I suppose being a wife would be one anchor (identity) line, but there was a time in life when I was not a wife. Being a mother is another anchor line, but there was also a time when I wasn't a mother. Musical ability, serving at church, my faith, being a lifelong learner... all of these form my identity and are anchor lines in a sense, but I began to wonder - what if they were all taken away? Who am I at my core? Is it possible that these anchor lines can become idols to which I attach TOO strongly?
I began to visualise removing these anchor lines one at a time... What if I were no longer a musician? My spider web began to wave in the breeze as the anchor lines were removed one by one until it was completely cut loose and I was clinging to my web for dear life, floating through the air wondering where I would land.
As I completed this contemplative imagination, my web landed somewhere dark, but warm and completely secure. There was a constant rhythm and my web swelled in and out to match this rhythm. I couldn't see, but for some reason I didn't need to. I was perfectly content. My web had landed, stuck to the very heart of God.
For me, it's fine (and healthy) to have attachments and a sense of identity in my relationships or in what I do, as long as I don't forget who I am at my core - a child of God. As long as I can see the Imago Dei in myself and in others, the rest is all secondary.
1. The original idea of spiderweb anchor lines as a metaphor for lines of power/identity came from a class discussion at Coram Deo.