A New Legacy

By , June 19, 2011 2:41 PM

Today is Father’s Day.   My good friend Erika and I have in common that our fathers are no longer living here in this physical plane.  Coincidentally, they passed within a few days of each other, although in different years.  Today she blogged about living so that you don’t have regrets with loved ones.  Living so that I can lie on my own deathbed without regrets at all is my goal—although perhaps a lofty, not-wholly-attainable one.  Somehow, though, her post connected some dots for me on a related subject.

When I was young, as I think I’ve mentioned before, the family dynamic at my house was a little weird (although probably not as uncommon as I thought for most of my life).  I, the firstborn, bonded with my father to an extreme degree—pretty much to the exclusion of anyone else in our household.  My mother and my sister paired up as a result.  Needless to say, there were distinct lines of alignment.  When my parents divorced when I was in high school, I caught the brunt of much of my mother’s anger.  Even she couldn’t keep my father and me separate in her mind.

Unfortunately, my father carried deep wounding from his relationship with his parents, which left him desperate to find love at all costs because he felt perpetually unloved.  There was never enough love for him and he was willing to go to destructive measures (to himself and to others) to get as much as he possibly could.  He simply missed the fact that you have the greatest feeling of love when you give it.  Sadly, he alienated a lot of people in his lifelong quest, including me.  Over the years I found much healing through therapy and my other spiritual pursuits.

Through it all, I loved my father very much—even when we weren’t speaking or when I was furious about his latest shenanigan.  As painful as it often was, the bond he and I share remains powerful to this day.

What has erupted in my awareness today is a question of the legacy he left.  To what degree am I attempting to keep him alive through the repetition of his patterns?  To what extent am I trying to atone for the pain of my childhood family dynamic (which I blamed myself for, of course) by punishing myself in a similar way he suffered—by depriving myself of a beloved life partner?  Are these destructive patterns a means for keeping the camaraderie alive between us?

On this Father’s Day, Daddy, I’m letting go of it all in an act of love to both of us.  I will no longer try to atone for your choices.  I will no longer keep your memory alive by making choices that replay your misery in my life.  I will no longer seek out pain to keep our connection alive.  More than anything, I’d like our legacy to be one of healing and of finally having broken the cycle of wounding.

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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