What story can I tell you? How I married and had 4 children with a husband who was the pillar of the community, and then divorced, moved to Canada, became a relationship therapist, came to love and share my life with a woman and an adorable puppy in a lovely home built in 1923?
I don’t think so.
Maybe how I played with the fairies under my mother’s white linen tablecloth that was spread on the dining room table? Or played in the back yard under the pear tree with Bradshaw, my very best friend whom my mother acknowledged but couldn’t see?
How I survived the pain and fear and uncertainty and faced death again and again when my heart went out of rhythm, and my blood pressure soared? Or how I had a small stroke, and congestive heart failure that nearly claimed my life on multiple occasions?
I no longer live there.
That time is behind me. Most days I remember. But most days I look forward more often than not. I have stopped walking into the future backward. I have closed that door, turned around and begun to walk forward, embracing the future with curiosity. It smells nice. I like the smell of the future. It smells like lavender lilacs in the springtime. I like the sound. It sounds like the tiny chimes over my front door that let me know when clients have arrived. Or a friend is here. Or my puppy and my partner are going out for a walk.
Most of all I like that the empty place inside of me is being filled with hope and filled with vague dreams: vague because I don’t yet dream concretely. I dream of colour, fragrance, smiles, laughter, breath, strong hearts, and sounds of love.
I want to tell a story that you need to hear. I believe you want to hear about love, hope, peace, joy, and knowing where you fit and belong. What else do we need?
The importance of knowing you fit and belong makes me think of a dear mentor and teacher, Carl Hollander. It was at least 30 years ago that he taught me we spend our lives longing for and searching for where we fit and belong. The reading I have been doing lately tells me this is a brand new theory. While we have known for several decades now that children do not thrive if they are not loved, touched, and wanted, somehow we forget that this need doesn’t end when we turn 18, or 21, or 45 for that matter.
If I had known that where do I fit and belong was such an unknown theory 30 years ago, I might have made my fame and fortune writing about it then! I learned about needing to fit and belong, feel loved, seen and wanted, before I was 3 years old. When I played with the fairies and brought Bradshaw into my life, I had figured out that my outside world trembled, so I had best create an inside world with foundations that would keep me safe.
Love heals. It soothes, comforts, helps us feel safe; relieves anxiety, distress and fear. Throughout our entire lifetime, our greatest need and desire is to be loved and be able to feel that love deep within our soul. The opposite of love is fear. If you don’t love me, I fear I will not exist. If I don’t love you, I fear I don’t know how to live. Either way, I fear I will never belong. And then I will wither, shrivel, dry up and blow away in the wind, never to have been known or wanted.