Love, gratitude and emotional tattoos

“You were a healthy happy baby; you didn’t need anything.” When my mother said this to me, the statement landed in my preadolescent subconscious mind like a well-sharpened pencil point on a blank page drawing a straight line from those words to my task and mission in life.

The tone in my mother’s voice made it clear she felt relief when I came along. The brother born before me was very sick and the sister who came after me needed surgery. I was the break she got in between the two.

Getting attention in a good way from her was, understandably, in short supply. There were eight of us kids, all close in age. I was born right in the middle. Good place to get lost.

Not needing anything, I thought, would be a way to distinguish myself from my siblings. I wore it like a medal of honor with pride.

I might as well have had a button on the collar of my school uniform that said “she doesn’t need anything, move along”.

When I had my first date with the cutest boy in the neighborhood, I was so excited and nervous and was already mapping out in my mind what I would say to hopefully impress him. Maybe I’d even get my first kiss.

My parents left us alone in the pool room where we sat on the couch. Elton John’s “Your Song” was playing in the background. At some point, I blurted out that I had decided:

I would not get married before the age of 30 (check)
I would make my own money and not need a man to be successful (check)
Children would have to come later in life; my own career must come first (check)

We were barely teenagers at the time. You can imagine how that was received. With a dear-in-the-headlights look, a few awkward minutes later he said he had to go and the date was over. It never occurred to me that his abrupt departure had anything to do with my pronouncements.

I was hurt, but my mission remained intact. I took those beliefs with me on the road to adulthood. I built a busy and exciting life full of adventures and career advancements not needing anything.

The deeply satisfying feeling of being able to figure everything out by myself and the successes that followed overshadowed a gnawing confusion as to why I began to feel isolated and alone. An overwhelming, heart-wrenching sadness followed me everywhere.

It took some time but with the help of my intuitive inner voice, I heard the echo of my mother’s words and the line drawn between them and the choices I had made in my adult life. I looked around my life and found no shelter in the storm, few places to find comfort, no one I felt I could rely on. Why? I asked myself. Because I didn’t need anything. My heart opened to a flood of needs, wants, and desires I had abandoned and the grief of having left them behind.

It brought to mind a phrase I heard somewhere:

grief is love with nowhere to go

Fast forward. The only thing that truly matters to me are the connections I have made with all the people in my life, past and present, where my love has found so many places to land. This is what success looks like for me now. The other achievements pale by comparison.

All those precious connections include all of you, dear friends.

My work as an intuitive, which arrived at my door 15 years ago, has made it possible for me to make deep, soulful connections with all of you in ways that have left an indelible mark on my heart.

Turns out, in fact, I do need things. The needing of them is the gift that creates a web of connections where I am never alone. I will be eternally grateful for that.

My wish for you throughout this holiday season and into the new year is to ask for something you need, for it to be given, and received, with love.

With deep love and gratitude,