(Written June 17, 2018)
In today’s class, I talked about using yoga to help release ourselves from the emotional cords that exist in family karmas.
Since it was Father’s Day I was prompted by the words I wrote shortly after my dad passed away. What many didn’t know is that until about two weeks before he died, it had been nearly two years since my dad last spoke to me or my sisters. He was holding a grudge that none of us understood. He did that throughout our lives. He’d play the loving father for a short time and then disappear for long stretches. It was easy to welcome him back and pretend like nothing had happened. But his repeated rejections left a deep impression in different ways on my siblings and me.
I’ve long understood how deeply impacted Dad had been by the loss of his own father who died when he was just two years old and also by the later temporary absence of his mother who was quarantined with tuberculosis. But I hadn’t understood how those feelings of abandonment my father felt, the demons that haunted him, had a huge impact on how he parented and his relationship with his children.
It was during the two-year absence before he died that I grieved my father and the kind of father-daughter relationship that eluded me. I dove through anger, disillusionment, and did a lot of soul searching to gain acceptance for who he was and what we shared. I credit yoga and its ability to help us see things as they truly are with giving me the perspective I needed to understand and appreciate how his actions ultimately shaped the person who I am.
I felt at peace when I wrote the tribute below because it helped me realize that I had found the maturity to honor my dad in a way that was true and without pain. And while I certainly spent countless years wanting more from him, I realize now that what I had was enough. And I am grateful. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!