Lost at Sea – Lessons from “Chesapeake Shores: Forward to the Past”

“If you really care about something, you don’t walk away from it,” Mick warned Trace near the end of last Sunday’s episode of Chesapeake Shores. Yet, at the very end of the episode, we are left with seven people floating on an island of anger, seeming to emotionally

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“We are left with seven people floating on an island of anger.” PC: Crown Media, LLC

walk away from those they care about because they cannot reconcile themselves to what happened so many years ago.

While I’d love to agree with Mick, and in most cases, I do, what happens when you love someone deeply, but the hurt and fear you’ve experienced are so great that you just can’t face that loved one again?  What if the situation between you has left you floating in the middle of an emotional thunderstorm, and you just cannot seem to do anything but tread water?

Until Bree shared her manuscript with Megan, everyone appeared content with Megan’s new role in the family. They all seemed to be healing and moving forward. Megan was building new bridges with each member of her family. Then, Bree’s truth came out. Her issues with abandonment and her resentment towards a mother who selfishly left the ones she claimed to care about so much acted like molten lava under a pacified ocean. The result? An impending tsunami of hurt, anger, and unanswered questions.

I am a firm believer that the truth will set you free, and that blessing befalls us regardless of our choices – as long as we remember that it all comes down to that one essential lead rope: love.  This is where all of the O’Briens, including Bree, have missed the proverbial boat and set themselves adrift. You see, love covers a multitude of sins. It also motivates us to make some decisions that the rest of the world just doesn’t comprehend.

Real love – the action, not the emotion – is rooted in humility. When we can admit that our perspective is just that – ours – and that someone else might be able to add something that deepens our own truth, we open a door to reconciliation for both ourselves and those we care most about. We don’t have to agree with someone’s perspective to restore harmony with them – we simply need to act in love toward them and trust that they love us in return. In putting her view of the past on paper for the rest of the world to see, Bree failed to take into account the other characters in her story. She focused only on the central figure – herself. That is not an act of humility but a search for personal meaning without all the facts.

We all get hurt. We all get angry. We all make mistakes and make choices and follow paths that impact others – we can’t always protect them (or ourselves) from the pain and “lost-ness” that these circumstances bring.  It is what we do with them that makes all the difference. While Bree needs to work through her own clouded vision of truth, she also needs to humble herself with the others who play into that truth.

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Megan (Barbara Niven) teaches Abby (Meghan Ory) about forgiveness.  PC: Crown Media, LLC

We’ve all been there, sitting next to someone we love with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and all we can do is shake our head in anger and hurt. Tears glaze our eyes and our throats tighten with the torrent of emotion. We just want the other person to understand – to back down and acknowledge that our perspective, our truth, is just as valid as theirs. It is in moments like those that we feel “lost at sea” and cannot see through the rain to the shoreline. Some of us feel like Megan, unable to forgive ourselves for the hurt our choices inflicted. Others of us feel like Bree, justified in our anger as victims of someone else’s choices, shielding ourselves from reliving the pain by building walls of anger.

A dear friend asked this week, “Do we ever really get over stuff?” No, my friend, I don’t believe we do. We just have to put on humility and love and reconcile ourselves to the “stuff” so that we can move on. It changes us. It changes how we deal with life and with people, and how we act out our faith. But we cannot let it change our ability to love. We cannot use that stuff as a reason to walk away from the ones we care about the most.

At some point, we have to be able to forgive ourselves and others for being imperfect – for being fallible humans with real-world struggles and choices. We also have to be okay with others not forgiving us. We have to be okay with others forming their own truths and their own opinions without truly knowing or understanding the whole story.

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“Here’s to being lost at sea.” Kevin (Brendan Penny) and Connor (Andrew Francis) toast the complexities of life and love. PC: Crown Media, LLC

In truth, we have to reconcile ourselves to what once was so that we can move forward into what could be. Our loved ones may choose to remain on the raft, floating on a sea of anger and judgment and hurt, but we just might have to jump overboard and make it to solid ground on our own.

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