All eyes were upon me. I sat in our tiny living room with my mother, my aunt and my brother, opening my birthday card with a huge smile on my face. I wasn’t sure if the card was all I was getting or if there would actually be a gift this year, but either way, I had to act excited. They all loved me and I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. I opened my mom’s card, only to have the dreaded “gift certificate” fall out onto the floor. I read their sweet hand-written comments and then stooped to pick up the certificate. It was, “Good for one new blouse, a pair of shoes and a book of my choice.” Now, I knew that we probably would never make that trip to town to purchase these items, but at least they wanted to get it for me, right? My mom started talking about how she knew it wasn’t much, but it’s the thought that counts. My brother gave me some hand-made art object and my aunt presented me with a homemade cake. I felt the lump in my throat getting bigger and bigger. If I could just make it to bedtime, then I could cry. Life was so much better now with my dad gone. I shouldn’t complain.
Today, decades later, it is my birthday again. As I celebrate this occasion with my family, my thoughts always return to years gone by. Those early experiences have stuck with me, for memory resides in the body and mind. Those years of waiting with baited breath, stressed out and worried, have now become a part of the energetic landscape that makes up my past. I’ve worked hard over the years to heal the more traumatic aspects of my early years and it has paid off. Four decades ago, childhood stress or trauma were barely recognized, let alone talked about. Today is a new day. It gives me great peace to know that children and their families have options. Not only that, I can be a part of helping heal the pain, mending the schisms before they become coded in the DNA of another generation. So, as I look forward to a brand new year filled with endless possibilities, I invite you to join me on this journey. For together, we truly can begin to change the physical, emotional and energetic legacy that each of us leave our children.