Grains of Truth From My Father
Celebrating Father's Day has me looking back at the things I learned growing up behind my dad's footsteps and appreciate everything he has ever done for me. Tonight, I'm dedicating this written essay on the things my father has taught me — both consciously and unconsciously. These are the grains of truth planted by him over the years:
You Are Greater Than Your Fears
My dad was the one who taught me that fear is a manifestation of our minds and that by learning to face them, we let go of our childish imaginations when it presents itself. He's the reason I would continually face the monsters under my bed and allow myself to take risk — from pursuing my greatest dreams to putting myself out there and letting things happen.
I vividly remember him teaching me how to ride a bike, and the moment he said I could do it, he let go of the bars. Lo and behold, I was riding by myself, sans the training wheels, and it was exhilarating. Letting go of our fears is the same. Recognizing it as the nonsensical manifestation of our minds gives us power over it.
Facing your fears means experiencing life to its fullest.
Experience Is Your #1 Guru
My dad is a fan of road trips and adventures. Partly because he's a flight attendant and being on a constant state of traveling is how he enjoys his life best, just like my mom. He would always tell us how seeing the world, getting out there, interacting with people, and immersing in other culture is the best way to learn about the world we live in and to experience life in its most vibrant and fullest state. That's why traveling has been a constant in our childhood that has taken root in our hearts and minds.
To seize opportunities as they come and to explore whenever I can has become a knee-jerk reaction. The nomadic urge to experience moments and things is ingrained so deeply in us that our desire to follow our hearts instinctively, wherever it may take us in the spaces and corners of this Universe, has become unshakably strong.
The only way to learn and live is to step outside and into the world.
True Beauty Comes From Within
In my dad's eyes, I've always been his little princess. But the best thing he ever taught me verbally is that beauty comes from within. If your spirit shines true, others will see it too. Light, joy, kindness, compassion and love is the highest form of beauty that can ever grace your soul and this world.
An exquisite and genuine heart makes a beautiful lady. Nothing can ever compare to that.
Our body is our temple and the way we handle ourselves in a physical and spiritual manner is the most important aspect that we could ever develop. My dad is the highest preacher of health and conscious living in my life, even when I was younger. He would always introduce organic methods to us: from what we put onto our skin to what we ingest. He would always point out how these would affect the way our body moves, looks and feels. I could vouch for everything he said, as I have experienced it myself.
I remember getting into running (any sports actually) because of him. Every time he's home, he would wake up early and jog around the village or run on the treadmill when he wakes up from his afternoon nap. This set a great example for me and it urged me to get up and get moving.
When I began my journey of adapting a plant-based lifestyle, it took me a year to fully heal my body of the junk I filled it with over the years. But the end result is the most uplifting and liberating thing I have ever experienced.
Don't wait until the day your body decides to give up on you.
Start the journey of healing yourself now. Treat your mind, body, and soul like it's the most precious thing in this Universe. Because that's exactly what it is.
Life Is A Weaver of Second Chances
Coming from a broken and chaotic family, we always had our fair share of explosive moments. Growing up with separated parents is rough, but the one thing that knitted my heart over the shattered pieces of our family is seeing the light in second chances. With my dad leaving and building a new life, was how I saw that starting anew can stitch a person back together.
Life is about second chances and forgiveness. We're human. We make mistakes. But the best part is that life is always unravelling our previous stories and weaving a fresh one for us to experience.
Appreciate The Universe Around You
My dad is facing one of the worst sickness that neither I nor the rest of our family could ever comprehend, and least of all expect. The moment we all heard of the news was like a blow in our faces. It reminded all of us that life is precious and no matter how much it screws us over, we need to appreciate every single thing it gave us. Right now, right at this moment. Because we never know when it will be taken from our grasps, and when it's around the corner, we'll be left wondering of the what if and the what could have been.
We are constantly surrounded by miracles and magical incidents, and we need to start acknowledging them and be grateful for what is. No matter what situation we are in, there will always be someone out there in a much worse place than yours, who may have nothing but still appreciates every inhale and exhale that he takes.
Be filled with appreciation and joy of every single breath you take, of the voice that you sing silly songs with, of the feet that carries you to your next adventure, of the hands that gives you the power of creating.
Be thankful of every single moment and every single thing that flows your way.
Acceptance Is The Start Of Healing
My dad is anything but perfect, yet in my eyes, I've always looked up to him despite all the circumstance and difficulties he faced and is still facing head on. When he got sick, he told me a million times how he can't believe it was happening to him. I can't believe it was happening to him either. I saw how shattered he was and it shattered me too, to see the man I've always known as the source of strength become weak and broken and to see the person I love in such a dark place.
But then something magical happened. The Universe started to work in the details of his life and when I last saw him, there was a different tune to his energy. Ever experienced a time when you can sense an aura around a person? At that moment, I did. I can see slips of light shining through the crevices. Somehow he sparkled with more joy. I witnessed right then and there that he started slowly accepting his condition and making the most out of it. He started the process of healing. It would take some time, but to know that he's stitching his strength and life back together is the greatest thing I can ever wish for. To this day, it's one of the most profound changes that I saw someone go through.
We all have a personal void that festers with negativity and ill feelings. Until we learn to accept and surrender ourselves to the Universe can we only fill that void with light and start to heal.
To witness the miracle of change, you need to let go and have faith.
There Is Always A Way
"If that's what you want, then go ahead and do it."
That one-liner is part of the many things my dad would tell me whenever I share my dreams and plans with him. He would always encourage me to be the person I want to be; to pursue the things I want; to manifest the things I desire; to not let anything hold me back.
He taught me that if there's a will there's always a way. If you put your heart and mind and everything else you've got, you can make your dreams come true. Nothing is impossible.
It was a bit difficult for me to write and share this. I never had the best relationship with my dad. But in acknowledging these things, I've come to realize how much I've grown because of him, despite his absence in the later years of our life.
So no matter where you stand with your father, be kind and grateful: For that time he took your hand during moments of fear and whispered, there's nothing to be afraid of. For that time he left, and allowed you to grow up and accept that life is about moving on and healing is part of the process. For that time, and a million other times when he told you how beautiful you are and that the best person to be is yourself. For being there every step of the way despite all the circumstances. Most of all, for teaching you the best lessons in life and knowing that he was there to teach you himself.
Happy Father's Day, Dad. Thank you for everything you have ever taught me and more.