“I’m f&#@ing leaving. I can’t.”
The words popped out of my mouth before I knew it.
They interrupted the words coming out of my dad’s mouth,
words about his thoughts on my relationship with Soul,
words that seemed to push me against the edges of my sanity, my equilibrium,
words that seemed to suffocate me,
constrict my throat,
seal off my voice.
I had, rather flippantly, demanded him to speak his mind when he had said, just a few minutes earlier, that he kept his perspective and opinion from me
to protect me,
to preserve our relationship,
to maintain his cool.
And what ensued was tears edging into my eyes,
frustration rising up within,
rage quietly and steadily brewing in the depths of my heart.
I felt desperate exasperation,
maybe hoping that my reaction would invite him to see something beyond his own ideas and perception of what’s ‘right’, ‘wrong’, ‘good’, ‘bad’,
see that his daughter broke under his words,
that his words created a chasm between us, rather than the understanding and closeness he desired.
I was shaken,
I could feel my trembling as I stared out the window of the restaurant,
feeling the silence between my mom, my dad, and myself in the clattering and noisiness of the surrounding tables.
I hated myself for the vulnerability expressed through my tears, through my ‘inability’ to handle what he doled out.
I couldn’t deny, however, the emotions that came through, dissolving my appetite.
At some point, I came around, even poking at the food, and eventually, we regained some sense of normalcy, as I knew there was something deep within me that wanted to be looked at, honored, healed.
The rest of the evening flowed, we moved along as if that incident didn’t happen, as we typically do.
A week later, today, I woke up beside Soul, feeling a sadness, a deep grief, a hollow sense of loss.
I knew without knowing it had something to do with the incident.
I allowed the sadness to pool into tears, into my shaky voice as I shared my feelings with Soul, who as always, with so much love and tenderness, listened.
The sadness spoke and I listened.
I heard my heart uttering a desire to be fathered, to be loved in a way that I could receive into my heart,
not something I had to translate through cultural differences,
I heard my heart weeping with a grief of feeling loss, yearning for a kind of support and unconditional love and acceptance that I had vied from my dad.
A love and acceptance I had been campaigning for, for many years.
I heard my heart tell a story that actually had nothing to do with my dad,
a story in which, I was just a little girl that desired to be loved, known, seen, heard, held just as I was,
just as I am.
I felt my heart expand as I listened, the tears freely rolling down my cheeks,
as Soul asked me what it would look like,
to be fathered the way I wanted.
My heart knew exactly what that looked like, what that sounded like.
It sounded like praise,
unconditional loving presence,
curiosity of my inner thoughts, my ways of being,
trust in my decisions,
faith in my faith.
In that moment, I knew, this was a matter of me with me,
me to me,
me for me,
me by me.
I knew I would set myself free,
to speak the words,
to hold me the way I wanted to held,
to love me the way I wanted to be loved,
to listen to me the way I wanted to be listend to.
As I laid out the manual for fathering me,
the ocean of sadness sunk into itself,
opening up to an even deeper vastness of lovingkindness,
The sadness dissolved as acknowledgment of my perceived pain, separation, abandonment, loneliness allowed truth to rise, to stand, to shine, as corny as that sounds lol.
I felt the presence of love surrounding me, engulfing me quietly, gently, deeply,
as I leaned into the vastness within,
into the consciousness within.
I released myself from the misbelief that I was not loved,
not believe in,
And in doing so, I released my dad from my projected ‘needs’ for him to love me a certain way,
to speak to me a certain way,
to show up a certain way,
to see things a certain way,
to listen to me a certain way.
I knew, more than ever, that I have the full capacity to be absolutely complete, just as I am.
Just as I’ve always been.
And I could see him more clearly, more than ever, without the filter of the perceived shortcomings I judged him for,
without the perception of his abandonment to me as a father.
I could see him clearly,
now that I could see myself clearly.
I could see him as the father he intended to be,
now that I could father me, love me the way I intended to be loved, held, embraced.
And all of it is right,
all of it is so good,
all of it is so wonderful,
There’s never been a moment that was amiss,
never a moment that was ever truly f&*#ed up,
never a moment he had to pay for,
never a moment I had to hold against him.
That incident was a gift from me to me,
to unravel another layer of me,
unpack another layer of my being,
unfold another misperception, misunderstanding, misbelief that was ready to go.
I know, the work continues.
I know, there are more layers.
I know, there are many more shades of love, of compassion, both to myself and my dad,
many more experiences of healing and releasing to come, as they have always been coming.
I know, today, it is enough.
I chose to come back home, to me, to love.
I chose to remember the essence residing quietly, in the stillness of my beingness.
And it is enough.
Thank you, Dad, for all you are, for who you choose to be, for how you choose to love me.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get to say these words to you and feel like you hear them the way I feel them,
and I’m okay with that.
I intend to honor you, to love you, to respect you best I can.
It is enough.