The saying goes that for most girls out there a dad is a girl’s first love and if she is lucky enough to have a father that exceeds all expectations – the one example she measures all other men by.
My father was and thankfully still is, the one person I can look up to with qualities I pray that I will be lucky enough to find in a husband and potential father of my children one day – a man with such a vast heart for not only his family, but also for the world around him.
A copious amount of studies has shown that the more involved a father is, the more successful his offspring will be. Growing up I always knew my father loved me, it was a given – he worked hard to ensure that I was living a happy and safe life. He always tried to be as involved as possible, despite not always being able to be with me due to his divorce from my mother and the distance between the two towns we each lived in.
There was always a place of safety to be found in his wings
Unfortunately, as with most people in today’s world, my life was never an easy one. It was one filled with countless battles, icy storms and the insufferable amount of flapping back and forth like a war flag in hurricane-like winds; many days survival seemed like a far-off fantasy meant for everyone else but me.
It was in these days, weeks and months in my life that my father’s presence and sense of stability and love broke through – many times without my awareness of it. In one way or another, there was always a place of safety to be found in his wings, and I will always be thankful for that.
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I denied the reality that unfolded in front of me
In my teenage years, fate found it fit to open my eyes to the harsh reality of how full of pain, rejection, betrayal and disloyalty this life we live can be. As a child, I was naïve and often retreated to a fantasy world of my wonderland where all was well in the world, despite all the abuse found in the situation at home. I denied the reality that unfolded in front of me and chose to dream up a life full of joy, love, laughter and happiness.
Yet, once puberty hit and all those teenage hormones came fervently flooding to a climax – alongside an obsession with Jean-Paul Satre and Albert Camus – I realized that I had been blind to all the things that had taken place in my life.
The reality of my ignorance or rather, refutation, knocked me to the ground and I did not want to get up. I wanted to crawl back into a fetal position inside the dark, safe womb of the earth.
My father fostered me back to a self
That is when my father stepped in and decided to split his role from the traditional stereotype – which was all he knew – as the provider and protector, into that which is a combination of being both the patriarchal protector, as well as the matriarchal nurturer. My father fostered me back to a self that was whole once again and showed me that love was the key to everything.
If you can find it in your heart to forgive the fact that you have been dealt a painful deck of cards and grow as a person from the turmoil you experienced, you will be a much happier person and you will be able to bless and inspire others with your test that can be turned into a testimony.
My father has been a mantle of leadership, love, devotion and an unfailing source of safety, for that, I will eternally be grateful. The process of parenting that my father used has greatly influenced my self-esteem, self-image and my confidence. His approaches to guiding, supporting and loving me will be the example used throughout this journey I call life.
In conclusion, something the poet Rupi Kaur once wrote, struck a chord in my spirit and it is what I wish to leave you with today, “The kindest words my father said to me: Women like you drown oceans.”
Despite what we as human beings go through in life, we are strong and resilient – we need only tap into that inner strength and brilliant buoyancy. We need to remember that we are able to spin gold from the spinning wheel of pain, gold that will inspire others with its unique pattern and brilliantly pure beauty.