My father’s birthday is this Sunday. I haven’t seen him since Christmas and he lives just 15 minutes away. I’ve never had the daddy-daughter relationship people have always talked about. Far from that, actually. Most of my life I’ve feared him. Today, I’ve changed my perspective and I have compassion towards him. I think of the relationship we could have had and maybe, still can have one day.
There’s many things I admire about my father. He is fun, passionate, and honest but it’s funny because I didn’t see these qualities about him growing up. In fact, he was a very angry man the way I knew him. This obviously put a damper on our relationship. I’ve come to realize that circumstances were the thief of our daddy-daughter dynamic. It was especially difficult when my father lost his job for a couple of years when I was in high school. The weight was on my mother’s shoulders while my father felt useless. And we know how unemployment can kill a man’s ego. They both took their frustrations out on me. I know that now but back then I felt like my world was crashing down around me. I didn’t know why my parents hated me so much. I started to hate myself too. Even today, it’s hard for me to exchange the words “I love you” with them because I don’t feel it’s coming from a genuine place. I don’t remember many tender moments between us but I do remember a lot of pain. Although they clothed and fed me, emotionally I was starved.
For years, I have wanted to forgive them but I didn’t know how. I was so angry, it consumed me. I hid it well from most people except myself. I could hear the negative things I would say in my head every single day. Eventually it became the norm and I barely noticed. But after some of the two most challenging years of my life, meditation helped me discover self-love for the first time. I no longer feel the need to gain their approval and love. Yes, it would be nice and what daughter wouldn’t want that? However, I don’t expect it from them anymore.
I know only God’s love can truly fill that void in me. I thought I knew God’s love before but I have recently discovered a whole other level. A love that far exceeds my wildest dreams. Maybe only in my desperation could I have gone this deep with Him. Because of that I think I’m finally ready to face my parents without fear of an anxiety attack, fear of their criticism, of their expectations and disappointments. Maybe for the first time in my life. Okay, I’m still a little hesitant. But scary can also be good, right? So, wish me luck as I see him Sunday for his birthday. I hope I can give us both a real chance to have what we’ve never had before…
Now that I’ve shared my personal story with you. Can you relate? Are you secretly or openly angry with someone in your life and do you think it’s possible to replace that anger with compassion? Delve deep and give them the benefit of the doubt. Put your ego aside. By doing so, can you change the old paradigm for a new one? I challenge you to think outside of the box.
Change starts here with you…Let me know your thoughts, frustrations, and stories. Dare to be vulnerably adventurous with me?! Post your comments below!