Remembering for the Future



Remember a moment when you felt safe – completely and deeply. Those were our instructions for an exercise.

I don’t remember the exercise and/or its purpose, but the memory I chose – that I return to, over and over. I deliberately take the time to remember it, just to feel simple, pure safety. It’s bliss.


It’s a huge snowstorm – nearly a blizzard – and I’m standing in a small plaza beside an ancient church. The snow is pouring and old fashioned lamps are barely managing to light the street with feathery gold. I’ve come to meet someone, but the blizzard made me late and Niall is long gone. This is before everyone is equipped with a cel phone. I have no way to call him; he has no way to call me. And I’m profoundly grateful – almost giddy. I have this spot of cobbled-stone and snow and gold and silence all to myself. I feel safety as far as my mind can reach. I stay there a long time.

**       **       **

Remember feeling safe. 

Other memories don’t work. Not a happy memory, a beautiful memory, not a fun or glamorous one. Memories of winning, of achievement, of seeing exquisite beauty are nice enough and I’m glad I have them, but they don’t stir up anything particularly useful.

coffeeApparently, whoever cooked up the exercise knew a little something about something, because the feeling of safety is not only comforting (which is exactly what you’d expect), it’s empowering. Which you might expect, but I didn’t.



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