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If you like Naomi Judd's story, you might also like:
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Johnny Cash,
Sheryl Crow,
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Naomi Judd
Naomi Judd
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Naomi Judd Interview (page: 4 / 5)

Country Music Artist and Social Advocate

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  Naomi Judd

You've had to deal with illness and some very tough stuff in recent years, but you seem so optimistic and idealistic. How has that been for you? What tools have you used to deal with your own physical challenges?

Naomi Judd: People think that once you reach a certain status in life you have handlers and people to grease the way for you, but I always seemed to be left alone to my own devices. I always seem to be starting over.

It began when I was 17, and I had started my senior year of high school and I found out I'm pregnant, and my family is exploding into chaos, and my little brother is dying, and my parents are getting a divorce. I mean, I'm PG in 1963 in small town America. Big scandal! It was awful. And that was the night that I grew up, because I realized as I sat there and told my family doctor that I thought I was pregnant, he began to weep, and I remember sitting there in my chair, and it dawned on me for the first time in my young life that change is the true nature of this world. And I got up out of my seat and walked behind his desk and put my hand on his starched white lab coat and said, "It's okay. I don't have anything else, but I have hope."

[ Key to Success ] Perseverance

It sounds like you were taking care of him.

Naomi Judd: Well, see...

(My doctor) thought that I had come out to his office to ask him about my brother Brian, who was dying of Hodgkin's disease. I had a very, very undemonstrative family. You sort of sweep it under the rug, because it's not pleasant to talk about. We had a loving family, but we just didn't know how to communicate. It was that old generation. Daddy drove a pickup and smoked Camels and read Mickey Spillane and went hunting. And he worked like a brute, that's how he told us kids that he loved us. But anyway, when I would get kicked in the face -- as the years passed -- by life's circumstances, I would just sort of pull myself up and brush myself off and go, "All right, kiddo. So life's not fair. Big fat hairy deal. Let's figure out where to go from here," and I would just say, "Well, how do I want things to be?" And I would start imagining in my mind, "Well, I'd really like to have a car whose primary coat isn't Bondo. I'd like to have a savings account. What a concept! I'd love to have medical insurance, and I'd like to be able to be in the same room with Wynonna Judd for a few hours without wanting to pull every hair out of her head." So I would just sit and imagine each one of these things, how I wanted them to come out, and I would go into prayer about it.

We now have scientific documentation on how prayer works. We're all fields of energy, and it's so cool that now we're getting this empirical data about how it actually comes about in a tangible way.

But the biggie really was when I was told I had a couple of years. That will get your attention in a major way, especially when it's a sticky wicket because you're an RN and you're a member of the medical community and you see the writing on the wall. You can look at the pathology report laying there on the doctor's desk, and he doesn't even have to open his mouth, and you go "Uh oh!" And once again, I had to step out in total faith, but it was one of the greatest lessons of my life, because I began a voyage of self discovery and what actually became a journey to wholeness for me.

[ Key to Success ] Courage

Naomi Judd: I think it's almost like our soul has certain assignments, and we don't get it. We want to be cruising with the top down, but every time this stuff would happen to me, somehow I had an intuition. Well, of course it has to come from God. I knew that even though it was a piece of crap, it was going to make me stronger, that I was going to be putting new tools in my psychological tool box, that it was all up to me to determine how I felt about it.

When I couldn't change the way things were out there, I could change the way I felt about them, and finally it dawned on me that really control is just an illusion, and security is a superstition. The only control you really have is over yourself, and true security comes from inside. So, after I'm told that I've bought the farm, that I'm out of here, I really had to do one of these, "Wait a minute, this doctor with all his honking degrees on the wall, he's not God, and all of these medical books that I am so enamored of -- I just love medicine because I love finding solutions -- these are not Bibles. God is a supernatural being. This universe actually runs on spiritual laws. Hello!" So, infinite possibilities. And I just sat there and stared at all the medical dogma, and all these guys, and said, "I'm going to go into complete chemical remission because I do know enough -- just enough -- to know that the spirit, the mind, and the body are all one package." I knew that from my mom teaching me that I was a kid of the most high God, and also from all of this anecdotal experience from being an RN. So I began going where my questions led me, and I began meeting with the most brilliant minds in America in the "spirit-mind-body" field.

Chemists, biologists, doctors, research scientists, anthropologists, therapists, psychologists, and so on.

How are you feeling these days?

Naomi Judd: I'm pumping like an oil well. I'm in total remission. I am living proof that it pays to believe in miracles, and actually, I mean that on a lot of different levels, whether it's chasing that dream and grabbing hold of it, or healing a fractured relationship with my rebellious child and becoming each other's best friend, or finding my Prince Charming and having a completely wonderful marriage, or getting to sing, which is my Jones, or getting myself -- with God's grace -- getting myself into remission against incredibly great odds.

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This page last revised on Sep 23, 2010 15:08 EDT
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