Do You Need Your Dad's Approval?
It's easier to just ignore someone that you don't feel comfortable around, isn't it?
There have been a few men in my life that fit that description for me. One is my dad, and then my ex-husband, and my father-in-law. I have been feeling rejected by my dad and father-in-law for quite some time. The funny thing is is that they have gotten together lately on their own, and I felt the negative energy of being "talked about" by them. You've heard me talk about doing ho'oponopono for others in our life, with whom we want to improve our relationships. I have been doing this exercise for probably two years, and my relationships with my dad and father-in-law, Joe, don't seem much better. What have I been doing wrong?
Well, it seems like a part of me that feels rejected has surfaced here of late. I was triggered when Maddie, my daughter, said she wanted to live with her dad this past July. Since that time, I have felt more vulnerable and hurt, more easily rejected by others. It didn't help that I began teaching a workshop on family harmony. It's like the Universe said, "Oh yah, you want to teach family harmony? Well let's give you a few more tests/opportunities to practice family harmony so that you will really know what you're talking about." I thought I was pretty good at relationships, but I've been honing my skills with everyone important in my life through a variety of tests.
It almost seems comical when I look at what's been happening, with all the deaths in this last year, my step dad, Grandma Eller, my sponsor, my brother-in-law, my mother-in-law, with Maddie wanting to go live with her dad after us trying to get her to live with us for years and succeeding for three years, and then Chelsea (17) saying she wanted to move in with her boyfriend, Nick, because we wouldn't allow her to sleep over at his house. So back to my dad and dad-in-law. What am I supposed to learn here? Should I let them go or not? Partly, I feel like if someone shows no interest in me, I'm not going to chase after them. But that is my ego. I don't think that really works.
I have felt indifferent to both of these men, like I could take them or leave them, mostly because they rejected me first. So I hadn't been able to forgive them if I'm really honest. I had simply repressed my hurt feelings. So I called my dad tonight. He didn't seem interested to speak to me, just cold. I told him that I wanted to have a closer relationship. I asked him if he wanted the same, and he said he wasn't sure. It boiled down to the fact that he felt like I'd neglected him over the years and that I only called or saw him on
his birthday, Father's Day, or holidays.
He said I only did this out of obligation and it was fake. I told him the holidays were important to me, because that is how my mom raised me and that it wasn't fake to me. I asked him, "What's worse? Me only calling you on holidays or you never calling me at all?" I explained that I understood where he was coming from, and that it hurt me when he didn't call me on my birthday. I told him I was sorry for neglecting him over the years, and that we had to start somewhere. I couldn't take back the past, but I could change how I go forward.
He asked how we were to stay connected when we lived 60 miles apart. I said we could talk more frequently. So do I need my dad's approval? No, I could easily live without it as I have all of these years. But what I cannot live without is a forgiving heart. It was when I added this intention to my ho'oponopono that everything changed: I decided to take 100% responsibility for my relationship with my dad. Even if it wasn't all my fault that we didn't communicate, it was all my choice in how I responded.
Today I choose to forgive my dad. I told him I much I love him. I could tell he softened. I guess my next step is to talk to my father-in-law. Anyone you need to forgive, no matter what they've done?
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