Each new day is a day to cultivate, grow, assess and reassess from whence you came, where you are today and from where you still want to go tomorrow. I believe I began to grow as a person when I stopped looking at myself as one who did not have much and began appreciating people in my life, events in my life, certain self-defining moments and life circumstances that helped mold and shape me into the woman I am today. Yes, at some point in my life I wish I had an opportunity to do certain things over but life does not allow us to change the past or even edit what we should have, could have or would have done knowing then what we know now. And even if there was a magical eraser that could erase the pain, sins, bad reactions or ill-conceived plans and notions of the past, where would that leave us today? Some life events happen to us and good, bad or indifferent molded us into who we are today. Some life happen because of us and good, bad or indifferent those are our imprints that we left upon others and evidence of who we were yesterday. Similarly, some life events affect us for the rest of our lives that we must address at a certain point during our life to redefine who we are to change our destiny and recreate how we choose to live our lives tomorrow.
Some time ago, I learned the story about my “dad”, biological father and mother. After hearing the story from all sides, I was able to fill in the blanks and better appreciate what I went through as a child. As a child, I had wished certain life events did not happen to me or because of me, but I did not allow myself to be defined by them. However, I recently had to visit my childhood feelings of abandonment and rejection when I recently lost my mother and was told my father was sick. At first, I was clinical in assessing the situation by analyzing and coaching myself as I coach others by reminding myself that life happens and people are only with you for a reason, season or a lifetime. However, other people’s responses to my nonresponsive sentiment or seemingly “unnatural” reaction to a sickly parent made me realize I had a deep-seated thorn that had grown in the empty space left by my missing father. I am better today than I was yesterday after taking my diva sisters up on their suggestion to send the pain I recently discovered back to the universe by writing an open letter to my father. I hope this letter helps encourage someone to uncover any deep-seated thorny issues by addressing it, assessing it and dealing with it in order to be healed from it. Be blessed today, tomorrow and forever more!
My Dearest Father, I forgive you for making me suffer because you were not there. You were not present in my life when I first opened my eyes, started to crawl, said my first words or cried my first tears from a broken heart. I never truly knew the affect of your absence until I began to assess the wound from my bleeding heart. First, because of your absence I never could fully commit to the idea of my friend and Savior, Jesus Christ, as my father, because you did not live your life as an example of the self-sacrificing father. Second, because of your absence it was hard to imagine a father whose love and kindness abounded and overflowed since my vision of love of a father who sacrificed and protected his children never came true. Third, because of your absence I stumbled into love with those who did not deserve the essence of me because you never warned or prepared me for those who could never appreciate me. Lastly, because of your absence I retired my career as a domestic relations attorney and children’s advocate because witnessing fathers walk away from their children for unexplainable reasons became too much for me to bear.
Although you were not there for me, my children or children’s children, I love you because I allowed the love of God into my heart and now appreciate that God used you to create me. I forgive you because I now realize I was not your mistake, but designed and planned by God for a particular purpose. I love you after learning to love once I opened my heart to others who willingly loved and supported me. Despite your shortcomings, I will be there for you during your time of need. And I will continue to advocate for men to step up and contribute to the lives of their child(ren) and/or serve as surrogate father figures to the fatherless.
As an advocate, I will encourage the father who finds himself in custody and/or support court to remember that the legal battle is for a moment, but the love of one’s child(ren) is for a lifetime. As an advocate, I will advocate that Godly fathers and men offer a word of kindness and affection towards their children and the fatherless because children need to understand the Body of Christ has a place for them. As an advocate, I will encourage able-bodied men to volunteer time and serve as role models because the next generation of boys and girls need to see that Godly men truly care about them and are invested in their future. I will also continue urging Godly men to consider taking a young boy to breakfast, a hunting, fishing trip or to share a special moment to do “manly” things because iron sharpens iron. I will also encourage fathers and men to consider sharing a moment with fatherless girls since they too need Godly men to prepare them for life. Similarly, I will continue to advocate that Godly men live their best life as father’s to their children and as surrogates to the fatherless because boys and girls with no Godly men in their lives perpetuate the vicious cycle of hopelessness by becoming adults who populate a generation of hurting people who are scarred for life because of internal wounds that never healed.
Toni Moore, Esq.
Toni is an attorney and business coach who is committed to helping women uplevel their success.
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