“Coming to Believe”

A father I know is temporarily separated from his daughter, physically.
He wants to be with her but is unable to
until he is able to be with himself,
until he is able to see himself as he is
and come to terms with all he sees.

He is a loyal and loving father to his daughter,
wanting to provide for her, in his words,
provide a home for her, a place of belonging.

He longs to hear her first questions,
to be overcome by the innocence and purity in her voice,
her heart overwhelmingly open to life and all its possibilities,
wholly receptive in a way that can open his heart,
that can allow him to see that same innocence and purity in himself,
that same divine openness,
those same qualities I feel in him
when he speaks of her.

We all see in others what we cannot see in ourselves.
What he loves in her is what he would love in himself,
if he could see it.
The love I perceive in him is the same love that is harder to perceive in myself.
We are not so alone as I have often thought.
In our heads we feel alone
but in our hearts we do not believe it.

And deeper still, deeper even than the heart,
what is it that we believe?
Do we believe that there is no need to know exactly what we believe in?
Do we believe that we can be okay
with not knowing, with not having, with not doing?
Do we, or do we not, believe?

This father who is a friend of mine,
in these months of being separated from his daughter,
is learning how to be a man
before he can be a father again,
is becoming better able to live life
without needing life to go differently,
is coming to believe.

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