Love & Relationships

Forgiveness Begins at Home

Dear Dad,

It’s been 46 years since your last Father’s Day. I guess it is time to catch up and share what I have been immersed in since you’ve been gone.

A lot has happened over the years. I grew up, found a career and my life’s purpose, got married, and we have raised 4 incredible human beings. You would have loved my husband and children if you would have gotten to know them.

As I reflect back on it now, your transition into your next phase of immortal life was a gift to me. It marked the beginning of my insatiable desire to know the bigger picture. It was because of your passing that I became obsessed with the meaning of life and death. The longer I engage in my spiritual development, the more I have come to appreciate what life is all about and what it is not about.

I spent many years, with you playing the part of my father, and many more after, in a story that I was unwanted and unloved. I finally understand that there is really no such thing. I decided to live in that story that I made up. Over the years I have told my story so many times to so many people. I could see the look of pain and sadness that they had for me. Of course, by not knowing any better at the time, I too, believed in my story. I made a decision that I was unwanted, unloved, disrespected, disregarded, disempowered and most of all, unworthy. I carried around fear and hatred toward you ever since I can remember. I did not believe that I had the right to protect my boundaries and stand up for myself. I did not think I mattered. And, I held you responsible for my own stories all these years.

It was not until I began to study Kabbalah, learning about the journey of the soul, tikkun (soul correction), and teshuvah, that is, realizing that by choosing to be 100% accountable for my thoughts, words and actions, I can reclaim my power of self-worth, happiness and empowerment that I left at your feet. How selfish and unfair it was of me to give away the power of my happiness to anyone else, even my own father. I just did not know that there was a better option at the time.

I had been living in fear of public humiliation and using it as an excuse for why I didn’t take more and greater risks. And, all this time, I had been blaming you for that. As a result, I adopted a survival strategy of numbing my feelings with food as my main drug of choice. I made myself miserable.

By the time I told you, at the tender age of 16, that I wish you would drop dead, I was filled with so much hurt and anger that it all came spilling out of my mouth like the eruption of a volcano that once started, could not be contained. I just wanted to say anything that would hurt you so I could feel better about myself. It didn’t work.

As I witnessed the look of hurt mixed with shock and disbelief on your face, I felt ashamed of myself. But, I was too proud (or more accurately frightened) to admit my crime.

Then you died before I had the chance to tell you that I am so sorry I hurt you. If only I could have felt that you loved me. But, I was too stuck in my story.

Looking back with a new perspective of our life together I realize now that I was too young, too self-focused to notice that you were struggling just to survive your own shattered and traumatized life. Memories haunted you every waking second since surviving the holocaust. I just could not begin to comprehend the pain you endured, your struggle with PTSD, your own inability to communicate your own needs. And, yet, in spite of all that you suffered, you chose to spend every day of your adult life living in a country with a language you could hardly speak, were not literate in, and yet, in spite of the hardships, found ways to support your family.  You loved us the best that you could, the best that you knew how with the resources that you had.

You did your best with your broken heart until your broken heart mercifully released you from your body, from your broken life.

And now, after all these years, I finally release you and me of an old story that was also broken.

Now, I too am released. I realize that only I can make me happy. Only I can fill my own emptiness. Only I can empower myself to live in a story of love, joy, abundance and strength.

You did your best.

Dad, I now ask you for your forgiveness. Please forgive me for hurting you. Please forgive me for doubting you and the Light that I was, am and always will be loved, valued and cherished for the immortal soul that I am.

May you and I finally dwell in peace.

I love you Dad.

Happy Father’s Day

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