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From Donna's Journals

My Relationship With Daddy
(Forgive 70 x 7)

by Donna Rose Stewart

My relationship with my father had always been difficult. My father ("Daddy") was a sergeant in the Air Force when I was born. He came home when I was 18 months old and I screamed when I saw him (or so my mother tells me). She also tells me that he wasn't too happy with me either - that he was jealous of me, as I took her attention away from him. I spent much of my life trying to please Daddy (and this carried into many of my relationships, especially with men). It seemed that I could never please him - as out of the "100's" of things I did, I only heard about the one that wasn't quite good enough to suit him. Until the time that I did the "exercise" I'm going to share with you, our times together (for me) were filled with tension and fear.

When I was 30 years old, the day before Daddy's birthday, I began the following exercise. I will call it "Forgive 70 x 7," as for 7 days I wrote out (70 times) a forgiveness statement of my father. This is based on Matthew 18:21-22: "Then Peter came and said to Him. 'Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'"

I came to understand that Daddy loved me the best that he could; and through the years, he got better at it. Daddy had a beautiful, big and loving heart; and he'd come a long way from where he started. I'm very proud of my Dad and the progress he made in this lifetime!

What I learned is that it is not necessary to confront anyone about what "they did to you" in order to heal the relationship. It is only necessary to heal it inside yourself! Never did I say anything to Daddy about how I thought he'd hurt me. As I commented to my mother, "Daddy sure has changed!" she replied, "He's not changed. He's only different with you." And that was because I'd "forgiven him!"

Daddy passed over on February 28, 2002. I was not there with him, but I have no guilt or regrets over our relationship, or about what I should or shouldn't have said or done. I have always loved my father, and I expressed that to him in words and action.

I miss Daddy and I still love him very much - and I continue to express this to him. Maybe, he hears me...

***BTW, when I called my father for his birthday after beginning the forgiveness exercise the day before, it was the first stress-free conversation we'd ever had!

Revised: September 20, 2016
Copyright © 2003, 2016 Donna Rose Stewart, All Rights Reserved


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Donna Rose Stewart, All Rights Reserved

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