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The Warmth Of Love

I recently listened to an interview with Olivier Rousteing, the young creative director of the Balmain fashion house. When he was 11 years old his parents told him he was adopted. Olivier experienced a true identity crisis asking himself - so Who Am I? Why did my birth mother not love me? Why did she abandon me? His search for his biological parents, especially his birth mother was really the search to put himself in context; to find a comfortable space of belonging - to find a tribe, a race and a community.

The crisis of identity - the big Who Am I is a natural part of growing up. This is especially marked at adolescence when not only physical changes are taking place in a child's body but social, emotional and psychological growth is occurring as well. This is normal human development. But for many who were abandoned by one or more parents the process is especially painful since there are so many unanswered questions. The central ones are: why was I unlovable to my mother? unlovable to my father? Why did they leave me?

In my book Abandoned: How Children Suffer When A Parent Deserts Them I discussed the myriad of reasons parents leave their children. But although children understand in their heads - why their parents had to leave - their hearts ache and sadness lingers. I know. For me, I understood that my parents had to separate. My father was unable to parent - he was too immature. My mother left us because she had to. She needed to find work. All logical. But still I was deeply sad and felt abandoned. But I was not alone, my siblings and the other children I grew up with in Jamaica - the parentless tribe - the so called Barrel Children- we all grieved our parents leaving.

Now many years later as a counseling psychologist, I work with children, adolescents, and adults, (many who struggle with childhood abandonment) Even with understanding that their parents' divorce or separation was not their fault, my patients struggle with accepting, they grieve and work at healing.

But how do we heal? One really simple solution is through LOVE

Surround Ourselves with Good Loving People

Look for people who love us and want the best for us. These people are not saints but they are not toxic. They are not emotional vampires who when they leave us we feel drained, relieved, deflated and defeated.

These good loving people want us to thrive and to be happy. They know life is not perfect but they walk with us and cheer us on. They also tell us the truth and we can trust them because they love us. They show it by consistently caring for us.

They may be family members- siblings, elders or close friends (we don't need too many)

Olivier Rousteing explained that he is still struggling to find himself but that he survives and thrives because he surrounds himself with an army of loving people including his adopted parents.

Do we have and Army of Loving People surrounding us?

But let us not only get love - Let us also give love.

Let us be a part of the Army of Loving People for others - for someone else. Let's pay love forward.

Daughters and Sons of Light: Here Comes the Sun.

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