. . .
But there is even more to this story. As I mentioned earlier, my father, Gene Guy Gutting, passed away of a sudden heart attack at the young age of forty-eight. I was just sixteen. At the time, my parents were separated and my father was living in Santa Cruz, California, an eight-hour drive from our family home in Irvine.
Although my dad had a big heart and was a very passionate, loving man, he was from the old school of discipline and could be quite stern with his four daughters. As a result, we all felt afraid of our father at times. He could also be described as a workaholic, so even when he was living with us, he was often absent and I never felt that I knew him very well. In addition, in my adolescent and early teen years, my parents often fought in front of us, and I experienced my dad’s words toward my mom as harsh. My mom would confide in me, complaining of my dad’s preoccupation with his work as well as other problems in their marriage. I sided with my mom and unconsciously believed that it was my job to protect her. Because of this, my relationship with my dad was especially strained when my parents were separated, just before his death.
After he passed, I missed my father terribly and years later chose to consciously heal my relationship with him in spirit. I learned that although we shed our bodies at death, our souls are eternal, and we can continue to communicate with our departed loved ones, and even heal any differences we had with them before their passing.
One day, I heard a wise teacher remark, “in order to fulfill her purpose in the world and have a loving relationship with a man, a daughter needs to feel her father’s blessing.” She needs to know she is precious in his eyes. She needs to feel that she is lovable exactly the way she is. And that no matter what happens in her life, he has her back. This was a profound revelation for me. It dawned on me that I had never felt this from my father. At least in my own mind and heart, I had never received his blessing.
Over time, I practiced envisioning myself as a little girl, sitting on my father’s lap as he stroked my hair and looked lovingly into my eyes, telling me how proud he was of me. This I could imagine my father doing, because even though I don’t recall hearing such words from him directly, I do remember his work colleagues sharing at his end-of-life celebration how proud our dad was of his girls. These visualizations had a profound healing effect on me. I began to feel on a visceral level that my father loved me deeply.
When he passed, my mother, sisters, and I flew to Santa Cruz for his funeral service. I think I was still in shock from him leaving our lives so suddenly. . . .
Excerpted from The Magic of Saying Yes, by Betsy Gutting, JD
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