Lately I’ve had so many thoughts, but for some reason I have not been able to write about them. When I put my emotions into words they are immediately more real than they were when they were just a feeling. Don’t get me wrong, my feelings are very valid, but expressing them requires acceptance and awareness.

I recently celebrated a birthday. The best gift I received was from my father. ~PAUSE~ I know right?! Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that the relationship I have with my father is strained. It has been for years. He is the reason I fear abandonment amongst other many other things. ~PLAY~ Surprisingly he called me a few days before my birthday and shared that he was reflecting on a conversation he had with his father when he was around my age. He said my grandfather was very serious and spoke of things he had not yet shared with my father. When he asked my grandfather why he chose to share these poignant words to live by at that moment, my grandfather simply said, “You’re a man now.”

I am a grown-ass woman and a few days before my birthday my father decided to give me what may have been the best advice I have ever received… from him.  After telling his side of the story… “I was going through things too” and maybe that’s “why I wasn’t there like I should have been” and “I know I scarred you.” My father finally said, “PSM, by no means am I attempting to rid myself of the responsibility. I know I was not who you needed me to be. I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, but I want you to move forward despite me. Pull yourself up by the boot-straps and be the best you can be despite who I was or was not. Keep on keeping on; don’t let me stop you from all the greatness that awaits you. Don’t let ME get in YOUR way.”

I cried silently as my father challenged me to move forward despite him. Like a fine needle, his words pierced the in bubble in my heart that holds a lifetime of questions, unexplained feelings, emotions, and actions. It was if he had given me permission to accept all that I have struggled, but only if I promise not to let it hold me down. It was as if he said, “Yes, yes, I have F-ed your life up thus far, but don’t you dare allow me to mess it up any more!”

My heartbeat is still irregular. The bubble is still there. But the grief within is slowly fighting its way out of that tiny little hole created by the best gift my father ever gave me.