My mother couldn’t love me well. I still wonder when I try to sleep at night…why couldn’t she love me? What is wrong with me? And how will I ever know how to love my daughter?
Beloved H, this is what I know.
Parents love their babies. I have met zero exceptions.
Love is a river and there are times when impediments stop the flow of love.
Mental illnesses—addiction, shame, narcissism—these are boulders that stop the flow.
Sometimes there is a miracle. The boulder gets removed. Some families get to experience this Removal Miracle. Many don’t. There is no rhyme or reason. No one earns it. Healing is not the reward for those who love the most. Love is love is love.
When a parent becomes healthy again: they want their baby back. I have met zero exceptions.
When the boulder is removed—the water flows again. It’s the way of the river, the way of a parent’s love.
We are the river—we are not the boulder.
Your parent—your sister, your friend: the one who hurt you, the one who couldn’t love you—she was impeded. That love was there though. It couldn’t get to you—it couldn’t get to you—but it was there—gathering power, swirling, festering, vicious in its desperation for its release. It was there—is there—all for you. That parent’s love EXISTS. It just couldn’t get past the boulder.
You can trust me about this because I have been an impeded river. The boulders of addiction and depression blocked my love and all my family felt was nothing from me. Nothing but pain and absence and:
Why, Glennon? Where is the water meant to flow from you to me? Why are we being cheated?
And then I got the Removal. And my swirling water flowed again. Because I was always love. I was always the water—not the boulder.
I am so sorry.
You deserved to have the love of your parent delivered to you. You deserved to feel her love. You deserved to be soaked through to the bone with it every day and every night.
Please listen to me:
You can. You do not get your power, your water from your parents’ river. You get it directly from God.
Your river is strong. Let it flow.
I believe in heaven because I know that one day no river will be impeded and we will all flow into the same ocean. And then you will feel all that love that could never get to you here. You will feel every bit of it like a mighty tidal wave at first and then forever like a river.
All I know is that you have nothing to do with the removing. The removing is not between you and her. The removing is between her and God.
Flow. You are the river.
That’s what you were made for.
Author of the upcoming memoir LOVE WARRIOR — PRE-ORDER HERE
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