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Beloved Rosie, my sons’ families’ Swiss Mountain dog, when she is left out on the deck alone or isn’t getting the attention she craves will moan: “row, row, row, row” which sounds for all the world like: “nobody loves me, nobody loves me”. Sometimes I feel like that too.

All it takes is a good ear scratch to fix her problem. But of course, that’s never quite enough. And I must admit that a little attention fixes me up, and no it is never quite enough either. This plant got stuck behind a pile of boxes for a few days and sure enough when I noticed, it was forlornly saying: “nobody loves me”.

When I started this blog, I thought it would be fun to write something light but events this week have been anything but light. A serious medical diagnosis in the family is sobering; very sobering. And the family members who are struggling to deal with it aren’t talking. Overwhelmed, they simply can’t at this point.

But I want to know what’s going on! I want to fix it! I want them to talk to me! Distance takes its toll. “Nobody loves me”. Oh Ann, this is not about you.

There is so much more to understand at times like this. And it all has to do with Love. How do we love one another when our needs are so different? How do we put aside petty grievances that cloud our relationships? How do we share our faith when the way we see God is not very much alike? How do we go about loving one another “as I have loved you”?

I think about how rarely we even say the words: “I love you.” I think about differences between us that are so small but that we can exaggerate into gaping spaces. I think about how easy it is to let time or space separate us from those we love.

“I don’t have the time to ………. We can’t afford to …….... I’m tired right now, later I’ll ……….…. It’s so far ……. I’ll call when……….

Now I wonder about how I regularly overlook wordless acts of kindness that are meant to convey love. I find a long-forgotten Mother’s Day card from one of my kids thanking me in specific terms for being their mom. My husband who brings me coffee and does the wash? My son-in law who invites me for a coffee and to ride along when he picks up the kids from school. When is the last time I stopped what I was so busy doing to listen? I hear in my head my own mother complaining: “nobody loves me” when I was so busy being a mother to my young children.

I have no answer for this except to attempt to put myself in the other persons’ place in times when I can’t get the love I want or think I deserve. I have come to believe that God is a force of creative loving energy that flows like a powerful stream. When I tap into the source that is God’s love and begin to send a stream of loving thoughts, my negative thoughts are overcome. As I allow the love of God to fill me and flow through me I realize that: “I am loved! “

Anne Dolbier is a friend and contributor to Celtic Way.

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