Have you ever felt like an outsider? I have. And even though I have done a lot of inner work to make peace with this feeling of being “on the outside looking in,” I still sometimes struggle with feeling “separate.” I find that the holidays often trigger this response in me. I can remember being very young and thinking “I must be an alien” and wondering if God made some kind of cosmic mistake and I ended up on the wrong planet. In those early years, my clearest memory was feeling different from my peers and even my family.
Recently, this feeling of separateness rose up in me yet again making it clear I still have some work to do in overcoming this pattern. My father is an extremely busy man. He is a successful entrepreneur but I have always seen him more as a visionary. Growing up I did my best to get his attention. Most of the time I failed miserably. I felt this big hole inside my heart because no matter what I did I felt I couldn’t capture his attention or his affection. I realized later in life that I would never get what I “wanted” from him. My expectations were too high. I would have to share this man, my father, with the world. I would need to come to a place of “acceptance” that the love I desperately craved, I would need to find somewhere else. In myself. I am still working on this.
Last week, I found out my father was in town. He managed to see my step mom, my sister, my brother in law, my niece and nephew, his friends, and even some of his business associates. I didn’t get a phone call or text. That stung. It hit me hard. I would definitely say I am a peacemaker within my family but in one instant my inner child rose up inside me with blind anger. I wanted to scream, yell, and throw a tantrum. I went to Yoga instead. I also drank a lot of red wine. I think what upset me most is the last time I saw him I spoke my truth to him. I told him I am still trying to figure out my place in his world and that when I hear he is in California and he doesn’t reach out to me it hurts. He told me he would work on it. He has promised me a lot over the years that he didn’t deliver on, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he conveniently forgot about me again. If anything, I was upset with myself for getting my hopes up. I was angry with myself for thinking maybe this time things would be different.
I admit it. I still have daddy issues at 37 years old. I don’t think I am alone on this, yet why do I feel so lonely when it comes to him? I know he probably wont have time to see me this Christmas. I know he will be “busy.” I can’t control that. What I can control is my reaction to that old anger that wells up inside me. It isn’t easy. I’m not sure it ever will be. I just hope through prayer, meditation, and yoga I can soothe that angry inner child and let her know she is loved. She is beautiful. And, that she is enough.