Being sexually abused as a child by my father put a crimp in Father’s Day for me. You won’t see heart emojis being posted on my Facebook feed or anywhere else praising my father for being the #1 dad in the world! Unfortunately, no. Never happened, nor will it. I say this with all the unconditional love for him though. Interesting, isn’t it?
Same goes with my mother. Over the years we have worked deeply to heal our mother-daughter relationship and have learned to truly relate with each other in an authentic way. For many years, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were just another Hallmark holiday, but my greeting cards weren’t exactly “sealed with a kiss”! It has taken years of deep work, looking into and healing my past hurts of abuse and neglect, practicing forgiveness, self-care and love to make room for a new paradigm with my parents, and I am so grateful for it.
In reality, grateful merely begins to describe how immensely humbling and empowering this journey has been. I am living proof that recovery from childhood abuse and trauma is possible. Not simple, easy or quick, but it is possible to not only recover or survive, but also to thrive. The biggest gift of recovery has been the gift of enjoying my life now as a mother and to witness the growth and blossoming of my three beautiful, talented and smart daughters. Without the healing, recovery and transformation that I have experienced in my life I would have not been able to be present to their journey. Of this I am certain. I would have viewed their childhood with the filters of my past and what a loss that would have been.
This time of the year is particularly humbling for me. May brings with it my youngest daughters birthday the first week of the month, quickly followed by Mother’s Day. And a month later it is Father’s Day which had been a struggle for me to celebrate for a very long time. Until I learned a valuable teaching which forever changed the course of my life on so many levels.
This teaching came to me in a dream, a vision, an “announcement” I heard in a meditation, over and over again. The voice said to me, “Know this: All there is is love. That is who you are. You are love. Your purpose is to love. All else is false. Fear, sadness, failed expectations. Drop everything that is not love. Allow this. Know this. Be this. You are love.”
One after another, angels appeared in my life, in the form of teachers and mentors. Over and over again reminding me of this very same teaching. I had heard the teaching but hadn’t fully quite lived it in my life. I still carried lingering ons of residual resentment and blame for both my parents. Well deserved, of course. (My ego agreed).
Years later, I find myself reliving the same lesson, requiring a crash course in the very teaching all over again. Aha! There is it. Why didn’t I listen the first time? Darn it ego, did you have to get in my way again? (Oh yes, I did, says the ego. It’s my job to trip you up. You should have paid closer attention. Duh!)
Of all the states of being, love is not the one to let go of!
Let go of pain, sadness, resentment, rage. Never let go of love.
Let go of fear, doubt, anxiety, worry. Never let go of love.
Let go of bitterness, regret, cynicism, remorse. Never let go of love.
Do you see where this is going? Never let go of love.
Love is the life line. Love is the beginning, the middle and the end.
Love is God. Love is healing. Love is peace.
Love is laughter. Love is bliss. Love is YOU.
Every time I severe ties with love I suffer greatly. Cutting off from a state of love leads to loneliness, isolation, depression and emptiness. Loveless is not who I am. No! I am love. This was the teaching. This is still the teaching. This is the message. This is the “announcement”!
It was love that led to the healing with my parents. It is love that gives me freedom from my fears and filters of the past so I can have an awesome, rock-n-roll’n relationship with my girls. It is love that lets me love myself, my husband, my brothers. Love is the way, love is the answer. It has always been this way.
Now, I know this.
Open letter to my parents:
Dear Ma and Pa,
Thank you for bringing me into this world.
Thank you for my brothers.
Thank you for the spontaneous road trips.
Thank you for the midnight birthday surprises.
Thank you for being friends with Kash’s parents so he and I could fall in love and bring our three angels into this world.
Thank you for being open, humble and vulnerable to look at your flaws, heal and transform your lives,
Thank you for accepting, embracing and supporting my journey of awakening, recovery and triumph over my past pain and hurt, especially as it involved speaking the truth about our dysfunctions as a family.
I am so very proud of both of you.
With unconditional love,
Your one and only daughter,
Here’s to a great summer!
By the way, if you want to learn more about my journey and how my healing and recovery came about, and how you can find the silver lining no matter how grey and gloomy the clouds in your life, check out my book, “Coming Home to the Heart – Transforming Trauma into Infinite Possibilities for Healing”. Much LOVE. Richa.