If you haven't, you need to.
I may be biased in saying this, as I spent two glorious years living in Hawaii and hanging around many of the beautiful Polynesian cultures. I have friends from all over the South Pacific and to say that I love them and their very differing cultures would be an understatement.
With that being said, I also loved Moana for a very different reason.
This picture shows a scene where Moana has come to heal or return the heart of the goddess, Te Fiti.
Te Fiti has literally lost her heart, or her ability to love and thus has become something that she truly is not. And because of her trauma, her pain, her suffering, she is left completely broken and unrecognizable.
As Moana walks toward Te Fiti she says this:
"They have stolen the heart from inside you,
but this does not define you,
this is not who you are,
you know who you are."
Immediately, I was struck with how comparable Te Fiti was to my L. I was bawling in the knowledge that my L's heart had been taken from her and she was left without the ability to love.
There are many reasons a child's heart can be stolen from them, some may be from cruel abuse and neglect, some may be from a trauma in early childhood, and some may be from circumstances beyond anyone's control. No matter how a child's heart is broken, the child will then turn into something they truly are not.
They become full of fear and anger.
Their light is gone and darkness appears.
And they feel constant threat and violence.
When I saw Moana walk toward Te Fiti's state of rage and anger, I knew at that moment that I do the same thing every day with my L.
I walk toward her rage and her cruel words, her hateful threats, and her physical attacks, telling her with all my heart that,
"This is not who you are.
They have stolen the heart from inside you.
This does not define you...."
Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder and other attachment issues, literally are unable to understand and properly feel love...it is as if their heart is gone. But with consistent work and therapy, with showing them love at their level, and constant prayer and hope, their hearts too can be returned!
We love our L so much that we walk toward her as she runs toward us in her rage.
We tell her over and over again, that she is a daughter of God and that she is defined by that truth.
One day, I hope that her heart will be returned and that we will be able to see her grow in love and beauty.
One day she will know who she truly is.
Lots of love,