Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 57: Sit back, open your heart and read

The last two weeks for me have been really tough (and not just because Rosie is crying all the time). It’s been hard because Rosie’s father finally came and saw her. He came over to “visit”, which turned out to be just an excuse to get a paternity test done. He said to me beforehand, “I feel like such a failure... I want to spend every free day I can with her”.

He stayed for an hour, just long enough to swab Rosie’s mouth, and strode out the house. It took him almost 2 months to finally take the initiative to meet his daughter... and he treats it as if were nothing. I didn’t hear a peep from him for almost 2 weeks afterwards.

I can not even describe how angry I was. Every time I closed my eyes, it was all I could think about. I was consumed with so much hate, anger and resentment. Everyday was a constant struggle to subdue my rage and force myself to feel happy.

By the time my cousins came over, I could barely keep it together. I kept saying to them over and over, “How do I get rid of these feelings? I want to stop being so angry. I want this to stop”. They could not think of anything.

My mom gave Rosie the middle name Thuan-An (pronounced twunn-aane). It means “harmony and inner peace”. She purposely chose this name to remind me that no anger is worth it. With anger in my heart, I would never find peace.

I was meditating for the first time last night after reading Eat, Pray, Love and suddenly one of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “realizations” hit me.

Don’t blame the people who make you mad. Realize that it is you letting them hurt you.

My solution seemed so blatantly simple after that. Stop letting him hurt me. Deep down, I’ve always known the truth but I never really accepted it. He is not ready to be a father... and I can’t hold it against him anymore. Just because Rosie became a reality doesn’t mean he will suddenly change. Things are far from perfect, but I need to accept his true feelings and make the best out of them. I need to truly let him walk away and love him despite it.

This was my big epiphany. Love.

Love him for who he is. Love him FOR his actions. Love him and he can not hurt you because you already knew the truth and accepted it. All the “transcended” people of history have tried to teach the same message. Love. Gandhi loved. Mother Teresa loved. Jesus loved. I’m going to love too.

Gilbert went through a horrible divorce and I couldn’t help but empathize. Suddenly the person who you loved so much is a stranger in front of you. You could never fathom the things that they are doing and the anger behind it all. Two years after the separation, Gilbert still held the guilt for leaving her husband. She was in India, meditating her heart out when she realized that all she wanted to do was talk to him. Talk to him just like she used to.
So, she did. Right there in a desert in India, Gilbert invited her husband to join her in her mind for a talk. She waited until she felt his soul join her. Souls are not tainted. Souls are pure and in that moment, in remote India, Gilbert apologized to her husband’s pure soul and he accepted it. She came out of her meditation resolved. Her guilt gone...

...and last night, I did the same. It doesn’t really matter if the experience was real. Maybe it was all my imagination, but I woke this morning feeling happy in every inch of my body. I hold no anger.

Next time I see Rosie’s dad, I’m going to take the physical and legal steps needed to ensure he doesn’t hurt us anymore; but I’m going to approach the situation with love in my heart. I want him to be happy just as much as I want to be happy.

You can not change people. You can only change how you perceive and interact with them.

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