Sunday November 13th was the two-year anniversary of my biological dad’s passing. My dad and I weren’t close. We had a complicated relationship. We didn’t speak for fifteen years and when we did reconcile we became birthday and Christmas family—you know, the kind of family that connects only on those days of the year.
He was a life-long alcoholic—and ultimately his death occurred from a combination of Covid (removing his oxygen) and drinking.
He wasn’t a bad man. He did his best and he loved in the only way he knew how. He spent a lot of years in pain—emotionally and physically. Knowing he’s free now, with his wife who also passed, makes me smile.
And, on this anniversary I struggle. Not because I miss him. Because I don’t.
I have thoughts like: What’s wrong with you? A “good daughter” would miss her father. If you weren’t so closed off and isolated you’d feel connected.
The impact of these thoughts fluctuates throughout the day. I find myself vacillating between believing them (and feeling all the discomfort, guilt and shame that comes from that) and seeing them for what they really are: thoughts based on conditioning.
There are so many romanticized ideas of what a father/daughter relationship should be. Really about what any relationship should be—parental, spousal, even the one with our body, money and more.
The “good girl” patterning runs deep.
That’s part of why I’m sharing this story. I know I’m not the only person working to dissolve this internal structure.
Pleasing, caring for others over self, saying yes when you mean no, saying no when you mean yes, speaking only when appropriate, taking the blame when something goes wrong or blaming yourself when something goes wrong, fitting within the current beauty standards, wearing the right thing, having no needs or just the right amount of needs…and so on.
Fighting to be the “good girl” is exhausting…and a losing battle.
What’s wrong with just being a girl?
On Sunday I decided to drop the “good”. I decided to just be a daughter who appreciated her father for all he gave her—her smile, love of music, self-reliance, ability to “read the room”, how to say no, how to forgive and so much more.
Turns out missing someone after they’ve passed isn’t required to appreciate them. For that I’m grateful.
Now onto you.
What would happen if you let yourself drop the “good”?
Maybe it’s time to find out.
With Fierce Loving,
Photo by Charlein Garcia.