STOP FEARING. START LIVING.
By: Michael Dudiak Writing a blog through tears is a first for me. But when it comes to my dad, there have been a lot of firsts.
The tears are not because he cheated on my Mom. Or because he left her after 30+ years of marriage. Or because he came out as being gay afterwards. Or because of countless broken promises.
No, the tears are for the sadness I feel knowing how the lack of a relationship with my Dad is still negatively impacting me today.
Blogging for the NEVER Beyond campaign has opened my eyes and heart to grace, forgiveness and healing. And while the experience has been mostly positive, it’s also resulted in the opening of a scar that I thought was closed forever. I thought I had forgiven my Dad for all of the hurt he’s caused in my life, but I’ve recently realized that I never truly forgave him. I had only buried the hurt in hopes that it would go away on its own.
The funny thing is, giving a second chance to my Dad has actually been pretty easy; it's forgiveness that hasn't worked out so well. I’ve lost count of how many second chances he’s been given and how many time he's failed to come through. Phone calls, visits, conversations, and even relationships with his grandchildren have all fallen through.
There are times where I wish I never knew my Dad. As difficult as it is to type those words, it’s the truth. And it's killing me because it makes me a hypocrite. Here I am blogging that we should forgive Casey Anthony, Mike Tyson and even the KKK, but I haven’t been able to do the same with my Dad.
I’ve realized that it’s much easier to forgive when it’s not so personal. And I've realized that that needs to change. Forgiveness starts with those around us, not with those who are far away and carry little cost to forgive.
Although I know what I need to do, I’m struggling because I fear another letdown. But we don't forgive because it’s something to succeed in -- we forgive to move on with our lives. I know I'll find the strength and courage to forgive my Dad, and I know my life will be better for it.
So to anyone else struggling with personal forgiveness, consider this a call to action! It's time to stop fearing and start living.