The World’s Mayor Experience: “Embracing My Father’s Legacy, Rewriting Our History Together”
I need to be open with you. For the longest time, I felt like a child lost in a maze, trying to find my way to my father’s approval. Was it his silence, the absence of a simple “good job,” or the painful memories of abuse that kept me wandering? Perhaps all of it. But that’s not what I want to share with you today. I’ve written about my anger and resentment towards my father in my book, “The Devil Inside Me.” But that was a different time, a different me.
Today, I want to talk about love, forgiveness, and a newfound connection with my father.
I’m 44 now, and the years since my father’s passing have brought clarity and healing. The memories of arriving at his funeral, high on cocaine and reeking of tequila, have faded. I forgave my father long ago, but finding something positive to say about him remained a challenge.
Forgiveness is a powerful force, one that has transformed my life. But it’s not the end of the journey. It’s a stepping stone towards understanding, acceptance, and ultimately, love. I’ve often wondered why I keep stumbling over my own feet, why I can be my own worst enemy. The answer, I’ve realized, lies in the shadows of my past, in the hidden corners of my soul.
I’ve been haunted by a feeling of unworthiness, a nagging doubt that I’m never living up to my potential. It’s a feeling I’ve despised.
But today, I discovered something profound. I realized that I’ve been seeking my father’s approval in the eyes of others, only to be left empty and disappointed. How could I, at 44, still crave that paternal pat on the head?
The answer is complex, rooted in deep insecurities and hidden truths. But it’s also simple: I’ve been living with lies. Lies that told me my father never loved me, never believed in me, never saw my worth.
Today, I connected with God in a way I never thought possible. Through prayer, I saw my father, and I heard his voice: “I am proud of you, son, and I’m sorry you never felt it. I believe in you. Finish what I started. I’m rooting for you.”
My father’s unfulfilled dream of a world tour with his band, his sacrifice for a college degree at his father’s insistence, has always weighed on me. But now, I see that his dreams live on in me. I carry not just his flaws but his virtues, his hopes, his love.
Today, I feel close to my father for the first time in my life.
Forgiveness was just the beginning. The true goal, I’ve learned, is to love.
Today, I know I love my father. And I’m determined to love all those I thought I merely needed to forgive.
Today, I’m not just rewriting my history with my father; I’m embracing our shared legacy, our shared dreams, and our shared love.
Thank you for reading…
Joshua T Berglan