“Why did that person choose me?” I can’t tell the number of times an anguished man has asked that question. It usually comes in the midst of deep pain and often through many tears.
Although every situation is individual, I’m convinced of one special reason—which I touched on in the previous blog entry: We were needy kids. Those four words probably sum up everything.
We didn’t feel loved by our parents (or the parental figures in our lives). That doesn’t mean they didn’t love us; it means that we didn’t feel that parental love.
Like all children, we were born with the need to be loved and nurtured—that’s basic to any kind of emotional health. All of us were born with “skin hunger,” which becomes satisfied by being held, kissed, embraced, and patted. Those are normal needs, and most loving parents don’t need anyone to tell them to kiss their offspring.
We didn’t receive enough of those loving touches. That left us needy and, in our immature childhood, susceptible to anyone who treated us warmly.
We also yearn for the right words and spoken in soft tones. Each of us needs to feel we’re special to our parents. This doesn’t mean we’re the only ones they love, but we yearned to believe those parents brought us into the world to shower us with love. Discipline is part of that, of course, but most of all we need to hear those magic words, “I love you.” I’m not sure any of us hear them often enough.
Not once in my childhood did I ever hear either of my parents say those words to me. Did they feel loving toward me? Possibly—and that’s my way of giving my parents (especially Dad) grace.
I know why I was chosen: I was a child with unmet needs.