I Want To Be Wanted

This record came out when I was eight years old and I immediately took it as my personal theme song. Everything about it was appealing, from the 12/8 swingy groove to the overly sweet strings and background singers to that little catch in Brenda’s voice. But the most important part to me was the lyrics.

This heartfelt plea hit me especially hard because when my mom had explained “the facts of life” to us a couple years before, she’d made a point of letting us know that we’d been “mistakes”. So more than anything, I wanted to have been wanted. Even though that was an impossibility – hadn’t my parents told me that? They HADN’T wanted me, and yet, here I was! What a conundrum for an 8-year-old. (Not much I could DO about it!?)  If I could say just one thing to all the parents out there, it would be to tell them to be as KIND as possible to their kids, and to never, ever, under any circumstances, tell them that they were “mistakes”.

Many years later, in my late 30s, I attended a 12-step weekend retreat in Chicago. We did a lot of activities; writing, drawing and interacting one-on-one with other participants and in small groups. The final exercise involved sitting in a circle, with one individual going around the outside of the circle, whispering the words that person had always wanted to hear while growing up, but never had heard – or hadn’t heard ENOUGH. When my turn came, I flashed on Brenda Lee and whispered in each ear, “you’re NOT a mistake! I’m SO glad you were born!”

More than half of the people began to cry at these words.

We need to know we matter – that we’re where we should be – that we’re actually wanted.

So to you (and myself!) I say: You’re NOT a mistake! You’re here on purpose – your birth was intended, your being is intentional and you’re a blessing to me and everyone on earth. You’re precious and wanted and I’m SO glad you were born and I get to share this time with you!

Yes, you!


3 thoughts on “I Want To Be Wanted

  1. I’ve noticed that once a good masseur/masseuse finds a sore spot, they WORK on it. They don’t necessarily ATTACK that spot, but they don’t shy away from touching it, either. The really good ones are aware of stuck energy and work to get it unstuck.

    I read this post tonight and was struck by the line, “Write about the most hurtful thing that anyone has ever said to you.”

    This blog is an effort to do that, in a way, though my most haunting memories – the ones that come up again and again to make me wince, decades after the fact – are usually about how I’ve let myself down, NOT what has been done or said to me. I generally don’t feel victimized by life, although sometimes I might act as if I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Motherhood | Celebrations Of Failure

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