Last Sunday was Father’s Day, and I didn’t get a chance to write you to tell you what Father’s Day means to me. As you know, I talk a lot about how significant it is to have a connection with your parents. It is a way to open up your heart to inviting true love in.
I constantly say, if you can’t let the people that created you love and support you you will continue to feel scarcity around love. Some of you might be saying to yourself, “Well I already know my parents love me.” Others of you are cursing me under your breath saying, “What does finding the man of your dreams have to do with your parents???”
Well, let me tell you a story about my relationship with my father. It has evolved and brought me to whole new level of love with my husband, Hemal.
Hemal and I were together for 4 years right after college. When we broke up it was a shock to me, as well as our families. Coming from the Indian culture it is very rare for parents to ever know the person you are seriously dating. In our case, I knew his parents really well and vice versa.
When we broke up, not only did it absolutely devastate me (because I thought he was on the cusp of proposing), but my dad was absolutely hurt because he loved Hemal so much.
After that happened, my dad came to NYC from Cincinnati (where I grew up) on business. It was probably 3 months after we had broken up. I was still torn up about it (as if it had been a week since we had broken up).
My dad and I frequently have really deep conversations about life, religion, and human tendencies. We are both over analyzers. Anyhow, we ended up going out to lunch and having one of these conversations. My dad started to say that the reason we had broken up had a lot to do with how much I was pushing Hemal away at the time.
My big thing with Hemal was that I wanted him to be vegetarian; I couldn’t see past it even though I knew I loved him. At that time I was seriously pushing the issue and trying to change him. The problem was I couldn’t see the forest through the trees.
Can you relate? It may not be being vegetarian, but has there ever been something you’ve been stuck on? That you couldn’t get past? Has this ever ended a relationship that you really thought would be long term?
My dad proceeded to tell me, but at the time it felt like he was blaming me for the break up. I totally blew up at him and got extremely upset. I couldn’t understand why he was taking his side in a time when I needed him. He tried to tell me (in his way which isn’t really sugar coated) that he wasn’t taking sides, but that he was being honest with me when no one else was.
I was triggered thinking he was blaming me that I couldn’t even listen. I was deeply hurt by the conversation.
So, fast forward a year later when Hemal came back into my life. We were talking about getting back together. Hemal and I intimately talked through what happened in our break up in a way that we had never discussed it. It hit me like a ton of bricks… My dad was right!
He wasn’t trying to tell me I was to blame. He was honestly telling me exactly what I needed to hear in a way that no one else had the guts to tell me. Understanding that released the hurt I had been carrying around, thinking my dad had betrayed me. For the first time I understood that my dad may not be the softest in his delivery, but he wants me to be happy and has my best interest at heart.
When I replayed the conversation my dad and I had a year prior, I saw it in a whole new light. He was expressing “I know you are hurt and in pain from this break up, but you can change it. Help yourself by taking responsibility for your part.” At that time I wasn’t willing to see that I was responsible for my part in the relationship. It was difficult, but important for me to hear that. The truth can hurt, but it can also set you free depending on how YOU take it.
Since that glorious moment I gained a better understanding and appreciation for my dad. He spoke in love that day, but I didn’t want to listen because he didn’t say it in a way I liked. Now I look for the root of what he is saying to me because I now know he just wants pure happiness for me.
This understanding opened me up! I was able to trust Hemal again, and knew he was the man I wanted to marry!
This week’s Lovework:
Take a look at the conversations you have had with your dad. They may be great, or maybe not. See if you can begin to exercise the art of reading between the lines.
Our dads are human beings, just like us, that make mistakes. They may even make a lot of mistakes, but they are trying. I challenge you to place yourself in his shoes for just a moment, because the way you view men has a lot to do with how you view your father.
This can be a touchy subject. I know.
I wanted to reveal my story today as a way to open up the doors to conversation. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Leave your comments!