When I was a teenager, I had this song that I played over and over and over again. It was by a Canadian singer called Jann Arden, and it was called 'Unloved'.
That was the chorus: Unlooooooved. Unlooooovvveed. Unloooooved. Uuuuuuunnnnnloved.
You get the idea.
It was a period of my life where all my certainties had crashed down around my ears. I was 16, and I had no friends. I was in a French-language school trying to learn the lingo well enough to do the exams and graduate the following year (thank G-d for multiple choice questions.)
I was incredibly angry with my parents for moving me away from my old (spiritually very unhealthy) life in the UK; and I had three younger brothers (nuff said…)
In short, I was probably the most miserable person you ever met in your life. I used to lie on my bed for hours, staring up at the ceiling, thinking that if I got hit by a bus tomorrow (G-d forbid) - no-one would even notice, let alone care.
(My mum reads my articles, and these observations can make her feel very guilty - mum, you did your best! I love you, and everything that happened was 100% from G-d, and not anything you have to stress about.)
I spent more than two years in that 'obviously' unloved place, and it was very hard. It was a long time before I'd even heard of Breslev, or Rebbe Nachman, but even then, what kept me going were my (short) chats with G-d.
As a teenager who'd been sent to a Xtian junior school, I had a lot of 'G-d consciousness', and I talked to G-d a lot.
When I hit 18, I realized things had to change, at least externally. Externally, I started to get my act together. Externally, I pulled my socks up, toughened myself up, and made a conscious decision to switch off the 'feeling' button. If all I was feeling was unloved, sad and depressed, there wasn't much point to 'feeling'.
But, thank G-d, I never buried that 'real me' so far down that I completely forgot about it.
Why do I say 'thank G-d' about that? Because the last few months, I've been seeing what happens when people bury that 'unloved' younger self so far down that they lose all contact with them: they turn into a facsimile of themselves, that isn't really 'here'. They have a myriad of emotional, spiritual and physical problems, and they have no idea where they are coming from, or what they are rooted in. They mess up their marriages. They mess up their kids. They mess up their lives.
They have no real connection to themselves, or to G-d, or to anyone or anything.
In short, it's a massive, huge, ginormous mess - and nearly all of us these days are caught up in it, one way or another.
We're all so used to 'surface ok', and 'fake love', that if we didn't have our traditions and our wise rabbis reminding us about what's really real, and what's really fake; or what's really good, and what's really bad - we'd be utterly lost.
For a long time, I thought I was one of a rare bunch of people that grew up feeling unloved. My parents are absolutely great people, and they did their best (like all parents).
But they also didn't grow up with great role models; their parents, in turn, also didn't grow up with great role models - there was lots of premature death and destruction going on in both families, and it definitely took its toll.
Who knows how far back the problem goes - the point is, that it resulted in me feeling unloved.
But at least I always knew that I had a big problem. That feeling spurred me on to come back to G-d. It spurred me on to try and find a solution to my issues, that would stop me passing that 'unloved' feeling on to my own kids. It spurred me on to working on myself, to praying a lot, to asking G-d to help me to make the changes in myself that needed to happen for my kids to grow up with healthy souls.
But I thought that for sure, the people who didn't come from the same 'interesting' background that I had, wouldn't have the same problems.
Boy, was I wrong.
The last few months, I've started to realize just how messed up and dysfunctional this generation really is. A Jew that has no real connection to themselves and their parents - who feels unloved by family and by G-d - will find it the easiest thing in the world to marry out.
A Jew who feels unloved will have no problem wasting their life in cinemas, clubs and restaurants - anything to take their mind off how unloved they really feel.
A Jew who feels unloved will find it almost impossible to really love their spouse, or their children. They'll find it so hard to stay married when things get tough, or to stay patient, giving and loving when their kids aren't 'perfect', and doing exactly what the parent wants them to do.
Thousands of Jews who feel unloved are on antidepressants; or smoking themselves to death; or working themselves into an early grave.
And they themselves don't even know that they are doing all these things because they feel unloved.
Last week, when I realized the enormity of the problem facing this generation, I got quite down. I went for a long walk, to talk to G-d about it.
G-d! We really need you to fix this disconnect. I know it's a reflection of what's going on between us, your people, and You. There is no 'family home' to come back to, on the Temple Mount; there is no Shechina, or Divine Presence, to welcome her children back into her arms; for so many of us, even the 'frummies', there is no real relationship with You. We can't feel Your love, because we don't even believe in You.
It's a mess. A gigantic, ginormous mess that's behind all the divorces, all the messed up kids, all the sadness and depression, all the marrying out, all the unloved Jews.
And I have no idea what to do about it. Except, to pray. Except, to ask G-d to sort out the mess as soon as possible, and at least to help me, my husband and my kids feel loved.
Because at this point, He is the only one that can.