Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 35 of The Art of Living: When Loved Ones Hurt and Hurt You

When Loved Ones Hurt and Hurt You

When I was growing up, my mother told me that if I did wrong, I would bring shame on the entire family. I tried my best to do the best that I could; to bring no shame to the Berry name.

I’ve told my children the same thing; that their missteps become those of our entire community, but I also tell them that their light becomes a light for the world.

This week, my son made a bad choice; I don’t need to go into the details of his story, suffice it to say it was hard, but could have been much worse.

I tried to do my best as a mother and guide. My son was born with fetal alcohol and crack addiction. His disabilities are not visible, but they are real. He has been with me since he was almost 2, but by then so much damage had been done.

I’ve never made excuses for my children, in fact, I hold them to rather high standards and for the most part, they have exceeded them.

Sometimes, they do not. This week, was one of those weeks.

I sat waiting in a situation I had not created and thought about parents and loved ones who are forced to do the same. I knew long ago that what you wear is not on me and yet I felt the pain of the situation too.

I centered myself and stepped away from the guilt that I tried to take on. As soon as I did, someone contacted me to point out how terrible this must have been.

“Not until you said so,” I told them.

We can’t just love our loved ones when it’s easy. We must love beyond. And yet when we do, we are often judged, for loving and caring too much and for letting someone get away with something.

When you love someone in trouble, still your heart and don’t be bothered by those who judge you. Still your heart again and remain loveable. Because those who have judged you will find themselves in need and you will be the one they have to call.

Be you, be well, be strong.

Bertice Berry, PhD.



  1. Beautiful message! What advise would you give someone who is trying to reach out in support, not judgement? I'm afraid I might have said something similar..."oh I'm sorry, that must be terrible to go through something so horrible".... It's so hard to "still your heart" when it breaks for your child, but such good advise! Love your messages. Thank you! And bless your son as he works it all out.

  2. Thanks Desirae, Any friend in need is a friend in deed, because what they go through will help you with whatever you will go through. Simply listen and be there for the friend. Sometimes, people don't want to be grilled about what happened and sometimes they want to tell every detail to a friend. Allow the person to do whatever they feel is necessary, not what you think might be. I often think of the story of Job in the Bible. His friends added insult to injury, but then Job forgave his friends and all was restored. Thanks for reading and loving the post. Your encourgement has inspired me.

  3. The wonderful thing about helping and walking in love is you are able to give selfishly and take your mind off of your own troubles. Lord knows we all have them and if each person reached at least one more person in love and not in judgment...think of what kind of world this would be!