I wasn’t prepared to begin thinking about what celebrating a birthday without my father would mean to me. The last birthday we spent together physically was at my surprise 50th party. We were in Florida, and he wouldn’t give a speech even though everyone was tapping their glasses with their knives and chanting, “Speech! Speech! Speech!” He was a man of few words.
It was a hard pill to swallow – his cancer diagnosis on top of what was already a challenging relationship for us. Then, my brother stepped in causing my father to feel as though he must choose a side. How can you choose a side, though, when you have only heard one half of it? My heart sank.
The grieving really began for me long ago. Dad left when I was only ten. I remember him pulling out of the driveway in his pickup truck as if it were yesterday. It was a green Chevrolet with a camper top on the back. My brother was in the front seat. Neither of them said goodbye to me. It left me wondering for a long time, “Did they even care?” But this is what we do. When we don’t know, we form stories in our mind to fill in the blanks, that’s exactly what I did.
My story for years was, “No one loves me.” It resonated deep within my soul, and it caused me to make many decisions I would later regret. I walled off everyone, including myself, from the authentic me. I wanted nothing to do with emotions or decisions. I was numb and scared…except for one thing. I had hope, and I clung to it tighter than anything else in my life. Hope carried me through many dark days.
So, as I celebrate this birthday, both with joy and sadness, I want to share a few things with you that I hope will help you heal any pain you are carrying.
- The only way out of pain is through it. We must feel the feelings we don’t want to feel in order to heal. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. It hurts…a lot. But the beautiful thing about processing them is this: once you’ve moved through them, you never have to go back there again…not in the same way, at least. You will be free from torture.
- Death of a loved one, as much as it hurts, gives us something new. It gives us a new perspective. It gives us new understanding. Through this “something new,” we can begin making new choices. This newness springs new life within us. If you are stuck in grief, see number 1.
- You are worth the process of your pain. You are worth every tear, every scream, every ounce of resistance, every victory over it. You are worth healing. You are worth something new.
If you are ready for something new, and you seem lost in the process of getting there, I’d love to help you. Let’s explore your path together, and find new tools to help you process your pain in a new way so that you can finally heal. It’s a free call, and I promise to give you guidance you can begin implementing today.