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David Kav: Blog

"But I Think It's About...Forgiveness"

Posted on August 18, 2012 with 0 comments
(Also posted on The Local Tourist on Saturday, August 18th, 2012.)
PREFACE: LONG BLOG. The main idea of this blog is true, lasting joy and peace of mind. This is my search on a daily basis… and will be until the day I die. I touch upon this at the end as well.

“I've been tryin' to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about...forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore”

-Don Henley from “The Heart Of The Matter”

What fuels us to do anything? Have you actually taken the time to ask yourself this? I mean REALLY ask yourself this question? For some of us, it’s our family. For some of us, it’s our loved ones, our friends, our respective careers, our dreams. I truly know (from my personal experience) that, at times, we can get so wrapped up in our goals that we get lost in the drama that we mistake for life that we forget to ask ourselves, “wait – why am I doing this again?” Sometimes there’s a healthy answer in introspection. I believe that most of the time, however, the answer is toxic.

The latter choice above was my life for the past 15 to 20 years. In hindsight (since that is where the beauty lies,) this is what has held me back from any long-lasting success. When you are consumed with a lot of anger to the point of numbness, it is overwhelmingly difficult to see the forest for the trees. At times (or, at least in my situation,) you start to convince yourself that feeling the pain makes you stronger. By that rationale, you feel yourself superior in a very deranged way over everyone else. This leads to isolation, rage, resentment, apathy. These sentiments are what fueled my singer/songwriter career for the longest time. (Heck, just look at my last two albums, “Look Into My Eyes” and “Better You Here Than Alone.” That tells my story in a nutshell.)

As I write this, I now realize that everyone has their story to tell. I thought I was special with my dysfunctional family. Mother was (and is) a practicing alcoholic. I have not talked to her since New Year’s Eve 2006. This is a painful decision that I had to make in order to cut out the drama that had reached its stagnancy. In dealing with pain and emotional baggage overall, I remember an ex-girlfriend of mine who was dealing with her own demons ask me,

“Will [this] ever go away?”

“No,” I replied. “It never goes away. What does change, however, are the choices that we make.”

With the above stated, I had to make the choice to ostracize myself from my mother. Before making this decision, I had tried everything (I mean, EVERYTHING) under the sun. From apologizing for neurotic guilt, to “trying to be a better son,” swallowing my pride, and so forth. Nothing was working. The anger and frustration kept mounting to an ugly head. Therefore, one night when I tried to approach my mother to apologize yet again and she closed the door on my face (there are more details that I care to not get into at this point and time,) I said to myself and my ex-girlfriend at the time: “I’m done. I have to be.” To this day, I still work on my lifelong issues. The anger that has stemmed from my dealings with my mother has poisoned a lot of relationships for me. I’m not making an excuse. But, it is the truth. In order for me to have any type of good relationship—whether romantic, professional, platonic, or what have you—I have to let this anger and pain go.

Then there is the situation with my estranged father.

“Papa Was A Rolling Stone” could be another way to describe this man in a simple phrase. Or so I thought. At this very point and time, I’m not sure what to believe anymore. For years, I was told by my mother that he never cared for me. When I was 14 years old, I heard my dad on the radio on WLUP-FM when it was in its Talk Radio format. It was Christmas Day. Jonathan Brandmeier (long-time Chicago legend for those who may be reading this elsewhere) had his Christmas Day slot formatted around the question, “What Is Your Favorite Christmas Song?” Brandmeier (for those of us who knew him) was a jokester. Therefore, this whole show was very tongue-in-cheek and in lighthearted humor (for the most part.) Now, at this point in my life, we had heard the WHOLE SHOW the year prior. However, this year, there would be one additional phone call. It was my father. He called in to request “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon.

“That’s your father. THAT’S YOUR FATHER!” my mother kept saying over and over again. “What do you think? What are you feeling?”

“I don’t know.” I wanted her to stop badgering me. In truth, I was numb.

A year later, my mother told me that my father came to visit her while I was in school. I asked if he had asked about me. “No,” she said. I flew into a rage and then tears. “WHY?!?” My sister tried to hug me. Nothing. My uncle and grandmother lived down the street. I ran to them in a complete wreck.

The short of it – the anger, rage and resentment grew more and more over the years. My dad made it abundantly clear to my aunt that he wanted nothing to do with me or my family. He kept repeating the phrase, “I have worked long and hard to get the drunks and the crazies out of my life.” This, again, fueled my rage and I told my aunt, “you tell him that I don’t want to know him.”

Tonight, as I was coming to the hotel for my overnight shift (I am “On Call” these days since my career with music has been phenomenally been taking off,) I had a thought, inspiration, “flash of light” moment come over me as I have been going through major changes in my life as of late (all for the better in every way shape or form, for the record.) “If I am apparently just like my father, as I have been told, then I would probably do the exact same thing that he did in this situation. I can’t believe that he didn’t ask about me when he saw my mother. I can NOT believe that he didn’t want to know me at all. In fact… it is a LOT like my decision to withdraw my mother from my life.

“Dad… I forgive you.”

The lyrics above from the Don Henley song applies very much so to this situation. Again, it’s not about the pain ever going away. However, if we make the choice to live our lives for the better on a daily basis, to always do our best, it is at that moment when joy can freely come in. Peace of mind has a true chance to take shape.

In fact, Mom, I forgive you, too. I can’t be in your life. But, I release this anger. I have to. Otherwise, in another verse of the very same song…

“There are people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down, you know they hurt your pride
You better put it all behind you baby; cause' life goes on
If you keep carryin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside, baby”

My truest wish for everybody: Live the life you’re meant to live. EVERYONE has a dream, a purpose, a lifelong goal. Whatever makes you the happiest: do it. Also, if you are pursuing your dream and you feel like giving up, keep going!! I’m telling you, it’s in those next few steps that the miracles do happen. Man, oh man, this is truly a beautiful life. Join me, won’t you?