And then my father died.
It was rather unexpected. He could have and should have died so many times before from major life-threatening surgeries, but he didn’t die. God’s grace, I know.
When my father left this world in 2008, I thought a part of me went with him. Though he would have never have been nominated for a father of the year award, he certainly was still a good influence in my life. In a way, my dad dared me to dream. He never laughed at me. He supported me. That support launched me into being on my own in a big city far from home. That belief in me was more foundational than I realized. The journey to the big city, Ft. Worth, Texas, was a catalyst for unraveling and unbecoming. I knew my father believed in me. I never realized how powerful his belief in me was until after his untimely death.
2008 began an era of crippling indecisive consciousness. My sense of being had been rattled. I needed ground for my feet to land. My dad had been that kind of foundation for me. My staunch supporter and life affirmer. He may not have been a perfect father (he struggled with his own demons, but don’t we all?), but in his sober moments, my dad had a depth of wisdom and discernment that guided my life toward a positive direction. I stayed away from drugs, promiscuity, and alcohol. I got good grades and took my academic studies seriously. I stayed out of trouble. I may have had a lot of inner turmoil, but my dad imparted wisdom that kept me from doing a lot of detrimental, stupid things in my life. I’m grateful.
At the time he died, my life became all work and no play. I played well at being busy. I even took my first recovery class, but the fruit of it wilted and again I found myself struggling for meaning and purpose. I found it difficult to just “be.”
Learning to “be” was uncomfortable for me. It meant owning all of my life with bold confidence. Mine was violently shaken, torn away from me the day I lost my father and we laid him in the grave.
I didn’t know I needed to hear a voice of assurance or affirmation. I equated being successful or being a failure to self worth. I equated job performance to personal worth. I believed if life went well then I must be okay. I unhealthily attached the circumstances of life, and they were having their way with me. I was bruised, battered, and broken.
I was wrong, and a major overhaul was about to begin.
(this is only an excerpt of my memoir – a work about to be in editing process)
Stay tuned for details…