Today marks the one year anniversary of my dad passing away. He was 61 and died of a heart attack. It wasn’t a surprise as he had had heart problems as long as I had been alive. Those who know me personally and knew my dad, know that he truly lived life exactly as he wanted to. He was selfish, hard headed, and we never had the strongest relationship, but he was still my dad. In the year that he has been gone…
I have uncovered within myself the innate wisdom, deep in my heart, that all people give the best they can in every moment of their life.
He was selfish more often than not, he was an addict, he wasn’t around as much as he should have been, but it was the best that he could give at those times in his life. It was the best he could do with his mental state. It was the best he could do with his emotional state. It was the best he could do with his physical state. It was the best that he knew how to give. I now appreciate that and am grateful for everything I received.
There were many times in my life that I was hurt by my fathers words and actions. I would always ask myself “How could he treat me like that?”. I have now changed my perspective. Instead I ask myself “What was he feeling that caused him to say/think/act like that?”. He was not intentionally trying to hurt me and I knew this. He truly lacked the awareness to even see that his words and actions could be hurtful. Instead of dwelling on the “woe is me” aspect I have tried to understand the feelings he felt. He was very good at acting like things were great and playing the confident big shot role but through the small glimpses I saw of his true Self I imagine that he lived every day with heavy feelings of regret, fear (on many levels), inadequacy, pain, and grief. As I imagine the burden, the weight, of carrying those feelings inside for years and years my heart is flooded with a deeper understanding and forgiveness.
I had a choice of holding onto the past, holding on to those negative heavy feelings that were projected onto me but I realized that I don’t have to live my life feeling those same feelings my dad felt. By having compassion for the deeper root cause of his words and actions and understanding that he gave the best he could at each and every moment in his life I am able to let those feelings go and find forgiveness. I am able to unlock a deeper love within myself so that I can share LOVE with others instead of the feelings of regret, fear, inadequacy, pain, and grief.
Over and over I hear in my mind and feel with my entire being:
All you need is love. Love is all you need.
om shanti shanti shanti