We may not share the same experiences, but I am guessing we share similar feelings around our challenges.

I grew up in the suburbs, on Long Island, roof over my head, food in my belly, a bicycle to ride and a tree to climb. That tree was my best friend.

I am not sure anyone realized just how sensitive I was. In rearing me and my four siblings, my parents used physical discipline. A family philosophy passed down from my grandparents is that children were to be seen and not heard. I was told to shut up or else; “or else” was not an empty threat.  I longed for gentleness and affection. I was easily overwhelmed, even by my own feelings, and at times needed solitude for my introverted nature. That is why I climbed our silver maple often and took solace in her branches.

Somehow I believed I didn’t really have needs, that if I only made myself smaller and quieter, I could avoid getting hurt. I lost my ability to speak up. I believed that my feelings didn’t count, my perceptions didn’t matter. I believed I shouldn’t take up too much space.

The way that the pain of my childhood has shown up as an adult is that I am hyper-sensitive to criticism. I take things too personally. I blame myself for any chaos going on around me. I have spent a lot of time making sure everyone else’s ego is being appeased. It has taken me a long time to trust myself and trust others. I have had to overcome an expectation of getting hurt.

I absorbed positive qualities from my family. My parents were hard working. My dad was a mechanical engineer. While not at work, my father was constantly working on our home, remodeling rooms or landscaping the yard. He cared about creating beauty in our home. I am grateful that my mom exposed me to the arts, taking me to museums and local theatre productions. My mom was a nurse and continually aiding others. My mom took into our home her younger sister and her alcoholic father. Creativity and taking care of others were valued in our family. These traits were ingrained in me.

A year after college, my closest college friend, Joe, was hit by a car and died. On the day Joe died, he was in Alaska and I was in New York, but I saw a bicycle wheel spinning in my mind’s eye and felt like I had just been just hit by a car. That is when I began to “see” things. Until then my vision of Spirit world was a line between me and God, direct, pure and simple.

My lucid dreaming was my counsel during the weeks after Joe’s death. My dreams were always a week ahead of my grieving process, laying out the stages for me. But I wasn’t fully ready for the gift of clairvoyance as I started to experience it. I felt the need to shut down and on some levels I did. Blessedly, I was able to stay open to a new relationship that was just starting with the man whom I have now been married to for 26 years. Tim and I have made it through a lot over the years.

A turning point for me was when I realized I could “see” and “hear” the troubled spirit of the deceased owner of the first house my husband and I purchased. The first two years of opening to my healing skills related to learning about my gifts of perception and helping those who had died to peacefully transition. And that led me to find a teacher who taught me Energy Medicine. I was trained to develop self-awareness and high-sense perception and to cultivate these skills in service to others in alignment with a higher power.

My two-year training course was my first exposure to boundaries. I learned not to be an emotional rescuer and not to depend on one. I learned a new vocabulary to describe things that I had been experiencing in various dimensions and for which I had never had a language. I developed discernment. I gained a community which understood me. That was powerful. I want to offer you understanding in the same way.

In overcoming my struggles I have learned many things which have brought me to a place of inner happiness.

Things I have learned:

  • No one is all good or all bad; we are humans, each with dark and light qualities.
  • I am imperfect and I accept this truth.
  • I believe in miracles.
  • We do not have to continue family dysfunction and destructive behaviors.
  • I continue to strengthen my boundaries.
  • I have developed incredible compensation skills over the years.
  • I am not stupid; on the contrary, I am brilliant.
  • I have developed good self-care strategies. I sleep, eat, and exercise — mindfully.
  • I listen to and respect my body.
  • I create supportive networks for myself.
  • I have never been abandoned by God.
  • Even though I crave love and affection, I know I am constantly held in love — by God, by the Universe, by my inner guides. I know I am love in action.
  • My creativity is something that no one can ever take from me. It is a constant flow that moves through me from Source.
  • I am skilled at dipping into the unconscious and coming out with information.
  • I trust myself and my inner wisdom.
  • I am good at interpreting what is not being said.
  • Reframing my challenges allows me to thrive.
  • I have a deep capacity for compassion.
  • No one person’s pain has been too dark for me to be present with while it is held with love. (I have never lived in an active war zone; I am sure I have my limits.)
  • We have raised three awesome kids. They are brilliant, creative, emotionally intelligent, and easily express love.

I’d like to offer you support on your journey and reflect back to you your own radiance. I have tools in my tool box to share with you. I trust your journey will also bring healing and meaning to your life. I look forward to seeing how you express your own beauty and self-worth. You are brilliant.

Joy