An open letter to my Father,
Before I was born, I chose you to be my father and you chose me to be your daughter. You can call it God, Universe, Destiny or whatever you believe. We chose each other in this life.
Religion, society, media and social structure have taught us to believe that the relationship between a father and daughter is supposed to be constant, supportive and joyful. We are taught to believe that a father is supposed to stick around and be there for his daughter. Like most societal beliefs, this ideology was something that someone made up and people started to believe. It is evident that our relationship doesn’t fit the societal mold. However, just because you chose to remove yourself from my life doesn’t mean you didn’t teach me profound life lessons like so many other fathers do for their daughters.
I acknowledge and appreciate that you did and are doing the best you can as my father. In your efforts, you have taught me to stand on my own, to be an independent individual, to protect myself, to never settle and to accept and love people for who they are without judgement. You taught me all these lessons by removing yourself from my life. I am choosing to believe that you knew you could teach me more by leaving than you could by staying.
Because of your absence I’ve found friends who’ve turned into family. I’ve clung to the family I have with the fiercest love and commitment. I’ve found a man that shows me his love in all the ways you never could. And I’ve been able to see the world in a way that allows me to empathize with a greater number of people.
There is a saying, “you don’t get to choose your family”, but I’d like to challenge that and reframe it. I believe we do subconsciously choose our family and we choose them to teach us important lessons. These lessons are usually life long and will reappear many times throughout your existence in order to aid in your growth as a human. The purpose of these lessons is to get you to the greatest version of yourself. If you hide from these teachings, or push them away you will never experience the deep understanding that lies on the other side.
The lesson I am continually learning from you Dad is that I am worthy of the love I desire. Despite your actions and behavior, I am worthy of all the love in the world.
I’m done running. I’m done hiding. And I’m done with the pain, anger and sadness. I am choosing to learn this lesson and get to the other side.
We don’t have the “normal” father daughter relationship and that has been the greatest gift of my life.