Today is my biological father’s birthday. I just remembered. But, here’s the thing. I have seen him twice since I was eighteen. I’m forty-seven. Even though I have only seen him twice in decades, I have thought of him a million times over.
In my early twenties I would fantasize about a reunion and a fulfilling father-daughter relationship. I craved a happy ending. My heart was broken.
Today, I reflect on how this relationship (or lack of to be more premise) has impacted my life. I am reminded of it’s influence often in my need to be validated and in my deep seated fear of rejection. I have consciously sought to heal these parts of myself.
I am struck by a unexpected gift this morning. A revelation of sorts. Through the pain that this abandonment has caused me, I have gained not just wisdom but something else. Something so empowering that it has brought me so much peace throughout my adult years.
The ability to accept people as they are. The conviction that you can hold someone in your heart, but not in your life. The realization that generally people are as they are and any fantasy about changing them to your liking and comfort is a misguided expenditure of your energy.
Instead, hold space for them, wish them healing and live your life…with or without them. Ultimately it is you that decides how you allow others to show up for you if at all.
Life is messy and complicated, but I can do without the shackles from the pain in my past. Most importantly, I am worthy of the love I give…now, all those yesterdays (sorry little me) and every day moving forward. I am giving that to myself today, June 11th.