The lessons we've learned from our mothers are invaluable but many women can agree that there's something about a daddy's love (or lack thereof) that hit different.
In a recent Instagram post featuring an excerpt from her latest book, More Myself, the 39-year-old artist shared a letter that she wrote to her father in her teenage years and reminded us all that forgiveness can be self-serving. In the caption, she wrote:
"In the early part of my teens, I wrote this letter to my father, Craig. I wanted nothing to do with him. My words came from a place of vulnerability and longing. At the time it hurt so much to experience what felt like empty promises. I swore I didn't care, but I did and it affected me deeply. I finally had enough and wrote those words."
Alicia explained that at this point in her life, her disappointment in her father's absence was so overwhelming that she never wanted to hear from him again. The letter read:
"It saddens me that most of my heart is bitter towards you. It's only that little part that feels sad that's not bitter. It's been too long for me to avoid this any longer. All I want from you is to mind your business. I don't want the phone calls, I don't want the letters, I don't want the fake acts you pull to try and make me think you care. I don't want anything."
Despite Alicia's full intention to loathe her father from a distance, Alicia says that her father was adamant about maintaining some semblance of a relationship with her and it's because of his persistence that they are working to mend their relationship today:
"Craig says he had no intention of allowing me to push him off the ledge of our relationship. He says he attempted to stay connected from the back row of my life…. Even after I mailed those divorce papers to Craig, some part of me must have hoped he'd fight to stay in my life. But at 14 [she actually was 13 in July 1994] I felt sure I never wanted to hear from him again."
In a 2012 interview with Britain's You Magazine, Alicia explained that ultimately, her choice to forgive her father was in the pursuit of her own healing.
"My father and I are fine now. I would say in the process of growing up you realize you've been holding on to anger. I was angry then and am sure I had the right to be angry, but if you hold on to all this anger the only person you're hurting is you."
Years later, Alicia, who is now the mother of two children of her own, says that her father still holds on to her letter as a reminder of how much their relationship has grown.
"It's CRAZY that he kept this letter after all these years. I was so shocked when he first showed me. It was tucked away in a shoe box full of memories. I'm glad he and I can look back at it now as a sign of how far we've come."
Featured image by Instagram/@aliciakeys.