Today marks the 12th Anniversary of my dad’s passing. In an instant, I lost my biggest fan. And, truth be told, on a few levels, I’ve been floundering without him. Sometimes I look back on the last 12 years and wonder, “What could I have accomplished with less fear and more forgiveness?” And, why, at age 32 was I not my own best cheerleader? When you get down to it… Self Love. My sense of self was attached to external measurements of success- praise, grades, trophies, white picket fence family. I relied on the script my parents provided instead of understanding that I can be the author of my own story. When I lost my dad, a primary source of self was gone and I didn’t have the skill set intact to feel worthy. So, here I am, 12 years later, still laying the foundation for authentic self love but now, I’m aware of using the “good thoughts” mantra and I forgive myself for not coping very well and I forgive my dad for dying. I’m raising teens who may be living part of my script for them, but I hope I’m giving them some awareness and tools to find internal reasons to love themselves and inspire them to truly be the authors of their own stories. All of these things parents want for their children, my dad included, it’s not part of the parenting handbook we necessarily inherit until we have to do our own soul searching and unveil for ourselves. Let’s not make our children wait half their lives to learn how powerful they are– teach them to write their own script! Be your own biggest fan! I love you man.