My later years with my father were tenuous at best.
He fell prey to senior adult “scams” and was convinced he’d won the “Sweepstakes” and a check for multiple millions of dollars was coming his way. He believed if he gave them thousands of dollars, they’d then reward him.
For four years he and I battled over the control of his financial well-being.
At one point I took him to court for “guardianship.”
Sitting in a courtroom across from my father trying to prove his mental incompetence was not on my top 10 list of things I wanted to do.
The next three years were tumultuous at best. Sometimes he’d be totally transparent and allow me to help him. Other times he’d do things secretly, taking out loans from low-profile organizations and building up massive credit card debt.
As we traveled through those years together there were times of great companionship, trust, and love. Other times, even though the love was there, neither of us felt as if that was the case. He was beyond angry with me and I had to do and say things I never thought I’d do with my father.
Each time I’d face an unpleasant circumstance the confidants I had in my life would tell me to base my next decision on whatever would allow me to live with “no regrets.”
Sometimes that meant saying I was sorry to him. Sometimes that meant standing firm, knowing that I was acting in his best interest, even if he didn’t think so. And it always, always meant turning the other cheek so that I could preserve the relationship at whatever level he chose for it to be.
As I walked that journey I had to put guardrails in place so that I would not stray into dark, dangerous places. I had to make sure I acted out of utmost integrity and love. Even though sometimes love had to do and say hard things. But – I needed to know at the end of the day and the end of his life that I had lived and loved with no regrets.
As I stood beside his casket in February I knew that I’d lived and loved in the way he raised me. To be strong – to do the right things, even if they were BEYOND hard!
Putting guardrails in place in our lives isn’t easy. But we need them – they guide us, they protect us. They help us find our way. As we place them it is important that we do so in the spirit of love, listening to the voice of God that pushes us to live with abandon, always acting in and out of love.
When we live this way we will find that we can overcome great adversity.
We will live with no regrets.
What do you need to do today to know that you are living with no regrets?
What conversation do you need to have? What fears do you need to abandon?
Put those guardrails in place that will bring you that inner peace and soul joy we were each created to have.