The picture is a mashup my sister put together, of a photo we took at a gathering a few months before my sister Karen died, and a few weeks ago in Oregon. She was interested in recreating a few photos from the 1980s gathering. I think this one is by far the most compelling.
The fact that we are facing each other is powerful. My brother asked, "If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be?" When I thought about it, I decided that the younger me was not able yet to listen, to take in advice. I was still finding my way into myself, or you could say it this way: at that age I was still needing to bang my head against the wall - repeatedly. The only thing I could imagine saying was Good Luck.
But if the younger me wanted to ask for specific advice, well my goodness she would get an earful.
Just for fun, I decided to ask for her advice. What do I need? How am I doing, from your perspective? I've been letting my imagination run with it. It has been kind of a hoot. The younger me is very impressed with my hair at this age, and approves of the glasses. Of course she is thrilled that I still wear lipstick all the time.
It's fun to imagine seeing myself as an old lady. I think the younger me would be surprised and kind of impressed.
As I gaze at my young self, what I feel mostly is protective. I wish I could wave a wand to make all the anger and sadness vanish, to clear some of the confusion, pour a little self-worth into that lovely young woman. Of course that is never possible. Healing, even spontaneous healing, is hard work. When I look at the face of my younger self, I'm in awe of how much healing work I've done over the decades since then. My goodness. This young woman in the picture isn't even Reya yet. I was Rebecca at that time, I believe, or maybe people still called me Ruby. I think I was involved in psychotherapy, and also was seeing the great osteopath/homeopath, but had not yet begun to study witchcraft. I was decades away from becoming a healer of any stripe. I look so raw, ill prepared.
Maybe the right advice would be: You're Going to Make It.
The younger me and the current day me are having many conversations about what it means to be a healer, what it takes to become a healer. This meditation is yielding a lot of interesting ideas. I should write about them on the other blog, probably.
One thing the younger me believes strongly is that I need a boyfriend. I've explained that I don't care about that anymore - it's liberating. She says no, it's not about that. She says, you need someone to talk to every day, to share your life with. It's time.
Interesting to think about!
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