On this particular mid October evening, after a sumptuous pot luck dinner, I found myself sitting on the floor, with my legs in front of me, like the delighted 5 year old that had overtaken my body. One after the other, my friends regaled me with stories of how we met and what our connection meant to them. Laughing, crying, feeling deeply loved. I wish I had thought to audio or videotape it, but the memory of it remains with me in my heart.