Healing is an interesting process. For wounds to our body such as cuts or broken arms, healing usually takes place over a few weeks or months and before we know it, our bodies are back to normal. We might be left with a scar but, unless an injury is severe, generally these type of blows to our body go unnoticed in the future. If we are in a major accident, rehabilitation may be a lifelong process but it’s typically a journey we take with others. We talk about these things often – we take notice of them and recognize them. Maybe we ask a friend how they got the scar on their knee and they recount a bicycle accident when they were 5. Or maybe we walk a loved one through their physical trauma. Either way, our physical wounds are not forgotten or disregarded.
But what happens when what’s broken is our heart? What happens when we get a blow so hard that we feel it forever in the depths of our soul? Every fatherless daughter I’ve talked to carries a similar wound no matter how they became fatherless. Fatherlessness is an epidemic that doesn’t get talked about even though 1 in 3 women are fatherless due to death, divorce, abandonment, or lack of emotional connection. Which means that everyone has come across women who carry these battle wounds on their heart. We have to start healing our daughters and help them deal with the pain that comes from deeply yearning for the love of their dad.
So, how do we start this healing process? By sitting in a room full of women with their own stories and scars and loving them right where they are. There is a beautiful realization that comes from knowing that your story is important and unique and that there are others who understand the hurt deep in your soul. Having a safe space where people can share their pain and confusion in a common language has been more valuable than anything during my healing process. And, through the Fatherless Daughter Mentor Program, Denna Babul, (Founder of the Fatherless Daughter Movement and Co-Author of The Fatherless Daughter Project) has created this safe space. Saturday I was blessed enough to be in a room full of fatherless women while they shared their stories, their hearts and their love. I sat in awe, listening to the most amazing women I have ever met share their heartbreak and show their resilience. We danced. We laughed. We cried. We got angry. And together, we healed.
I’d love to tell you that I am completely healed and that my heart will never yearn for the love of my father again. It would be much easier if I never had to deal with the voices in my head that tell me that I’m not good enough and that I don’t deserve love. I struggle every day with feelings of unworthiness that stem from the hole left in my heart when my dad died. I consider worst case scenario in every single situation and if I let myself, I can easily spiral out of control. This is a constant battle that I will have every day of my life but healing means having the tools to take back my own life and make a difference.
So, now what? Well, I get the honor of bringing this movement and healing back to Charlotte as a Fatherless Daughter Mentor. This title means more to me than anything I have ever accomplished because I know the weight of those words. I know the pain in their hearts, the emptiness of their souls and the feeling of wanting to give up. Turning it around for just one daughter would mean the world to me and I feel so blessed to get to do this for many.
I will be leading my first group of women through The Fatherless Daughter Project in just a few short weeks. In this 10-12 week journey we will explore father loss, family dynamics, relationships, coping mechanisms and how to move forward into a brighter future. There will be some additional exercises for each daughter to work through on her own and there will be plenty of time for sharing and community. We will find our tribe and live our truth.
If you’re a fatherless daughter reading this post, I’d love the chance to talk with you and hear your story. The first step to healing is knowing your story and living your truth. Feel free to use the Share Your Story page, reach out to me via social media or call me directly. If you’re not fatherless, you know someone who is so please help me get the word out by sharing this post with your friends. I feel so passionately about The Fatherless Daughter Movement and will throw my entire heart and soul into this. Not only do I hope to help others heal, but I am looking forward to all of the healing these women will bring me.