Thursday, January 28, 2010

. . and, when the time comes to let it go, . . . let it go.

“If we all let go of one thing we like, and take instead each other's hand; if we all let go of three minutes each day, and find instead a few perfect words for someone in the house; if we all withhold our judgments for one hour, and reveal during that time one of our own small secret sins; if we all skip the same meal each week, and spend the time together in the park; would we have less or more than what we started with?It is one of the great and pleasing mysteries of life that we gain by giving things up. Instead of grabbing things or demanding from others if we give something up, we leave a space for something new to enter our lives.” From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.

Last week I traveled to Puerto Rico for the first time in my life. I went as part of a delegation from Chicago and New York to show support to the BLGTQ community and to meet the family of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, a Latino Gay youth who body was found decapitated, dismembered and partially burned body on a road in central Puerto Rico on November 14, 2009. To ready more about the activism part of the trip read my online article visit the Windy City Times website site at

The trip proved to be a test of all the work-ins I have done during my recovery. Growing up I have huge father issues I avoided facing. I carried around loads of resentments, anger, shame and sadness toward the person I use to call my “sperm donor”. I would always say that that was the only title my father earned. It wasn’t until I was about 1 ½ sober that I started to do some work around these issues. Of course I tipped toed around it them never really doing the work just talking about it. Then I went through the Mankind Project’s New Warrior Weekend Adventure, Here I learned how to take look at my father issues dead on. I wasn’t until after the weekend and doing much work around those issues with my I-group, an integration group is a continuing support network of men who meet regularly to continue the work they touched on in the weekend. Once I was finally brave enough to face my issues and work them out I was able to let go of those feeling of abandonment, anger, shame and sadness. Letting go took a lot of tears and yelling. The story I told myself was that I finally did it. I finally let go of those feelings and resentments that were holding parts of me back.

I used this trip to my homeland of Puerto Rico as an opportunity to finally see my father after over 30 years. Thanks to facebook I was already friends with my brothers and sister from dad’s second marriage. This made it easy for me to set up a visit to his house. After an immensely emotional day of meeting with politicians, local community BLGTQ organizations, and the family of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado I was not sure I could make the 3 hour trip across island to see my father. But I knew that I was just trying to come up with an excuse not to see my father.

I started to question all the work I had done around my father issues. Was I just telling myself I did the work and I was over it just so I did have to deal with it any more or did the work really work? I rented a car and starting the long drive across the island. I am so grateful that I had my close friend Nilsa offer to come with me for support because that’s what true friends do for each other. The scenery on the drive down there was so beautiful and calming, as well as the discussions Nilsa and I were having. She is one of the wonderful blessings I have in my life today.

As we got closer I begin to get butterflies in my stomach. We met my step sister in a plaza in Cabo Rojo so we could follow her rest of the way. I told her that I was nervous and she said it’s dad that should be nervous not you. So we begin following her as they drove through the back road of Cabo Rojo. I would have been so lost if she wouldn’t have met us. I’m a city boy I need to see names of streets, lights, buildings, etc. and these out back roads had nothing. The closer we got the higher my anxiety level rose. We finally made it.

I believe that if I didn’t have Nilsa there with me I’m sure I would have made it all the way there than just turn around without going inside. As soon as I walk in the door I see the very fragile looking older man in a wheel chair. The first words that came out of his mouth were “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, please forgive me.” My eyes watered up as I quickly walked to him and just thought, “Wow this is my father, it’s really him, he is my dad!” My response to him was “Poppy I forgive you many years ago. I just came hear to tell you I love.” I did not want to stop hugging him but I knew if I didn’t I would crush him. We talk for a while as I just keep staring at him trying to remember what he used to look like but I couldn’t. That really hurt me.

My step mother brought out a couple of albums and bags of pictures. I was looking at that pictures of how my father looked like when he was younger and then I looked up at him now as in a daze. I started to get all teary eyed again as I cried on the inside. I wished I would have done the work around my father issues sooner. I felt sad that we both missed out on could have been great memories. I wish I could have had the change to go out fishing with him in Cabo Rojo because it’s one of the best places on the island to fish.

I feel so blessing now that I let go of the sad memories so now I have room to fell up on good ones. To meet finally meet my younger brother and sister in person and hold my nephew in my arms felt wonderful.
This was my time and opportunity to really let go and now I have room for many wonderful new things to come into my life and I am so looking forward to experiencing each one them.

(Usual disclaimer applies: The suggestions on this blog are just that “SUGGESTIONS.” My words cannot heal your pain and or addictions. Nor can I change your life. Only you can.)

If you are not sure how to begin your work-in or need some guidance please feel free to post a comment or email me directly at, I will response as soon as I can.

Visit my blog at or to read daily motivations visit“Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness." -- Shakti Gawain

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1 comment:

  1. Good for you Ed, love you Lil Oscar3. Work it out man...