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Blowin’ In the Wind . . . 

If you fall into the age group that society labels “senior,” you probably remember one of the songs that made Bob Dylan famous—“Blowin’ in the Wind.”  “The answers, my friend, are blowin’ in the wind” . . .  or something like that.  It’s autumn, now, and the winds are blowin.’  I can sense changes in the air, not just the seasonal changes but changes taking place within myself.  My intuition, right brain—whatever you want to call that part of ourselves where we sense things that cannot readily be put into words or conceptualized neatly—is signaling me more strongly than ever that this healing process is coming to some point of fruition, that changes are manifesting themselves.  I seem to be becoming not a “different person” but the person I would have become had I not been sidetracked by so many obstacles that required adaptation.  In the process of adapting, I became somebody else, somebody I didn’t really want to be but somebody I HAD to be in order to survive. 

First, what signs have I noticed recently that tell me I’m changing?  The signs are subtle, but here they are:  1.  I feel more like connecting with other people now than I ever have in my adult life, and I feel more like wanting people to connect with me;  2.  I feel more confident than ever that what I have to offer other people is valuable because I am valuable and I am capable of offering something valuable to others;  3.  I feel less afraid of other people than I was two years ago—or ever–and less vulnerable;  4.  I understand now that my powers of intuition are well developed and may often serve me better than my intellect.  Also, I know that I can develop my intuitive powers to serve me in ways that I don’t even understand right now—the potential for that growth exists.  These four signs, then, are the signs I recognize as indicators of change within myself at this moment. 

Can I identify the source of these changes?  My sense is that the source is the Universe—God, if you prefer to think in this term.  I believe that within each of us is the drive to be who we really are, our authentic selves.  We are born with this drive.  All nature, in fact, has this drive.  But along the way we encounter, as I’ve said, “obstacles” that force us to make adaptations in order to survive.  In the process of adapting, I relinquished some of my authenticity and left my true path.  Malvina Reynolds, a little before Dylan’s time, put it this way: 

“God Bless the Grass” 

God bless the grass that grows through the crack. 
They roll the concrete over it to try and keep it back. 
The concrete gets tired of what it has to do, 
It breaks and it buckles and the grass grows thru, 
And God bless the grass.
God bless the truth that fights toward the sun,
They roll the lies over it and think that it is done
It moves through the ground and reaches for the air, 
And after a while it is growing everywhere,
And God bless the grass.
God bless the grass that breaks through cement,
It’s green and it’s tender and it’s easily bent,
But after a while it lifts up its head, 
For the grass is living and the stone is dead.
And God bless the grass.
God bless the grass that’s gentle and low
Its roots they are deep and its will is to grow.
And God bless the truth, the friend of the poor,
And the wild grass growing at the poor man’s door, 
And God bless the grass

More lyrics:


Now, each listener can put a different spin on Malvina Reynolds’ lyrics, just as each reader can put his or her own spin on the text he or she reads.  Malvina’s song speaks to me of hope and possibility for those of us who need to undo old adaptations to find the selves we were originally meant to be.  The grass is, indeed, living, and the Truth of which the song speaks is what I call authenticity.  

How do we find this authenticity?  How can we crack the concrete and allow the air and sunshine to nourish the roots of our grass so it can thrive?  My answer:  By being open to the love emanating from the Universe.  And how can we do this?  How can we be open, and how can we feel this love?  The answers to those questions can, I believe, be found only in our individual hearts and souls, our intuition, maybe—whatever we call the part of us that contains the wisdom of the Universe that is so hard to put into words.  We each are capable of knowing and listening. We know the answers, but we must be quiet before we can hear them.  

Some people learn to meditate and to tune out all the distracting noises and chatter in their minds so they can listen to the voices of their heart and soul.  For other people, attending a religious service helps them tune into their heart and soul voices.  And some people find that watching television puts them into a light trance state and enables them to listen. There are as many ways to access the quiet inner voices as there are human beings, probably, but mental stillness is required.  And for people who live in our Western society, being mentally quiet isn’t easy!  But it’s necessary.  

How do I, personally, go about listening?  I’m not sure, but I think I’ve always been aware of the quiet voices.  When I was a child, I discovered that during church services I became aware of the quiet, gentle voices speaking from my heart and my soul.  The ancient liturgical service in the quaint little Episcopal church I attended during the 1940s and 1950s never deviated from its basic structure and gave me a sense of stability that did not exist in my other world, the world of my home.  I felt safe as the service moved from the Invitatory, the psalm or prayer that invited people to worship, and proceeded to the dismissal, the Nunc Dimittis.  And when I felt safe, my mind grew still, and I was able to feel the Love of the Universe and hear the quiet voice that spoke to me.  Now, I can quiet my mind and listen without being in a religious setting and even without deliberately meditating.  Maybe that ability is a perk of old age.  God knows, those of us over age sixty-five need all the perks we can get!  

But where, you might ask, does psychotherapy enter into the picture as a force for change?  This may be the most difficult question of all for me to answer.  Why?  Because therapy is different for each person.  In my case, however, the relationships I’ve had with the two therapists who have best facilitated my growth, my change, have been fundamental to my progress.  Both therapists have been non-directive.  They have allowed me to follow my own process, in other words.  They have, however, been present to me and have cared enough to support my own natural psychic process.  They have had enough faith in me, in the process, and in themselves to override their training, in some instances, so they could allow me to do what I have needed to do.  Without the presence of these two people in my life, I would have changed, alright, but I would not have changed as quickly.  Considering my present age of seventy-three, I need to change quickly if I am to spend a few years free from the shackles of C-PTSD!  And I am doing that.  Thanks to the Universe, my therapists, and my own native capacity for change and the wisdom to find my own direction, I know I’m getting there!  

For all of you who, as I do, still struggle, remember Malvina’s Truth— 

God bless the grass that breaks through cement,
It’s green and it’s tender and it’s easily bent,
But after a while it lifts up its head,
For the grass is living and the stone is dead.

You are ALIVE!  and the stone is dead!