As a highly sensitive Empath, even as a young girl, I was called unattractive, didn’t have a lot of friends, and was the girl who boys confided in about other girls, rather than one they liked.
Like many young girls, I dreamed of growing up, falling in love, getting married, and being loved. Due to the messages I got about my appearance, I wasn’t sure that would ever happen. I knew I was a funny, loving, caring, giving person, but the programming from family, acquaintances, friends, and culture had me believe that only people who looked a certain way could ever really be loved.
From my teen years into my 20s the guys I attracted treated me poorly. They cheated, called me awful abusive names, as I didn’t have good boundaries or a sense of self-worth. I allowed myself to settle for guys with narcissistic tendencies, who only gave me crumbs of affection, guys who just ghosted me (which wasn’t even a term back then), guys who didn’t understand my high-level sensitivities, and guys who had “extracurricular” love lives. I didn’t know about the law of attraction back then either and just thought this would be my lot in life.
In my 20s, I met a man who was clearly interested but every fiber of my intuitive being was shouting “Noooo” to being in relationship with him. While there were red flags everywhere, I stayed with him. I just didn’t honor the high-level intuition I had because my “thinking mind” saw his ‘potential’ and my empathic heart felt his pain. 8 years of lying, cheating, cruel words, lack of affection later, something just snapped within me. I finally CHOSE me and divorced him. I realized my sense of self-worth, self-value was the issue, and decided to leave him and work on me.
So I continued the spiritual, personal growth path I had started and began to see more of my value. I also realized that if having a happy marriage was based on some cultural standard of beauty, many people in the world would not be married at all. So I set out to strengthen my internal self, create better boundaries, increase my sense of self worth, better navigate my Empathic nature, and dive deeper into my personal and spiritual development. And then I met someone new.
This man pursued me strongly (which was very appealing) and was truly a kind, more sensitive soul, so we started a relationship. While he was more compassionate than anyone else I had been with, he wasn’t sure he loved me enough. Ouch. I tried to convince him he did. My ‘convincing’ a man to love me pattern was still in effect. Dang! Hadn’t I learned?
Meanwhile, I wanted to go to grad school. I was a High School Teacher who did Psychic Readings on the side and wanted to do something more spiritual counseling-related professionally. I had my eye on a particular grad school program from even before I married my first husband, but my intuition told me “not yet”. Why I listened to that and not the “no” to relationship with husband #1 was baffling to me. Each year for 9 years that “not yet” on grad school kept coming in and I listened. Finally in the year 2000, I got a strong intuitive “yes” and was so excited. I applied. I got in. School began.
Concurrently, there had been some kind of issue with my health that no one seemed to be able to diagnose. Physically I was in pain and declining, but was determined to complete grad school. As I started, my then relationship was ending, which actually felt like a relief for me as something ‘snapped’ in my intuitive knowingness and I knew this was not the right guy for me. It was mutual. It was amicable.
I had just started grad school for an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology and felt so ‘at home’ just being there. With a relationship ending, my health declining, I was determined to get my M.A. degree and get everything I could out of this unique program that I had waited 9 years to be a part of. As determined as I was, I was desperate to figure out this health thing.
School was structured as a one weekend per month program with all the homework happening in between. One of our first assignments was to create 5 “Ideal Scenes” (known as creating a vision) for 5 areas in our lives. One of mine was romantic relationship and I realized how much of myself, my power, my own requirements, needs, and wants I had given away to previous men. While doing that Ideal Scene, I made a strong declaration and shouted it out to the universe. “I’d rather be single than settle and from here, forward, I will only have relationships with men who fit my ideal scene or I will be okay just to have a fabulous life as a single woman.” I meant every word. I was DONE with allowing myself to be treated so poorly and so done with the past patterns that attracted those painful, awful relationships.
During our second school weekend, someone set up an online (very progressive back in that pre online day), and I met a guy there who had previously been a teacher as well and we struck up an online conversation. We decided we would meet for lunch during our next school weekend and we did.
