Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

All You Need is Love

Can the title of a Beatles’ song really be the key to happiness?  Is the least common denominator in life really love?  Is it possible to overcoming daunting challenges if you have the love of your family and friends?  It may seem simple but once again the words of a child are so simple and poignant that if you didn’t believe in reincarnation as in the Dalai Lama before you definitely will after I tell you this story.

Oprah had a story today about families facing homelessness.  They followed a family, a mom and three kids, through their day leaving the shelter for the day program and then back to the shelter in the evening.  The reporter doing the expose on the homeless/tent city phenomenon was Lisa Ling, one of the nations most competent and gripping journalists in the country.

During the interview Lisa pulls the young boy aside to ask him some questions.  While chatting she acknowledges that tomorrow is the boy’s birthday…he’ll be 11.  She asked him what he wanted for his birthday that would make it a great day.  He thought and answered, “Since we don’t have to pay rent I think I may have a really great birthday…all I need is a birthday cake and love”.  I could just see all the home viewers reaching for their Kleenex box because this young boy’s answer was so on point.  He had whittled life down to a five word phrase.  He has come to understand that love will get his family through this crisis.

Back to your life and health challenge.  How does love help you as face your chronic of life-threatening illness?  Do you have a personal mantra like “all you need is love” that helps you through the night?  Do you believe that love can be just as healing as medication?  What properties do you believe love has, for you, that is healing?

I’m sad when life’s most important lessons come from the mouth of a child.  I would have thought that with all my life experience, training and spiritual practice that I too could have come up with a short phrase that speaks volumes and captures the essence of Universal wisdom.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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