So if unconditional love expects nothing in return... what does that look like?
Take mother's love as an example. Any good mother will feed, care for, clean, and protect their child regardless of the kid's temperament. Sure, it's easier to care for a laid back, calm child. But a screaming, constantly dissatisfied child will still endlessly receive love and care.
"Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it." - Tori Amos
No one is saying that choosing to heal is easy... but it is a choice, and yes, it does take courage. But why put off for later what you so desperately need now? The past is gone and the present is all you have.
Tara shared her evolving story before on the blog back in October. She reached out again to us to share her the follow up on her story and we applaud her for the courage and vulnerability to share so openly with you all today. Go back and read what she wrote then and how far she’s come to now. Leave a comment to reach her about her testimony.
As I have continued to talk with my father and build a stronger relationship, I have learned so many things about him. The most important thing is that he has really reinforced that he loved my sisters and I and never wanted to be apart from us. He tells me how difficult [our separation] was. I truly believe that he is telling the truth because I can feel his love even when we are apart. He takes the time to talk to me about everything, answering whatever questions I ask him.
As I grow and mature in my own life, my understanding of life becomes clearer. I have gained understanding through digging through my own emotional garbage. Peeling away layers of hurt, grief, lies, and disappointments that I have allowed on my back. I even wonder sometimes, did Daddy break my heart… or Mommy? I know she thought she was doing the best for us at that time but in the long run, I was hurt.
I recently just found out that my dad has cancer, which runs very strongly on that side of the family. When He told me I was shocked, hurt and the though of the big “C” word was in my face and I was scared. I quickly prioritized some things and made some clear decisions. What was done in the past, the things that should have been done, who said what and did not say this or that was no longer important. I love him and all those things from before will not have a place in my life. The time in my life is NOW! THIS MOMENT AND THE FUTURE WITH HIM IS NOW!!!
I love my daddy. Through God’s Grace, love, and Word, I have been recreated with His love and His powerful ability to forgive. I have learned to love people where they are in this long journey of life. Mothers, when you have children, please be selfless. Remember, he is the man you chose to father your children. Do not deny them the right to have a relationship with their father if it is within your power to connect them. Regardless of who may be at fault, I love both my parents and I forgive them both. If either of them left this world today never to return again I want to have peace in my heart by forgiving them both.
Thank you, DBMH Project, for allowing me to let go and heal through your blog. I’m also hoping to help others heal. God Bless!!
October introduces the DBMH first theme: Music Mondays!
Feel free to send your favorite songs that have dad themes and we will feature the music on Music Mondays. Add your thoughts and get those featured along with the video.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit the song.
This week's song is a throwback. I used to listen to this and find hope in that my Father in heaven trumps my dad on all levels.
Men desire two things: being needed and respect. The problem with this is that many times they don't earn it.
During all of our lives our fathers have failed us; it's inevitable because no one is perfect. When these failures begin to outweigh the times that our fathers have loved us unconditionally, protected us, provided for us, or cared, we begin to lose respect for them.
dad and DAD - an excerpt from Chapter 4, Crazy Love by Francis Chan
The concept of being wanted by a father was foreign to me. Growing up, I felt unwanted y my dad. My mother died giving birth to me, so maybe he saw me as the cause of her death; I'm not sure.
I never carried on a meaningful conversation with my dad.
This week's song is by Christina Aguilera: Hurt.
The first time I heard this song, I did not understand the dynamics she spoke of. Why did she care about if he was proud of her or not?
Why was she so broken once he was off the scene?
Perhaps the unspoken words that were never exchanged affected this relationship more than she knew until it was too late.
For those who feel like admitting you’re hurt will make you appear weak, you’re wrong.
For those who say hiding from reality is better than facing it, you’re mistaken.
For those who are desperate for love and attention but suppress it to get by... stop right there.
You do not have to hide anymore. You are not alone in the struggle.
Even though as infants and toddlers we were trained to love our blood relatives, as we come to an understanding that love goes beyond the words and hugs. Love is a commitment to put someone else before yourself. Love is a promise to look out for someone and keep their name from being marred or misused. Love is vulnerability.
Love is something we can help, simply put, a choice.
Once you know what it’s like to be left without a cause, you can react to the abandonment by staying away from any commitments so you can avoid the possibility of failure or you attach yourself to people, things, and processes that make you happy – fixating yourself with a dog-like loyalty that is not easily broken.
I’ll discuss avoiding commitment next week. Today, I wanted to start a dialogue around this concept of fixated loyalty. As with anything, balance is a MUST to maintain a healthy equilibrium. Channelling the tendency into good things can make you a better person than the privileged people who have never suffered neglect from their dad.
From my own experience, I’ve found my tendency to fixate my loyalty to be beneficial to living my life to the fullest. I am committed to serving God, no matter what the cost or where it takes me. My love for Him is deep and true and not anyone or anything even slightly compares. My fixation blinds me to alternatives and keeps me focused on being obedient so I can be blessed and life a good life. Because anything less than a good life would include heartache and grief and I’ve suffered enough already…I trust God to keep me from breaking down, being my helping hand and comfort through any times of difficulty. And He has been that and so much more. Simply knowing that God would be devastated if I walked away from Him and went my own way is enough to keep me connected.
The same goes for my health, friendships, projects… anything! The balance comes into play when betrayal and deceit enters the scene and compromises the connection. A friend and mentor was struggling through some personal issues and disconnected herself from me. In the midst of my hurt and disappointment, I was determined to prove myself… prove that I was good enough, that I was worth loving. Though the disconnect had nothing to do with me, I was being sideswiped and stripped of any power to maintain the connection. Years passed before I was able to realize that nothing is ever personal. If someone chooses to live life without you when you planned to stick it out till the end, you have to let them go. Loyalty, after all, is a two way street.
You cannot allow yourself to be so loyal that you empower people to take advantage of the fixation. Know that you are worthy to receive the same time and dedication you put out. Don’t sell yourself short obsessing over staying connected. Most times you gain more in letting go than you ever could stubbornly holding on.