Were You Loved Enough?

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”        – Mother Teresa

Remember Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood? I love that movie! A line in the movie has been stuck in my head so I watched it again last night.

So the story goes – four childhood friends who made up their own secret society, the Ya-Ya Sisterhood are now woman in their 70’s. They are spunky, scandalous and spirited.  Through joy, devastation and heartache – they are always there for each other giving love and support.  One of the Ya-Ya sisters, Vivi has a troubled relationship with her grown daughter Sidalee.   Vivi struggled with mental breakdowns and alcohol. The Ya-Ya’s are determined to fix the struggling relationship. So they kidnap Sidalee and in an effort to help her understand her mother, they share stories of Vivi’s heartache, struggles, disappointments, mistakes and childhood.

It’s great really. They kidnap their friend’s daughter and tell her things about her mom.  Things she lived through that were devastating, disappointing and heartbreaking.  Instead of Sidalee focusing on her own disappointments and what she suffered as a child, it allows her to see and feel what her mother experienced. It allows her to find empathy for her mom instead of just judgment.

One of the most profound lines in the movie is when Sidalee is talking to her dad who is a gentle and quiet man. She asks him…“Daddy, did you get loved enough? He replies…”What’s enough? My question is, did you?

That’s the question that’s been on my mind – Did you get loved enough? Or more appropriately did Mother got loved enough? Do most addicts feel loved enough?

Because of mother’s choices and how she lived her life, it was hard to be around her. The endless drunk phone calls, trips to jail and the hospital, time with her supplier and all of the crazy insanity that goes along with addiction. She had one childhood friend who she loved like a sister but she had died years ago. I wonder what that must have been like for Mother. Her choices and behavior alienated her from most people including myself. It was too hard for us to watch her devastating actions and be around her as she remained powerless to her addiction. Her choices and the consequences of those choices were heartbreaking. Sometimes, I had to get far away from her. Thankfully there were people who showed Mother love when I couldn’t. I am forever thankful for them. I understand those who couldn’t…it’s hard. I had to set boundaries too.  Addiction causes so much destruction.

Mother had always struggled with her relationship with her own mother. I wonder if mother saw the similarities. History repeats itself. I’ve always tried to be mindful of this. I think most of us take a real and a critical look at other people. But when it comes to ourselves, we wear rose colored glasses and view our own actions in a more flattering light or justify them in some way. Or we shift the story to make it what we want it to be not what it actually was. We don’t get real with ourselves because to do so would mean we might have to make some big changes. It’s easier to blame others and keep pointing fingers. It takes the focus off of ourselves. I’m trying to be more real to look at things more objectively – from all sides and views. Not just from my view. That’s how we learn and how we grow….looking at things from all views because they are so different. You will see things differently, in ways you couldn’t see from the view you once had. It’s like looking at a beautiful scenery full of trees and nature and a big building being in your way – you can only see so much. Step around the building so you can see behind it and around it. There are things you couldn’t see before. Change your view…you’ll see differently.

I think it’s important to identify, understand and work through our struggles, we can’t allow ourselves to get stuck in them. We have to keep moving forward, experiencing life, giving love, spreading goodness.

We tend to be selfish creatures and focus on our own disappointments and struggles. How often do we truly strive to know another person’s hurt? We usually want to make sure everyone knows our struggles instead of first seeking to understand someone else’s. We sometimes feel unloved and unwanted. But you know what…

When we get to heaven, I don’t think God will ask us if we were loved enough. I think he will ask us “Did you love enough? Did you take the time to understand someone else? Did you take the time to show love?”

You feel love by giving love. How do we love enough when we don’t feel we were loved enough ourselves? Empathy! When we realize – the lack of love they gave had nothing to do with us. It was about them and their own struggles.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

So the real question is – Do you strive to know another person’s struggles and pain? Do you get real with yourself? Do you show empathy or judgment? Do you love enough?

Finding the sweet side of crazy!





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