My family abandoned me, or was taken from me. I had 2 sets of parents and spent my teen years in a condemned and abusive boarding school. It all felt like a hurricane. My young life. In order to ‘escape’ I sought acceptance from people who didn’t know how to accept me. I sought love from people who were unable to love me. I hitchhiked, I traveled, I started businesses, I partied, I did anything but remember my past. Even as I got farther from my past it still stayed so close to me. It followed me even if the wounds had healed.

I sought help, but it was always temporary. Until I met a shaman.

When I was living in Mexico I decided to visit a shaman. And during one of our rituals I was sitting at the edge of a great lake alone. And behind me was my grandmother who I only met once in my life and as a small child. And she never said a word. But placed a burning ember on my forehead and in this ember was a great message.

That message was that on the other side of my fear was healing. But I had to risk everything to get there. And literally give up everything. All the relationships I spent over a decade building. That I would have to cross this great water alone. That I might have to die a thousand lives in order to find what my soul was looking for. And I might never achieve it if I didn’t believe it. That fear was enough to kill me, to destroy me. But that true hope was enough to carry me to the other side. But I had to make the choice. To die. To risk everything just once.

12 months later I boarded an airplane to cross the great ocean where I met my beautiful wife. And we had our beautiful daughter Sofia.

Somehow in crossing the ocean, and risking everything… I gained everything. The pain and suffering of my past life are merely part of the great story of getting where I needed to be to become a father. Fatherhood was the burning embers. Unconditional love was what I had to learn to give away in order to be healed. In learning to love my daughter, I also heal my own wounds, and break the cycles of pain that have existed for generations in my family.

When I wake up in the morning and see her smile I realize how amazing my life is. That in becoming a father I recognize that we are merely part of a greater story of humanity, and the miracle of life.

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” – Blackfoot