I wasn’t looking for romance since my relationship was at its end but I noticed myself drawn to this guy’s energy. We went to lunch with some other people and I gave him a quick psychic read on something he was dealing with. It turns out that he did some energy healing work so we decided to get together, study, and do a trade as he wanted a more in depth reading. Since my body had some mystery illness, energy healing could do me some good.
So he came over and a friend of mine happened to be there as well. I started the reading. This “Rick” guy had been divorced and was looking to get married again. He wanted a read on the woman who would be his next wife. He wanted to know what she was like, and an approximate time he would be with her.
I started to tune in and the image and feelings were clear. I told him she was about my age, my height, she was funny, compassionate, kind, spiritual, intuitive, and creative. I rarely get names or initials but I felt an “S” or soft “C” sound like “Cindy” (and that is what we called her.) I also intuitively got that she was in our grad school program. We immediately pulled out the class roster, as we were both damn curious as to who it could be, but no one really fit the description. Reading this you might know where this is going but at the time I had no idea and just kept doing the reading. It was December of 2000 and I pegged March of 2001 as the time he would be in relationship with her and would marry her soon after.
We continued to study together and I noticed I felt very attracted to him. I got no hint that he was attracted to me beyond friendship so I thought it was best that I not share about my growing feelings.
About a month later — late January 2001, out of the blue, he emailed me the most extraordinary love letter I have ever seen and said he knew I was the one and felt he had loved me for lifetimes. I was blown away, taken aback, and ecstatic beyond belief. I was also in shock having no idea he felt that way. But in the back of my mind, I had remembered the reading and as Rick and I talked about the possibility of being together, I remembered he would be with someone by March. Why would I get involved with someone who would meet someone else?
We continued talking about it, spending time together, studying, etc. The following month, February, he really wanted to be with me and I him, but he had a freak out moment and backed off a bit. As sad as I was there was a sense of relief since he would “be with someone else by March”. So I went along trying to get over him and being his friend.
A couple weeks later while we were studying, he brought it up again. He said to me, “I have so much love for you, I don’t know what to do with it”. I didn’t quite know what to say. I loved him, too, but was hesitant yet over the moon!
Our next school weekend came shortly. It was early March 2001, the fateful “he is going to be with that “Cindy” woman weekend”. I braced for impact, dreading it, but something extraordinary happened instead. That weekend he still professed his love for me and I him. On my way home from school, he called me. As we talked he asked “So, are we going to do this or what?” That meant are we going to be together for the long haul or what?
In that moment, it hit me. I was “Cindy”. I was the woman from the reading. I literally was reading myself and had no idea. “Yes!” I told him, “yes!”
2 months later we eloped. It has been the most miraculous marriage a sensitive girl like me could have ever even dream of. Rick is everything I had on my vision and more. He has cared for me through the darkest days of my health circumstances (and they have gotten really bad). I did get a diagnosis and have had improvements, but I never imagined a man would be so devoted, so loving, so kind, so heart-centered, spirit-centered to me. Plus, he thinks I am beautiful and tells me so regularly. He tells me how much he loves me daily. It truly was and is for so many reasons I cannot even list, a miracle love story.
For a girl who was considered an ugly duckling, who has had major health issues that may or may not ever get fully better, who was highly sensitive, my miracle love story happened and is still happening today. To all the people out there, hoping for their miracle love story, know that it can happen. There may be some inner shifts to make, but it really can.
Susan Ortolano, M.A., PCC
Psychic • Spiritual Life Coach • ICF Professional Certified Coach
Susan Ortolano, M.A, PCC, is a Psychic, Spiritual Life & Relationship Coach as well as a Professional Certified Coach who specializes in working with empathic, conscious, and spiritual single, partnered and married women to help them manifest, create, and sustain extraordinary relationships while honoring who they are.
It is Susan’s great joy to help these women and couples thrive using her unique Conscious Soul Mates Coaching System that includes building a spiritual foundation, working with energy, balancing the chakra system, honing intuition, releasing past trauma, increasing empathy, and more. Susan combines spiritual and metaphysical principles with mastery of the traditional skills needed for a relationship to flourish. She loves seeing women find the great love of their life and couples succeed both as individuals and as partners so they can experience their own beautiful miracle love stories.