My dad was a difficult man. He expected perfection in most of what we did. He didn’t offer much in the way of emotional codling or support. He could be harsh and angry. He was also an alcoholic, covering up his own hurts in the only way he knew how. He could be unforgiving and unyielding. For a long time, this is all I saw in him. I always thought my dad was a jerk, but also in an odd way put him on a pedestal. I also took for granted that he would always be there. When he left when I was 16, my whole world was crushed. Perhaps I didn’t even realize it at the time, but a small part of me died that day. He left just like he was going out for the day. For 25 years this has shaped the relationships I have with the opposite sex. I would constantly attract men who would leave me so I could heal this part of me. I would attract men who were unavailable emotionally, subconsciously believing if I could make them love me, it would provide the male acceptance I wanted so badly. I very deeply believed if I had love and acceptance from a man, I would be good enough.
In order for me to move forward on my path, this dynamic had to be seriously shaken. So, about four years ago, the Universe ripped this wound gaping open. In a very short period of about six months, my dad died, my ex-husband left, and I fell in love with a new man who then also left. The pain I felt during the process of healing this wound left me feeling like I might die from the sheer force of it. It was as if all the feelings I had stuffed away were laid open for me to deal with at once. It was a part of me I really didn’t understand. Where did this dependency come from? For the most part I was very independent and felt like I didn’t NEED a man. But our shadow side can be a bit elusive. During my awakening, I saw that while I didn’t need a man for many types of support, I believed I needed his approval. I believed I need emotional support from a man. I believed I needed a man to validate me and love me to have worth. Although I never actually felt like I got any of these things from a man, I thought that once I did, all would be well.
During this time of healing, I would come to learn the concept of soul contracts. In a soul contract, your soul and another agree to play certain parts for each other in a designated lifetime to produce growth in an area. It is an experience that is done at a higher level from your souls with a loving intention, with both of your highest good in mind. I came to believe and know that my dad, and all the men who had left me, were giving me a huge gift. Without their leaving, I never would have integrated and released that wound. During this time, I was able to learn to validate myself. I began to love every part of myself, “good” and “bad”. I forgave my less desirable character traits. I developed healthy emotional support for myself. I began to take other’s actions less personally, seeing that we are all doing the best we can. I forgave, I loved, I released, I embraced, and I integrated these parts of me. I opened the power of my own soul, allowing my own internal masculine energy to step up in a loving and accepting way.
Today, I have a great relationship with my dad. Yes, even though he is physically not on this Earth anymore, I talk with him often. I feel his energy and spirit with me when I feel like I’m sucking at life. He’s there, cheering me on. I believe this is what he wanted to do while he was here but just didn’t know how to. Now, I am able to feel and accept his love. I see him for the man he was at his core. Often, he will come to me as a bright red cardinal offering confirmation that I’m on the right path at other times, it’s just a feeling. Although I am immensely grateful for this connection, I do regret my stubbornness when he was alive. Instead of loving my dad for the man he was, I was constantly wanting him to be different. I noticed all the things I thought he did wrong, never really acknowledging the things he did out of love. I didn’t fully appreciate the time he spent with me or the ways he did try to show his love.
This weekend brought a realization to me. Although I’ve forgiven him, I haven’t extended this to myself. I could see where my dad had been doing his best, simply passing down what he was also taught. Somehow this grace was harder to give to me. I told myself, “I should have known; I should have acted differently”. On this Father’s Day I take this opportunity to release this. I release this judgment. I release this pattern of not feeling good enough because I made mistakes. I release my own internal critic and instead invite the self-loving energy of acceptance. By doing so, I pray that I give you the space and awareness to do this for yourself. I know we all have mistakes we’ve made that we feel like we can’t take back or change. Things we did or said in the heat of the moment that cannot be undone. Hurt that cannot be taken back. Know that you are not a bad person. Know that you did the best you could in that moment. You’re freaking fabulous and it’s time to let that shit go.
Happy Father’s Day ya’ll. Love you bunches.