When a reader changes your past
It took me about a year to write my memoir This Miraculous Life, and then almost another year went into getting it published. And after the book was out there, I thought that my journey with it was more or less over.
Oh boy, was I wrong.
Very intense things keep happening: either through conversations with readers, or reading many mails and messages I keep getting from readers who describe how deeply and magically my book touched and impacted them. And then there are sometimes really intensive journeys, like the one I just went through with my dear friend and colleague Myra Walden from Chicago, US.
About a month or so ago Myra sent me a message that she started to read my book. I was happy to hear this, yet completely unaware of a intense journey that just begun.
Myra would read a couple of dozen pages every evening, and then, before going to bed, send me some reflections, thought, feelings, empathy, sometimes questions… As a psychotherapist and a very experienced supporter, she always spotted the most crucial lines, attended to the most vulnerable moments…
And so every morning, as I was making my wake-me-up cup of tea, I would read and listen to her messages and be touched, moved, puzzled… It felt like reading my own book through somebody else’s eyes. It actually felt like walking through my life again, this time together with a dear friend.
A couple of weeks into this journey I started to have a vivid vision and a deep sense of not only Myra walking with me through my life, but actually Myra holding my hand in the most vulnerable and challenging moments of my past. She became this kind, empathic supporter, loving spirit, a devoted guardian that I was so much longing for in my childhood, and she started to walk, right now, with this little Robert, holding his hand tight in her warmth, being there, fully present.
Not only was it getting rather intense to start my day with reading and listening to her impression, but it became clear, in a however weird way it may seem, that it was all happening right now. Me as a 4-year-old boy, or 10 years old, 0r 17 years…, was, right now, being accompanied by Myra. It was all happening now.
And it became even more magical when, a few weeks into this journey of ours, I started to wake up in the morning with a sense that my past had been, during the night, miraculously changed. As now, in my new past, I was not completely alone in my childhood anymore. My past was now enriched by an incredible companion.
When the journey was complete, I started to get a new sense about whom did I write this book for. Namely, when I started writing it was for my children. Then it became writing for the whole world.
And now it felt that I was actually writing it for Myra, so that she could hold my hand in moments of need. So that she could be my guardian angel. The wise and empathic companion to the little, frighten, confused little Robert.
So, in a way, I wrote this book for the child in me. For encouragement, for reassurance.
That it was all going to be just fine.