Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All Ya Need is Love....

My best friend is a mom to 8 children.  She has 3 bio kids and 5 adopted ones.  She is always the student and so she has read many, many books about adoption issues.  She continues to school me on attachment issues. 

Attachment has become a big deal in psychological circles.  The Dad and I attend counseling and our therapist uses attachment therapy with us as a couple.  Gabor Mate, MD is a physician in Canada who has written several books ( the ones I have read deal with addiction and ADD).  He looks at attachment as a primary problem for those suffering with addiction.  He also looks at how attachment exacerbates problems with ADD. 

My friend went to a conference on attachment and brought me back CD's from Karen Purvis, the speaker.  While she was specifically referring to children in adopted families and in foster homes, the behavior of those children sounded a lot like the behavior of my son.  I started applying some of her principals to my interactions with him. 

It's about unconditional love.  Really that's THE bottom line.  But, do we know how to express love withOUT condition, really?  It's harder than you think.  We're so programmed by our own past, the media, our friends, pride, etc. that it takes some real slowing down our behavior to examine from where it comes.

Recently, my son had to serve 2 days jail time for a DUI.  He was so anxious.  Before, our family would have been angry(fearful) about this consequence that we would have lectured ( to control) him on how really stupid this was.  This time around, I talked him through his fear of this experience.  I never mentioned what he did.  I finally let this consequence be the punishment. 

When he got out, he spent the night with a coworker so I didn't see him until the next day.  He had to take a drug test the day after he got out.  He didn't have a car as his was in the shop.  He called the probation officer to say that he didn't have a ride.  He quickly told him that was too bad and that things didn't work that way and if he didn't get there, he would be in violation of his probation.  Needless to say HE found a way to get his drug test.

That night when I came home with the Dad after speaking to a 4H group, I saw him in the window as I was walking in.  "My boy is home!"  I exclaimed.  He heard me and opened the door and gave me a great big hug!!  This boy rarely wanted me to touch him in the past.  "How was your drug test?"  I asked.  "Fine, I passed."  he said.  "How was jail,"  I continued.  This is where he doubled over in laughter and ran out to tell his father about my greeting, which I never saw as funny.

What was really cool was that when I let go of how he should have behaved in the past (his business) and just loved him this day allowing the natural consequences be the consequence, he came to ME with his concerns and problems....ME, not a substance!!!!

Pretty cool, huh?  Mother Teresa was this simple tough chick.  I love her words because they aren't complicated.  They are honest.  She didn't try to show us her intelligence by complicating things.  No, I'd say she was so secure in her attachment to God that she was able to speak in  simple yet straightforward and not always politically correct terms. 

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." Mother Teresa

and when you have an addicted loved one or someone who is in the hell of addiction remember:

"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."  Mother Teresa

Today, I am thankful for having experienced the fruits of unconditional love.  I am thankful for the wise words of those who have walked this path before me.  I'm thankful for friends who help in so many ways.  Love, really is all you need. 

I say a prayer that we all experience and give that great love that heals and sustains.  And I say a prayer for the soul of Henry.

This is me (the baby) as my brothers and sisters called me and my oldest sister.  I was loved by parents and 5 older siblings......I had it all!


Annette said...

This made me cry. It was a truly beautiful post. One I will print and save. I love Mother Theresa also.

Your welcome of your son was come home from your 4H meeting to see how jail turned out for your precious boy. It is such an oxymoron that its funny. Like the morning that my older daughter walked up stairs after being in jail, had come home the night before, and her 5 year old sister was sitting playing on the floor and looked up and said, "Ohhh, they let you out of jail." Like this was just an everyday, matter of fact occurrence. It actually was sad that that sweet innocent little girl had to even consider such a thing, but it was also funny coming from her little mouth. Anyway...thank you for such a beautiful post.

Hattie Heaton (Mom of an Addict) said...

Annette, thank you so much for such a lovely compliment. I too am touched by the graces of God. They are everyday miracles that surprise me when I should expect them based on what God tries to teach us each day. Hearts and souls matter...not what others think....wish I had learned this long ago. Again thanks for the comment, they help me to know that perhaps they help others.

Lou said...

I am an only child, perhaps this is why I try so hard to keep my family together. It feels like I don't have many "people."

We have a few stories we can laugh at today. Definitely a sign of healing when you can find humor.

God bless!!

Terri said...

Love your post! Made me smile. I am the oldest of 6. I love all 5 of my "babies" as much as my own.

I feel blessed to have them in my LOL!