21. February 2017 Sam Ryter

Meeting My Dad after 20 Years – A Story on Forgiveness (6min read)

Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Here's the story of how a friend of mine was able to forgive.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness is probably one of the hardest things for the human ego. Especially after very painful experiences. But by refusing to forgive, we choose to suffer. Today I want to share a story with you about forgiveness. It’s not mine. It’s a story of a very close and inspiring friend of mine. When I heard his story the first time, I was moved to tears.

After reading, I took his story and reflected it onto my life. What I’ve discovered has changed my perspective on life in many ways. It’s a powerful and inspiring story with incredible teachings in it.

I’d like to invite you today to read it with an open mind, to let it sink in. There are so many powerful messages about life in it and you might be able to find yourself in the middle of it. Be open, and enjoy.

Growing Up Without A Father

I’m almost 22. My mother raised me basically alone.

My real father left my mother when I was 1.5 years old. He has another family now and a lovely daughter as well.

Until my age of 8, I had no memories of him, we never met, even though we were living just 30 km’s away from each other. But around 2003-4, I went for a National Holiday to his town with my cousin. Of course, he was there, and he approached us asking my cousin: “Hey, Renata? Is that you?” She responded: “Yes… and this is your son…“

Of course I wasn’t aware what the hell is happening around me. I was just standing there, alone, trying to realize that this man in front of me was my real father.

After this, I felt this urge to meet him again, again and again. It was an extremely hopeful thought that I can have a real father as well!

My mother was very supportive and helped me to find him.

But as you can imagine, things didn’t turn out as I was hoping. He promised to call me – but he never did. I was sitting over the phone all night waiting for him, but nothing happened…

I know now, that this experience has caused a massive scar in my soul. I haven’t admitted it for long, but I was hurt, very, very badly. I haven’t even talked about this story for ages.

Meeting My Sister Of Full Value

But everything changed in last year, when his daughter – my sister – contacted me on Facebook.

We began to talk, and then to meet up for the first time.

A few months later I realized that she’s my sister of full value.

We were building our relationship over time. We’ve had really deep conversations about each other’s past – mostly about mine of course.

Firstly I declared that I don’t want to meet the rest of her family. She seemed to be interesting and after all she had nothing to do with my father’s leaving.

“What If It’s Me, That Creates The Suffering”

At the beginning of December, I took my sister to one of my friend’s training called “Fearless Relationships”.

We were talking about our deepest fears, our childhood memories and at the end of the first session, we went through a meditation.

I was imagining walking closer to a locked shelter on a field – I had the keys in my pocket.

In that shelter, my child-self was locked inside. It was locked in there for ages. Suffering and feeling alone.

It was such a clear vision to me, and as I was in that meditation, my friend called me to account, why I left my child-self alone. In that moment, I felt so connected to myself. I literally had a conversation with this hurt little child within me. Maybe the first time I was truly listening.

After this, I realized something that left me speechless.

I realised, that I’ve done the very same thing to my “child-self” as my father did to me in the past. And of course, I never had the intention to become him.

If you love your story, you love your life. Byron Katie

The Strangest Meeting Of My Life

In the evening, when we were waiting for the bus, I asked my sister to tell her father that I want to meet him.

One week later (exactly on the 20th “anniversary” of leaving me), we met in a teahouse.

It was the strangest meeting of my life.

I didn’t know how to start so I introduced myself to him…

We were talking for 2 hours and you know what my first thought was? “Whoah, he is not a demon… he is nothing but a human being…”

I left the place with a smile on my face; he apologized for not having been here for me and expressed his wish to meet me more in the future.

Forgiveness And The Choice Of Being A Victim

Lots of things happened within me since this meeting. Now I’m able call him my father without that stomach cramp I had before when anyone was talking about him.

Do you know why? Because I feel, that I was able to forgive – but not him in the first place. But I feel I forgave myself.

All my life, I was putting myself to the victim-role, while the choice was mine all along.

I could say that I’ve defeated my demons, but it’s something different.

They are still here, but I feel they’re my very best friends right now. As I shine light on them – not fighting them – just like my father, I realise that they are not as “evil” as I always thought they are.

Impossible is literally nothing, we all have a choice. We can choose between putting ourselves into the victim-role – over and over again – and being a hero of our own life.

Suddenly, a new world opened up for me. Nothing really had changed externally, but the way I saw the things around me.

Sometimes we feel stuck, we experience the deepest pain and it seems that there is no way out. But I believe sometimes we just have to allow ourselves to see the beauty. To see the bigger picture. To see the opportunities and the possibilities.

I came to see that literally a whole new world out there is waiting for us…

Your powers are limitless, why do you choose to hold yourself down?! Live by your heart! Are you afraid of doing something? Don’t be! What’s the worst that could happen? Do it and watch what value it adds to your life!


My Apreciation And Take-Away’s

I’m so incredibly impressed by this story. And I wanted to say thank you for posting this into the Facebook Group.

There are so many take-aways for me personally. And it shows me so clearly how we can learn from EVERYONE we meet in our lives – If we are open to it. It sparked so many insights about my life within me.


If there’s one take away for you from this story, what would it be for you?

Please let us know in the comments and let’s have a little discussion about it.

The Root Of This Story

This story was orgininally posted in my Facebook Group. It’s a group where we share insights on relationships and connecting with others, in order to create deeper and more impactful connections with ourselves.

If you would like to be a part of this amazing group, feel free to apply below, and fill out the basic questions that will appear after clicking the button.


Do you have a story you wish to share with us?

If you have story or a breakthrough you would love to share, then please contact me via Facebook or send me an email to sam@samryter.com.

Thank you for being here! Thank you for reading!


Leave a reply

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sam Ryter

Sam Ryter is an author and professional coach. He helps people to create deeper and more fulfilling relationships with others, the world and themselves.