Five lessons learned in a letter to my father in heaven
A few years ago, I wrote you a letter with words of forgiveness and pure unconditional love. At the time of my letter, the pain of you leaving our lives so abruptly stung every cell in my body.
Today is different. Today I feel at peace as I have learned to live life with you in my soul.
I remember vividly the day you passed away so peacefully. My mother, my sister, and I were sitting beside your bed, holding your warm hands as your breath was slowly flowing out of your still body. I remember a smell I can’t describe, but a scent I have never sensed before. Perhaps it was the fragrance of the angels that came for your soul as your body gave up its life on earth.
I remember feeling numb and seeing myself in a movie for the next months after your passing. I kept it together for my little bundle of joy, for my mother and my siblings.
They say you find strength during some of your darkest moments, and I did.
We arranged your repatriation so that you could be buried next to your mother and your brother in your fatherland. The image of closing down the wooden coffin while you were looking so peacefully wrapped up in white linen tissue is an image that is ingrained in my mind forever. It no longer scares me though, nor does this portrayal trigger any feelings of suffering.
I don’t know how to describe it, but six years after your body ceased to be, I feel so connected with your soul.
I feel entirely peaceful and serene as I live in freedom and authentic success. I am ready to write another letter to you on the day before your sixth anniversary of becoming free from your psychical burdens. I know deep down in my soul that you are now pure positive energy floating around us.
I know you would want me to share my letter with the world. You know many are struggling with their own hurt as their loved ones left abruptly without much notice. You understand that these words will offer some relief for those who needed the most.
So here we go, dear Father.
Pain has its purpose
I now find it amusing when people ask me how come I know so much about life and why I relate to people on a profound and emotional level. My answer is that I have been in many shit holes in life. I always managed to get out of them with more resilience, experience, and wisdom. My most significant aha moment since you left us was that we are masters in inflicting pain on ourselves. Our mind tricks us in believing that our thoughts define who we are. When, in reality, it is our soul that fuels our true essence of being.
Our thoughts are not who we are. Our thoughts are our resistance to change and serve to keep us small if we repeat the same old thinking patterns.
I realized that life is not a flatline of events, but it is ebb and flow. And unless we learn to feel the pain, find meaning and grow out of it, we will never expand into our purpose in life. I learned that asking myself why something has happened was futile and only perpetuated unnecessary torture. Instead, I started asking myself what the lesson was so I can move forward with meaning and purpose.
Discovering my purpose
This one was though, dear father because I was in denial for so long. I was working in a prestigious institution where status and titles defined your self-worth. As I grew out of the imposter syndrome and disease to please, I started to face a lot of envy and jealousy as I began to speak my truth and show my talents. I felt so uncomfortable and out of place. I could see people very clearly for who they were, not who they pretended to be. It became a burden I could no longer carry, and so I resigned. What I realized later on, is that everything happened exactly how it was supposed to.
It was not the people or the things that made me feel uncomfortable, it was the battle between my ego and my soul.
My ego wanted to stay in a reputable position with a tax-free salary. But my soul wanted me to become a beacon of light for others who did not know how to heal from life’s struggles. And the reason I felt exhausted and succumbed to burnout was that I was not aligned with who I truly am at my core. I know and feel the difference now as my energy levels have skyrocketed ever since I started my second life of being myself.
Choosing me over the guilt
This was another one dear father that was hard to swallow. You were a family man and very conservative as you grew older. Marriage was sacred to you, and you adored my ex-husband. He represented the son you always wanted as he put both mother and you on a pedestal. So you can only imagine the guilt I felt when you left me as I tried to break free and live my authentic self outside a marriage. I finally wanted to discover what I wanted from life. What I wanted to do. And what makes me happy. Guilt kept inundating me as I wrestled with future scenarios about my son and my own life.
I remember one night you visited me in my dreams. You said to follow my burning flame in my belly and to let go of my unnecessary heartache. It is ok to spread my wings and fly high above in the skies as that is what will bring me true abundance and freedom. That’s the moment when I let go of guilt, and everything shifted for the better. A few years later, none of my worries materialized.
And my ex-husband? He is getting married again, and I am very happy for him!
I stopped looking for you where you were
I remember the emptiness and pain when you left. I slept with your thick winter coat, and I could sense your strong scent for months after you passed away. It only hit me that you were no longer here when I got back home from Morocco, where we buried you. I now was alone and no longer surrounded by masses of people wanting to drink tea and give unsolicited advice on how to live life post-papa.
The mighty waves of the ocean threw me off my feet and into the darkest and deepest corners of the sea as I gasped for air. Words cannot describe the excruciating pain during the months and years that followed. What made it worse that no one really cared beyond the one month grieving period. Life goes on. And as hard as that truth sounds, it did go on.
It is only now that I figured out that you were there all these years, I was just looking in the wrong places. You would come and speak to me in my dreams and through other people. I remember one of my former bosses, a military two-star admiral from Germany, very vividly. Out of all people I thought were more than just colleagues, he was one of the few that showed genuine compassion when I announced that I was going to resign while still battling with burnout. I remember watching him talk to me, and I felt as if it was you trying to protect me. I was not ready yet to resign as I still needed to recover. I was in denial and stubborn until that conversation took place.
Since then, you spoke to me many more times as I learned to look for you where you are now, and not where you were.
I no longer hide
Adam loves playing, hide, and seek. Me, not so much. Probably because I was hiding my whole life. I felt ashamed of my body and my creative genius. I knew I was different at a very young age, and so did you. No one wanted to be my friends. And if they did, they just wanted me to do stuff for them.
Ever since you passed away, I went on a soul searching journey like many people do after a sudden loss of a loved one. It took me some years of practice to truly embrace who I am without shame and guilt. I used to care if I would belong or if people would like me.
That is until I realized that eagles fly alone, and pigeons fly in flocks. I was surrounded by the wrong tribe!
And I don’t mean this in a patronizing way, not at all. But when we grow, we inevitably outgrow people as well. I remained surrounded by people whom I had outgrown, so of course, I felt out of place.
There will always be envy, jealousy, and all kinds of drama when you outgrow others, it is part of life. It means you are on the right path.
So I let go with compassion and love, and I met new people. I met people with whom I connected on a deep level. I no longer thought the worst of people, but the best. If they showed me their worst, I no longer took it personally. I just allowed them to leave my experience with compassion and kindness. It feels so freeing to finally speak and live aligned with my authentic self.
That’s real success, and that’s true happiness. Not money. Not likes. Not followers or fake compliments. Living my purpose without regret.
Thank you, Papa, I love you still so much! I am at peace, and I feel joyful. As I know that you are with me in my soul every step of my journey as we build our legacy to shine more light every day into a world emerging out of the darkness.