I’m 39 years old, my father passed almost 2 years ago, and still, I find myself crying because he’s gone.
But here’s the catch: I couldn’t stand him when he was alive. Every step of the way, his words, actions, and responses always seemed to belittle all that I authentically am and have always worked to become.
He didn’t get it, he just didn’t get me. And in truth, I probably scared the sh*t out of him. I’ve always been unconventional, assertive and a fiery component towards his desire to tame me. He probably didn’t realize, that taming is actually breaking one’s spirit,
Him: You can’t do that Em, it’s just not how the world works. It doesn’t make sense.
Me: But dad, it can be how the world works. Or at least, maybe it’s how the world works for me.
When I would tell him about a new job opportunity or training I was interested in, I’d be met with a condescending look and a comment similar to: “I don’t know why you’d want to do that Hun”. And this was when I was practicing as a massage therapist and acupuncturist. Both professions that fit more securely into the realm of societal norms then the one I have now. But the norms don’t always work, I think we all know that now.
You see, I came into this life to see the truth of the Heart and take action towards aligning each person who comes my way towards that truth. Sometimes it’s by passing on a simple smile to a stranger, and sometimes it’s in a greater capacity through my life’s work. The method doesn’t matter, it’s what I’ve come here to do.
The examples above might not seem like a big deal, but when every little action you make or thought you express is met with distaste, it takes a toll. His rejection of me resulted in my rejection of him. But what was happening on a deeper level was a bit more profound: Inside I was, and have always been, a little girl longing for the love and the unconditional acceptance of her father. My dad didn’t know how to love me that way I needed to be shown love. And that fact drove a steel wedge between us so dense and cold that the only natural result was resentment, frustration, and strong patterns of self-doubt. I’ve spent most of my life riding internal waves of “I know I can do this, I need to listen to my gut” while constantly fighting against the undertow of his criticism.
As the years went on, our relationship deteriorated and I became complacent to always have a man belittle me. Sometimes I’d have the fight in me to persevere and still speak my truth, but many times I’d succumb to the sharp right angles of conformity. I didn’t have the fight left in me. I stopped confiding in him but deep down, was always longing for his approval.
I know it sounds messed up. I know I shouldn’t dwell in the hurt, but I’m human and grieving the loss of his love, and the ability to finally make him proud, sometimes lingers in the smallest moments.
So here I am, 39 years old and still crying because I miss my Dad.
After you’ve read everything written above, I’d like to share some suggestions on transcending the pain and hope that my story may help inspire you to work through the pain surrounding a relationship in your life. I hope what follows will be your biggest take away from this small part of my story.
The core truths from my experience are this:
I wouldn’t trade one second of time with my father. Not one moment of suppression, dismissal, or condemnation. My experience of fighting against his reign, formed me, fully. I wouldn’t be who I am or know how important it is to listen to my instincts. Nor would I have learned how physical sickness and Soul loss can prevail when one jumps off of the path they’re meant to follow. (More about Soul loss in another post 😉 )
I have gained strength which I carry with me every day. I have become a woman who knows her worth and quietly walks the path of the Heart…. And you can too.
Oh! And that fire I spoke about earlier? It smoldered below the surface for many years. However, I realize now that something important was happening: Life was stoking the coals – Readying me for the path I now walk. The foundation of inner fire has been firmly built and entrenched within my Soul.
Tips for breaking the habit of lingering hurt:
In my experience, the biggest healer was allowing myself to feel ALL of the anger and resentment when it began to unravel. I’m going to state this simply: Eff suppression.
It sure wasn’t doing me any good and it didn’t help to lay down the groundwork for healing. I needed to get in touch with what was really buried underneath: Heartbreaking sadness and deep regret.
When I let myself feel the anger, eventually sadness was able to surface. Then I moved into a new type of grief: The grief of losing myself to please another. That was a tough one. I had distorted views of how to obtain love and it was MY job to recover from it.
Bodywork, Meditation, and Rediscovering what lies within:
This was my path. It might not be yours, but read on and see if something here resonates with you. If so, do it! If not, don’t! It’s simple, trust your gut and see what happens 😉 )
I finally decided to take meditation seriously. I set aside 5 minutes each day and listened to prerecorded meditations from YouTube. They’re the BEST way to go while you’re learning! Focusing on another person’s voice keeps you from becoming distracted by your thoughts! (Seriously. Do this.)
Once every few weeks I’d attend one of the following therapies:
Acupuncture, Massage, Craniosacral therapy, Energywork (kind of like reiki) etc.
I’d use my instincts to tell me which one I needed or if it was time to move on to another modality. This helped my nervous system settle and also connected me back to my body.
This was my ticket back to myself. It wasn’t always easy. But living with the gunk wasn’t either.
I’ll be honest, I had a hard time finding a counselor who I connected with and who understood the spiritual aspects that I value. However, once I found one, it was great to have a non-judgemental space to vent about what was happening on a cognitive level.
Does this seem like a lot? Hold up, I’m about to add two more things. (Sorry!)
Every day, starting with 5 minutes, I made myself go for a walk. Staying in bed is what I wanted, but what I needed was mother earth. Listening to leaves rustle, feeling the sun, having a bird catch my eye. Nature is a healer and connecting to the roots of your essence through mother earth is powerful.
Last Tip (Yay!)
Positive Reframing and Affirmations
Again, this is just me, but hear me out. Every time I find myself in doubt or grappled by emotions of fear, OR if I catch myself falling into old patterns, I remind myself, and the universe, that I’ve already experienced what it’s like to live that way and choose not to experience it again.
I say (and insert your own wording here) “Thank you for helping me remember what it’s like to live with doubt and fear. I’ve already learned that lesson and don’t need to experience it again. Please show me what it’s like to live with Love, Openness, and Joy.
Again, use YOUR words.
I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s always an easy path. But what I can tell you is that dedicating yourself, to yourself can be life-changing. I chose not to be a victim of my experience. So I put the work in to heal from it, and you can too!
You’ve Got This!
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