In American Music, author Jane Mendelsohn tells the story of a massage therapist who works with a PTSD patient. As he does, the former soldier’s stories are released. The premise of the book is that “…the past sits in our own bodies, buried beneath our muscles and bones,” notes Jennifer Gilmore in a New York Times book review. Over time, the past “…turns mythical.”
This is no surprise.
The body is a myth-making machine, and offers up, time and again, in our aches and ills, a deeper story, a more meaningful narrative begging to be rewritten.
I know this first-hand.
I surfaced my body’s story many years ago to understand a health issue. When I did, the symbol “red” was everywhere. It was rooted in the first chakra when I couldn’t digest baby formula at six weeks old. It appeared in my father’s legacy of Scarlet Fever passed on to me. It was even in my school uniform and in the red play clothes I insisted on wearing.
“Red” is the color of the first chakra and represents the right to have what you need to survive. (Coincidentally, my health issue at the time was located in the first chakra.) By surfacing that deeper story, I knew where my work lay.
That experience taught me that despite how I angst about physical challenges, each one is a gift in code, a mythic clue hinting at a story in need of transformation.