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The Father Daughter Dance Debacle

Lately Facebook has given me a peek into something I do not know. Friends often post pictures with their father, a birthday dinner or some other family occasion, but this post from a friend was a little different. It was a paper with a whole page of songs that her father had written down, name and artist, to choose from for their father daughter dance. A dance I do not think they shared, as he passed away. Witnessing the thought, diligence, and care put into this list brings tears to my eyes. Seeing the amount of love this man has for his daughter is incredible. The songs he chose were absolutely beautiful, and truly showed that he saw her as a precious gift from God that he was delighted to dance with. It moves me.

I will most likely walk down my own aisle alone, and I have learned to be content with that should the time ever come. I will not dance, but I will gratefully invite my, currently pretend, husband to please share a dance with his mother, to laugh, whisper memories, and the profound disbelief that she is giving her little boy to this woman because they both deserve it. We all deserve that dance. For some of us, it won’t happen. We may not have a father to do this for us. We may not even know what it is like to dance with our father. We may be strong in that moment knowing that we have done all we can for our highest good, and that dance, that walk, and that love simply were not meant for us. We may not be cherished by them, but we have learned to cherish ourselves. We have learned to accept the love we deserve, and we do our best to patch up the hole left behind.

I was afraid of that hole. I was willing to give up committing to a partner for life because I was afraid, not of marriage, but of disappointment. What if he didn’t show up? What if he doesn’t want to? What if she doesn’t want him to? What if it’s awkward? Should someone who doesn’t even know you give you away? What are they giving then? What do you say to each other while you’re dancing? All of these thoughts have absolutely nothing to do with choosing to love one person unconditionally for the rest of your life, but they clouded my view. Thankfully, knowing that there are such great men, such great fathers, gives me hope. My father has done many things for people. He is a helping hand to a lot of people. It has taken me a long time to realize, there is nothing I can do to make him choose to give me his time. He gives abundantly to whom he believes in, and that is to be respected. I respect him. I have just also learned to respect myself. I cannot expect someone who knows nothing about me to write a whole page of songs to dance with me, but that doesn’t make either one of us a lesser person. It is simply the life we are leading. I would be lying if I said it was not an almost daily decision not to cry or be angry about it anymore, to fully let it go, but I had two choices. I could spend the rest of my life reaching out to someone who doesn’t reach back or I could learn to patch up the hole.

I choose to cry happy tears when I see fathers and daughters happy and loving together. I choose to hope the heart of my lovely friend heals from losing the physical love of her lost parent. I choose to let the fact that this love exists, even if not for me, fill the hole. It is an unconditional and undying love. It is a gift. I hope you all cherish each moment with these men who see only love when they look at you. You are blessed more than I hope you ever know or find out.

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When You Are Tired of Being the Bigger Person

Most days, I do my best not to think about the things that cause me pain. We all do. It’s human nature, the process of avoiding it, is part of cognitive dissonance. It literally causes the brain pain to challenge thoughts and beliefs in your central nervous system. It also allows us to mirror to people that which we receive and perceive, as a way of hiding. It’s quite the beautiful discovery, cognitive dissonance. However, upon knowing of its existence, one can’t help but face it from time to time. Attempting to be the bigger person, more powerful than the brain which seeks what it knows as comfort.

For the majority of my life, I was one person. Hiding behind all of my insecurities, and believing broken was a state of permanence, something inescapable, binding me to my fears, anxieties, and lack of faith. I have since “suffered” a blow to that belief system, a conk on the head. I awakened in that moment. My frontal lobe, and a lot about me was changed. In one moment, I became a different person. I shed a skin. I realized, I am a creator. I am, and I choose what to put after those sacred words.

I had always thought being the bigger person was not showing your feelings. I thought it was a way of holding it all in. I thought it was about being strong enough to let others walk all over you, and being okay with it. I thought wrong. I believed myself to be insignificant compared to others, with dysfunction to the core…who wasn’t more put together than I?

Little did I know, the answer is that most people are not put together. We are puzzles, sent here with all the pieces, but with no idea what the full picture is going to look like. I have been struggling a lot with my anger lately. These pieces of the puzzle I have that don’t seem to fit, and which, I can’t stop looking at….even though they cause me pain.

I am facing the cognitive dissonance of moving outside being unwanted by your creator. I am facing the feeling of believing someday, this person, this “father” will fulfill the role which most are designed for. Before I began the journey to facing this, other people would say how they couldn’t believe him, how they hated him, how they didn’t understand, and how he is a total a$$hole, douche, or whatever name they felt fitting. I always allowed their anger, but never, my own. Sadness, anguish, confusion, and despair were my only feelings when it came to him. I wasn’t yet strong enough for anger.

Now, I find myself angry. I want to know what it is to be cared about, and to be seen by the person who has transcended his own brokenness. Maybe it’s the mirror cells, I think sometimes. Maybe it’s him, maybe it is you. Mostly, I think it’s me. Then I get lost in being the “bigger person.” “You just aren’t right for his life. You are just too painful to see. You just don’t fit his image. You just remind him of everything he failed at. You just don’t have the right appearance. You just aren’t right.” This has lead to a couple of pity parties, and a lot of self-deprecating behavior.

