When you are a little girl without a father you wonder how that can be.
You ask God if he maybe made a mistake and didn’t realize.
There were times where I just felt horrible and sent both of them to hell, God and my father.
My parents divorced when I was one year old and it was agreed that I would stay with my mother. I stayed there for as long as I could.
Early, I figured out that my father just left, without looking back and without taking care of us.
It’s probably not the best thing to experience, but I truly feel that it can help us grow. It can help us grow in a way we maybe can’t see right away. In the beginning we just wonder why. It can be f****** painful and we probably just want to forget our father. To me it was impossible. Anytime I would come home with the best grade in maths or physics my mother would point out I was like my father. Excellent.
At some point I saw him again. I was eight years old. He bought me a blue skirt with dark blue spots. He was my hero. Then he left again. Un-locatable.
When we are left with this confusion—how things should be and how things are, we start to ask even more questions:
What were his reasons? What is his story? Is he happy with his life? How conscious is he? How aware of his impact is he that he has on other lives?
There were times when I didn’t care what his story was and I didn’t even think about him at all, and there were times when I sat with these questions. When I thought about these questions, I figured that the answers didn’t matter and that the answers my father would give me didn’t matter, but behind that is a more important thing that applies to everybody who has been abandoned.
It matters if we are aware of these questions: what is our story? How conscious are we? Are we happy with our lives and are we aware of our impact on other people’s lives?
If we feel abandoned, we are probably not in the best position to answer these questions.
One way of dealing with this would be to ask the questions ourselves anytime we wonder about the person who left us. In the beginning we are probably too hurt to give any positive answer to these questions.
Personally, I felt like someone who didn’t care about her impact on other people’s lives at all. I didn’t give a s*** if I was conscious, aware, happy or not at all. I started wondering if this would be similar to my father’s situation back then.
You feel so hurt by life that the only way you can deal with it is to hurt other people.
I don’t know, but the important thing is, at some point I realized that I didn’t want to stay in this feeling of being hurt and abandoned. I wanted to overcome it and start giving to the world. I didn’t want to repeat the circle of being left, being afraid of being left again and therefore leaving the people I loved.
Here is probably the most beautiful thing we can do to break our destructive, limiting behavior: We can look through the pain and see the chance of being bigger than that. We don’t need to continue to feel like an abandoned victim, but to learn from it and make up our minds where we want to go with our life and how much responsibility we take for ourselves and others.
At some point I tried to deal with all of it with love and in full awareness. There was no need to find an answer from the mind, but to find an answer from the heart. The answer from the heart that I found was that everything does happen for a reason. Because of him not being there, I started to ask myself these very profound questions very early. Maybe if I would have never encountered such deep pain, I would have never encountered such dominating, critical questions.
We know that everybody has his or her own story and we are not here to judge. Nevertheless, if something hurts us we need to find a way of finding and feeling true forgiveness, which can be hard enough and can take some time.
The need to have my father back in my life or the wish he had never been there in the first place faded away. It’s not that I wouldn’t be curious to meet him, but the feeling of being incomplete without him in my life changed. In fact, he gave me something not being there that probably makes me more complete on a deeper level.
To me, this is the beauty of being left and therefore driven to find true fulfillment within ourselves. It can teach us a way of taking care of ourselves, which wouldn’t have been possible without the loss. The knowing that we are loved anyway, the awareness that our life impacts others, that what we do with our lives matters.
The awareness that we are the only ones deciding if we are happy or not.
I can relate to anybody who feels abandoned. I numbed myself for many years because of this, and I can tell you this: we should never ever abandon ourselves no matter what. In fact, we are never abandoned if we don’t abandon ourselves.
There is magnificence in this pain and so much to learn and evolve from. I wouldn’t say I am happy that I had no father or that I am totally over it and not wondering about the ‘why’s’ sometimes, but there is this deep knowing that all of this makes total sense, and I don’t need his presence to fulfill my life. Even his non-presence gave me what I needed.
Our fathers not being there makes us grow in such a profound way.
It triggers the evolution of feeling complete no matter the circumstances.
It triggers the feeling of being greater than what is and what’s happening around us.
I thank you for this Dad, and I hope you are well, wherever you are.
Author: Christine Stein
Apprentice Editor: Taija Jackson; Editor: Caroline Beaton
Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simões/Flickr