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We Were Born to Love

Here we are at the end of the longest month of each year: January. Technically, it has just as many days as 6 other months, but truly, I have to think hard about which ones those are because none feels as heavy as January.


I think it is long for a variety of reasons. It’s the first one of the year. We are still adjusting to writing 2024. Where I live, it is cold and gray. Days are short and nights are long. We are pressed upon to “get this year right.” As in, lose weight, eat better, stop drinking, blah blah blah. Why do we only do this to ourselves in January? I can’t answer that but the astrologer in me knows that January is imbued with Saturn energy. Saturn rules both places the Sun travels through: Capricorn and Aquarius. Saturn itself is slow, deliberate, old man river type energy. The sober, parental planet in the zodiac can easily be assigned to the no fun pile. Saturn is also lovely in many other ways but that is a post for another day.


I personally feel part of it is the pressure we are also faced with to make the most of this new year we are presented with. How do we “get it right”? How can we finally start living the life we dreamed of if we aren’t currently doing so? The thinker is me says we need to find our why.


That’s one of those clichés I think - “Find your why” is right up there with “boiling the ocean” and “reinventing the wheel.”  I don’t know anyone who is successfully boiling the ocean but I do think finding your why is sort of essential. So as this long month wraps up, I may buck all the other expectations, but I do support finding our why.


My why has always been about love. For the record, I am not talking about Hallmark movie love. I am talking about the love that has people helping each other during snowstorms and weather catastrophes, the love that has people paying for each other’s coffee in the morning, the love from community that holds a person suffering from cancer and the love that connects us all, even after we are gone from these bodies.


I find that this has been part of my quest. When I first starting down this spiritual path, that was what bombarded me on an almost daily basis. It happened so often, I didn’t even have to look for it. It was like when you are in the market for a new car and one just keeps popping up everywhere you look. This is how it is was for me with love.


In 2018, I was at a conference at the National Institutes of Health, trying to be smart and fit it among the researchers, clinicians and scientists. It was a cancer conference because that was the field I worked in at the time. I was listening to a lecture from a very brilliant person, and they were talking about lab rats. The study they spoke of included injected cancer cells into lab rats and watched what happened. The control rats were isolated and alone in their rat cages. They didn’t have socialization or things to do. The other rats were not isolated and they had equipment to play with in their cages. Not surprisingly, the control rats died faster and their tumors progressed quicker. The other rats experienced slower growing tumors and had lower inflammatory biomarkers.


I remember sitting there thinking, “Where am I? What is happening? Are these very bright, science minded left brained people talking about connection, community and love at a national science conference?” Rats who have other rats and things to do lead healthier lives, even when injected with cancer. Got it.


Not long after that, my husband was working at someone’s house. While he was there, he cut his hand pretty bad. He called me and asked if I would come over and bring him some bandages since he wasn’t far away. I hopped in the car with the peroxide, Band-Aids and calendula (which I seldom leave home without.) As I pulled up, I could see the homeowner was outside with him, helping him with his hand. And, as it turned out, I recognized her.


She greeted me and we talked; her husband had been sick with cancer I recalled and we talked about that. She said that he was in full remission. His diagnosis was grim initially and their doctor instructed him to have his affairs in order, just in case. Just before he was to begin treatment, he learned that their daughter was expecting a baby. This daughter was also told she might not be able to have a baby and had prepared to adopt a baby. This news planted a seed in her husband, and he was determined to be there to see this baby, to see his daughter have her baby. As a family, they decided to make lifestyle modifications, to cut back on work, to eat healthier. They wanted to be there for their kids and grandkids, and for each other. He got on a clinical trial she told me. This trial had about a 50-50 success rate. Or, put simply, half the people did not survive and the other half did. The doctors told her that the folks who died more often didn’t have social support or other people to rely on.


Wait, what? This is like the rats I thought. Only we are obviously more highly evolved but at the end of the day, we have animal brains and animal nervous systems. All of us, animals and humans, are wired for connection and love.


This was a trend that continued in my life. Like that car, these stories just kept popping up. It was like an unintentional boot camp for what came next.


From a book I bought in 2018, from "You Are What You Eat: The Plan That Will Change Your Life" by Gillian McKeith

And then, not long after, I was dealt a series of life changing blows. First, my kids both left for college at once. This was to be expected because they are twins. I knew it was coming for 17 years but it still hit me like a ton of bricks. Moms out there, I know you feel me.


That was to be a walk in the park compared to the next life changing blow. If you have been reading my blog long enough, you know that my mom also died that fall. It was completely unexpected and out of the blue. No one saw that coming. Well, except for one dream I had that spring which I largely ignored because my grandfather had just died and I assumed I was projecting fear onto the situation. In the dream, it was cold, I was in a boat in Lake Erie, ice all around and I was hysterically screaming about being an orphan. It was not stated in the dream that my mom died, but I had the knowledge that she was gone and that it had happened fast. So fast, I presumed it was a heart attack. As stated, I also ignored it almost altogether because there was no way that my vital, active, independent mother could be taken from us. This made the most sense and so I determined, case closed. I moved on.


A precious love note from my kiddos.

While this chapter in my life was an utter nightmare, we were also surrounded by so much love. The beautiful part was how we were all held by our community. Strangers, friends, families, people we just met, all helped to bring my mom home. To allow her to pass with her family. To “go home”, as she requested so many times in the weeks she was cooped up in a Florida hospital. We were fortunate enough to be like the rats who had the other rats, not the ones cooped up alone.


The alignments and synchronicities that occurred to make this happen were again unpredictable. They were perfect and messy, prayed for and magical and still to this day, more than 5 years later, fill me with head-to-toe tingles when I stop and think about them.


This is my why: to build communities and create connections, to show we are all deeply connected, even when we don’t think we are. To help people see that we heal through sharing, love and helping each other. To see that we are all pretty awesome just as we are, without doing all the things January asks of us. TO BE FULLY AND TRULY OURSELVES today and encourage each other to do the same.


What is your why? Can I help you find it and put it into words?


Also, January, go home already.

Love, Christy


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