We all feel safer when we feel an emotional, spiritual and intellectual connection to someone or something we trust. Often times that someone is a life partner, sometimes a best friend. The something to trust in can be a religion, a spiritual guide, a career or profession, a pet, a vocation like art or music or dance or writing, a passion for a collection i.e. coins, stamps, crystals, antiques.……. all suggestions, you add what works for you. My mother’s passion was antiques. She collected tiny miniature treasures that gave her great pleasure. When I asked her why these little things that held place of honour on shelves and side tables, because they did not especially appeal to me, she said they were way too poor to buy toys as a child and these were her toys as an adult. What a brilliantly creative way to heal a missing piece from long ago.
Trust comes from deep inside at a very core spot inside that doesn’t always have a known beginning. We learn to trust or not to trust as wee small babes. If there is a safe and welcoming connection usually with mother or a caregiver figure, we are more likely able to trust emotional intimacy as adults.
I am aware these days that I have a powerful need to be with friends who care or with family who love me. I find myself longing to feel a deep connection to my work and to special people and my soul longs to belong and to be wanted. I need to know where I fit and belong. Who am I? What is the meaning of being me? These are questions everyone asks, and at least some of the answers have roots in the past.
I suspect aging contributes to a vulnerability for this longing. As I age I become increasingly aware that I have less time ahead of me to find answers to difficult questions. In the grand scheme of things, I am closer to my spiritual home than I remember ever having been before. Each day brings me closer to the next phase of my life.
Although we may not know what the next stage in life is going to look like or feel like and we are continually surprised until we reach that stage and live it for ourselves, the closer we all get to 100 years old, or even 90 for that matter, the clearer it is that there is a part of our journey many, many others have taken that ultimately we know nothing about consciously. We are not conscious of what death looks like or feels like. We know what we imagine, what we hope, maybe what we dread, but we only know what each of us intuits for ourselves. I don’t believe anyone can tell us what happens next for certain though I do believe many want us to know the version they hope is true so if we believe it as well it may have a greater chance of being the truth for them. The hope is something like: the more people who feel like I do the safer I feel and the more I can trust I am right. We each must remember what we have forgotten which means we must remember what our cellular memory intuits.
I believe our bodies carry the memories of our ancestors. In our DNA, in our cells, in our skin and bones and organs and muscles, we hold learned behaviours and memories of ancient past; actually as ancient as the beginning of time, if in fact time has a beginning. I believe somewhere inside all of us is the knowing of all that there is to know. That includes the knowing of death, of birth, of a world in between life and death. There is a reason our conscious self has forgotten. I think it is to protect us from something. One possibility is we maybe forget what we have known so as to protect ourselves from not being overwhelmed by how much we have yet to learn. Each time we start anew, we bring with us a shadow of our past, and a greater hope for even more awareness and more knowledge so we can truly be as wise and balanced as we all long to be eventually. Or so we can reconnect to how very whole, wise, and divine we already are.
Have you ever heard of epigenetics? Totally fascinating. Intellectually I do not understand it. Intuitively I think it is telling me our cells carry memories at least from our parents and probably from many past generations, and those memories have a physical effect on us. In the work I have done over the years with clients and with myself, I believe these cellular historical memories have an emotional affect as well as a physical affect. I listened to a speaker a while back whose name sadly I cannot remember at the moment who was talking about Epigenetics, Brain, and the Buddha. One of the many exciting and memorable things he had to say is that we are what our grandmother ate. Interesting way to put it, isn’t it?
For example: Some of my known genetic history has to do with a grandmother who had allergies and asthma so bad she moved from Michigan to Arizona for the dry climate as she aged. My mother had reason to be highly anxious and literally knew poverty to the extent that she and her 11 siblings often did not have enough to eat. To help feed her younger brothers and sisters, she had to leave school by grade five. My mother was baby number 7. Baby number six, Gertrude, died as an infant from starvation because she was allergic to everything they tried to feed her. Too late for her to benefit, barley water was found to agree with her and that is what saved my mother’s life. When she too showed signs of allergy to mother’s milk, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, they tried barley water and she could tolerate that. I have sensitivities to cow’s milk and barley but can tolerate goat’s milk. Don’t know what that is about. Just is.
Both of my parents gave me a high value for education. Though my father provided for us very well, I have carried great fear in my body of not making enough money to support myself all my life while not having personally experienced the emotional and physical devastation of poverty. It was my mother who had that lived experience. I have however, until a few years ago, carried a fear that I am 3 cancelations away from being a bag lady. Not true, never has been never will be true. But it was a fear I learned and was imprinted upon me from my mother’s lived experience that I put into my body and eventually I believe it contributed to heart problems.
I learned well to emotionally and physically carry my mother’s anxiety and shame and I suspect somewhere inside of me also lives a knowing of her own near death of starvation. I suspect what I carried inside partly resulted in several trips to the hospital and several face to face moments with death. In finding the words for the anxiety and shame I was carrying, I began to learn to reassure myself and face my fear as I accepted the reality that I could indeed keep myself financially and emotionally safe. The more I remember what I know about my ancestral history and learn about new scientific research, the more I believe that I am me, and I am more than me.
I have a very dear friend who is wonderfully spiritual and wise, who shared with me recently that she is thinking about the journey Home. It feels so welcoming that word Home. I have never liked the word death. That feels so final. I believe ultimately we are infinite. Hence, our body fades away, our spirit and soul and energy go somewhere. The idea of going Home feels so safe and puts a smile on my face.
Since the death of my partner who was also my best friend I have begun to learn to trust again that I can find safety in the home I am creating for Aimee and me here on earth before either of us decides to go Home. It has taken being conscious of what I am doing and the words I am using. It has taken letting dear ones love me and expanding my repertoire of what I can emotionally connect to. The sacred work I do with clients contributes deeply to my sense of safety, comfort and familiarity. I believe as I find peace and I help guide my clients to find peace, the entire planet benefits. We are all one. Every healing moment contributes to the well-being of all.