Growing up, and well into my adult years, I was the definition of a “daddy’s girl;” a title I shared with my sister. Even with two daughters, my dad had the distinct ability to make us each feel like his number one Princess. My dad was charming, loving, supportive and caring and he always put his family first. He loved his kids unconditionally and would seize every opportunity to let everyone know how proud he was of us.
One, Two Step
My dad loved to dance and made sure I learned all the oldies. He would take me in his arms while counting all the steps making sure I kept up with the classical “two step.” It was magical and always so special. When Dad suddenly passed away I was in shock and devastated. I had no idea how I was going to move on, let alone let go!
Letting go of the past is difficult for many and not knowing where to start is the hardest part. I only say this because I was in the same position. When I lost my father, my best friend, I didn’t know where to start with the healing process.
The loss was overwhelming and it quickly turned into emotional baggage that I couldn’t shake. While holding on to hurt feelings of his passing, I refused to focus on anything good. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I had to move on and stop locking myself in the bathroom thinking that it would just go away. I had to do the work.
Right then I made a choice to honour my father’s great memory and let go of the emotional baggage.
These are the steps I took…
- Connect: The first step is to identify what you are feeling and acknowledge it. Once you know what the emotional baggage is, you are ready for the next step (I had to stop hiding in the bathroom pretending that I was strong and then identify my pain.)
- Be honest: Tell yourself the truth; why you are hurting and what is affecting you. Then get ready to let it go! (Once I was honest with myself about my dad dying and that it really hurt me, instantly the weight began to lift off my shoulders.)
- Dig deep: Explore your feelings to figure out how this baggage got there. This part can be painful but it is a step in letting go! (This part was difficult because I had to go backwards to the pain, but it helped because I knew my way back out.)
- Positive Feelings: Instead of focusing on the negativity and the pain, focus on the feelings that make you feel good. This will take time and practice but once you get the hang of it you won’t want to stop. (I began talking about great memories instead of the emotional baggage of the last day of his life.)
- Just Say It: Make the decision to let go. This starts by using your words. Yes it’s that easy! You can start every morning by looking in the mirror and telling yourself “today I am okay.” (And that is what I did!)
With these tools I was able to take the necessary steps to move away from the past, live in the present and plan for my future. With the proper support in place such as family, close friends and/or counselling, these steps will make a big difference.
Dancing with Daddy Again
I still dream about dancing with my father and I believe that one day it will happen; but for now I live in the present filled with great memories to share with my children.
What baggage are you holding on to? Maybe I can help! Leave your comment below.
Submitted by AskDonnaMarie
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