I play the lottery. I play the same numbers week after week and justify it as paying for the enjoyment of imagining what I would do with the money if I won. I first take out the taxes – I am very practical that way. Then I think about who I would give to and how much.

My husband and I have large families and no one is rich. Then I think about some of the programs I would like to start but that requires a lot of work and my dreaming moves on to finally indulging in what I would do for myself. Travel always comes up and I imagine an African safari, China and the Great Wall, Australia where I have some relatives, New Zealand where they filmed The Lord of the Rings, Iceland just because it’s so different, and always
woven in all my travels is my beloved Wales – land of my ancestors and a place of restful clarity and magical escape.

I keep playing week after week, even though I never win more than a few dollars, because I think “What if I don’t play this week and my numbers come up? I’d totally freak out! How could I ever cope with that?” So I pay my hard-earned money and have fun imagining for a few moments and generally look at it like paying any other bill.

But what if I really won? Would it change my life? How would a few million really matter?

This is where I and you and everyone need to ask “What is important in life? What makes my life worth living?”

Most of us will answer that it is our relationships that are important and true love cannot be bought. Holding hands and gazing into our partner’s eyes, hearing our children laugh or holding them when they cry, or sitting around the table at Thanksgiving and feeling the Connection with our loved ones – these can never be bought and they can be had or missed by rich and poor alike.

I read a Newsweek article about Bernie Madoff’s son’s suicide. The article also mentioned others who killed themselves because they lost their money to his Ponzi scheme. I get that. It’s like when I think about that winning lottery number coming up the week I didn’t play, only worse because I never had it to begin with, but I still had the fantasy and I would lose that.

But what would I really lose? I have been fortunate enough to be able to create my life and to live as I choose. I already won the lottery when my husband and I fell in love and got married. I live in a home that is comfortable and I have a yard where I’ve planted a bit of jungle and a bit of garden and there is no place I’d rather be. I do work I enjoy and have friends who would visit me in the hospital if I got sick and vice versa.

What did Bernie Madoff’s son and other victims really lose that made their lives worthless? His son’s children were in the other room. I’ve worked with the children of suicides more than once and they keep asking “Why didn’t my Mom/Dad/Brother/Sister love me enough to live?” I’ve worked with many people who suffered because a parent was never at home but always out working, never because they
were poor. For a child, love always trumps money.

Money can be like a drug and the desire for money can be an addiction. Like any other drug, there

is never enough to fill the hole in the soul. There is never enough to ease the pain of not being good enough. There is never enough to conquer the feeling of failure.

As Thanksgiving approaches, take inventory of what you have for which you are truly thankful. If you are really without love and Connection, then go out and love and Connect. You get what you give.