Discovering I May
Have Been Loved
As we get older, living takes longer! We’ve got these old-model bodies that, like old cars, need frequent servicing. While
My whole life has been about love. The early years, through my teens, were about wishing I had it, looking for it everywhere, and giving it wherever I could. My 20’s were about taking it in and enjoying it while giving it. And the rest of my life thus far, through The Love Project and The Love Principles, has been about being it and living in finer and finer frequencies of it.
Recently, I have added another category. It is discovering I was loved when I thought I wasn’t. This is a very rewarding reclamation, as well as a healing of old wounds and hurts.
The category came into being while reading Hillary Clinton’s account of her years in the White House. She was describing what it was like for her, as a mother, to approach the moment when her only daughter, her baby, was preparing to choose where she would attend college.
Hillary writes hilariously about the angst that rose in her like a tsunami at the thought of parting with her child, especially for four years. She did whatever she could to convince Chelsea to choose a school close to Washington, D.C. and when Chelsea announced that she would go to Stanford, Hillary had a fit. She could barely calm herself when Bill put his hand on her knee and jumped in to tell Chelsea (while reminding Hillary) that they fully supported whatever choice she, Chelsea, would make.
As I read the account, I laughed, I shook my head in sympathetic agreement, I commiserated with Hillary, and, most importantly, I saw that Hillary’s inability to let go of her child, to let her child go, was because of the deep love she felt for her. She didn’t want to lose her. She didn’t want to be without her. She wanted her near. I experienced myself treasuring the degree of love Hillary felt for Chelsea and, at the same time, appreciating that Hillary did release her own needs so the Chelsea would be free to choose.
Immediately after reading the chapter and having the experience, I was overwhelmed with discovery and reclamation. I allowed myself to see my own mother as Hillary. That enabled me to see that I had been loved as deeply as Chelsea.
One of my most painful life moments had been the revelation that my mother had lied to me when I was graduating from High School. I had been offered a partial scholarship to Boston University. I wanted more than anything to leave home and go to an out-of-town college. My mother told me I couldn’t go because they didn’t have enough money to make up the difference. So all my friends when off to schools across the country and I got a job in Manhattan and went to school at night for seven years to complete my B.A. degree. The lie my mother told was that they didn’t have the money.
A few years ago, sitting in our pool in Scottsdale, I brought up the event and told my mother how I have never gotten over the disappointment of not being able to go away to college because our family was too poor. Almost casually, she revealed that that had not been the case. She said she didn’t let me go because she was afraid that she would lose me.
When Rose reported that to me, I took it into the reality of my youth – here was my mother admitting yet another instance of her controlling my life. She denied me what I most wanted because of her own fear or her own need. For the next few years I carried that as salt in the old wound.
Then I read Hillary’s account. Hillary didn’t want Chelsea to go away because of how she loved her. What a wake up call! An instant reviewing of the past closed my wound of not having been able to away to University, and removed the scar caused by the lie I had been told.
My mother didn’t want me to leave home because she loved me! The ways she tried to say it were through lies (“We didn’t have the money”) and through round about statements (“I didn’t want to lose you”), but the message was “I love you.” My mother didn’t know how to say it. Maybe she never said it to anyone. Maybe she didn’t know how to, how to love. But, it is clear to me now, she did love me and it is for me to take that in and to fill all the big holes of my early life so that I don’t ever fall into deprivation again.
Living Hillary’s experience not only enabled me to take a new look at my past but it reminded me of the wisdom principle that we are all One and that we are really having a single experience together. When I empathize with Hillary it is Rose I am feeling in my heart, and when I see how loved Chelsea is, I can stand right in her place and receive it all for myself.
This seeing, this large event, reminds me that I can do this with any and
every experience of my life. There is absolutely no reason to continue to
suffer about anything.