Today, I know enough to trust my feelings more than my thoughts. I wish beyond all I know, that was enough to stop them. Everyday, I work towards letting go of him. Everyday, I battle my thoughts that are negative about me when it comes to my thoughts about him. Everyday, I am stronger for my conscious awareness that I don’t want to feel that way anymore. We choose. We accept. We don’t always understand. I remind myself incessantly, I approve of myself. I approve of this message.

Most things I write, have a positive twist, I’m looking for one now. I believe the truth of the matter is, I get tired of this incessant cycle from time to time, but I can’t change it without accepting and moving forward. Something I am a warrior for everyday. Some days, I wonder about my strength to keep going, I feel so sad. Yet, I do keep going. Right now, I am facing a lot of insecurities as head on as anyone could, well, not want to, but I am. I am because this daily battle that has gone on for years subconsciously, and now, brought to light has made me a bigger person. It has allowed me to be consciously aware of that which is one of the core reasons for my inability to see me, myself.

I am worthy of love. I am worthy of care, and just because a person who is supposed to, doesn’t…Well, it doesn’t mean that I’m not here surrounded by those who do. A conk on the head can play a lot of games with your mind. It literally changes your brain, but it doesn’t change your heart. We beat our mind with our heart, and when we get tired of being the bigger person, it is not our brain that is aching, it’s our heart.

Thankfully, for every ache we can feel the gap, we can feel a bit more joy, and while there are days that seems impossible, there are more days now it seems it is. When you are tired of being the bigger person, stop thinking and start feeling. Find the root, and do your best to stay conscious of it.

As always thanks for listening. Just curious, what do you do when you are tired of shouldering the past?

Safe journeys.

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Mama? Dada?

Parents. What a tricky subject. I’m sure that you all love your mother and father, unquestionably. They are the source of your creation. Had they not existed EXACTLY as the people they are…you wouldn’t be you. I’m sure most of us can’t imagine not having our mom. I am also sure far too many of us know exactly the longing that may also have been from either parent missing. Some who are lucky enough, rebuild relationships, learn to love each other as people and not just identities, and others, well, at least they don’t hate each other.

It’s such a tricky territory because no matter how far down on the totem pole one may be, they are still destined to be grateful for one thing, always. Life. What a way to get a person to spend a lifetime feeling guilty. Why am I not enough? Who should I be instead? Is it because I’m not pretty/thin/athletic/whatever enough? Is it because I’m not the norm? These and countless other ponderings come from children without the support of both creators. The funny thing is…they only created you within the womb. They didn’t sing you to sleep. They didn’t take you trick-or-treating. They didn’t know about your first crush, first heartbreak, first trauma, and the millions of things that a person goes through to become who they are today.

Now, to get over that guilt of “not being good enough” for a parent to know you, we have to realize just how good we are. We have brains in our head, shoes on our feet, and some of us even have Dr. Seuss tattoos. We are the people who go through life trying to help others out of pain because we know it all too well. We are the ones who care, sometimes too much because we have so much more love to give and receive after fighting the darkness for so long. We accept the light inside us, and we take our life, not back, but probably into our own hands for the very first time. The funny thing is, most likely, that’s when the true opposition will come. It is funny how letting go of childhood, didn’t allow one to just let go of NOW. To say that actions that are currently affecting each moment of my day on a subconscious level because they are preventing me from living now, should be let go of, is quite incredulous if you ask me. I can accept “mistakes” of the past because as you have all heard me say here, “Sometimes we make mistakes. Mistakes that are huge.”

It would stand to reason that we all love our children, if we have them. We love them first. We love them with our whole heart, and we didn’t ask them to come to us in their first hours of life and tell us, and then hold them responsible for letting us into their lives….That is our role. We watch out for them, cry for them, laugh with them, run with them, feed them, change them, cuddle them, and teach them. Who we are with and around them….teaches them from the moment they are conscious, how to be. If we are completely lacking from that, and some people have been absent even in temporary turmoil, children will find another way. They are adaptable little creatures.

We all find another way. We don’t pound on the walls. Unless, we do, and when that doesn’t work, we stop. It is beyond inconceivable to me that someone who shows such careless disregard for one’s humanity would ever claim to have any knowledge of it. That’s the thing though, in thinking they shouldn’t claim their “knowledge,” we have come to expect an outcome. We have attached ourselves to a specific detail we believe to be universally true, but it’s not. Perception is reality, and in accepting that our perception of our life is not someone else’s, we can let go.
We know our battle wounds, scars, and triumphs. We know our glories, loves, passions, and abilities. We know our strength.

There is so much beauty in life, how can one be less than grateful? We can feel still, the hurt, pain, and maybe even, anger, but to remain thankful, that’s the art of it all. Go paint your picture. It is all up to you. Build relationships, let go of that which does not serve you, and love love love! Thank you.