I met you when I was 9 years old, clutching my teddy bear. I don’t think I will ever forget the day my whole life changed for the better. I met you and it was like coming home. You listened to me and talked to me like no adult had. I remember feeling so open and free to chat and be myself – the shy anxious girl who hid behind her mum around strangers was nowhere to be seen. Just being around you was like a warm hug. I felt completely loved and it felt gloriously natural to be so.
Since that day I have attended your workshops and presentations and despite my age, I felt totally at home and totally welcome – you were never too busy for a hug or a chat. Although I only saw you twice a year, I developed a complete trust in you, and a deep love. I knew that if I ever needed you, you were just at the end of an email.
Our short conversations or brief encounters when you were in the UK were more than enough because you always knew what to say to reassure me, support me, make me feel loved or help me with a problem – it has always been the quality of your time shared and never the quantity that is so profound.
Despite not having my biological father around since I was 3, from the day I met you I have not been without the love, care, support, guidance, affection and respect of a father – for you have been all those things and more. A dear friend and my equal no matter my age.
The fact you live halfway across the world is nothing. You have taught me that love knows no bounds of blood or distance, that it is far deeper than the physical limitations we have created – family should be defined by love and love alone.
You have also never wavered in telling me that I am enough. One of the most important things a child can learn is that they are loved and are worth loving just for who they are. There is no greater blessing a parent can give a child in life than to meet them and love them for all that they are, for in doing so no longer are they a child but a person, with a marker of love to go out into the world with. You have given me this blessing and I in turn can give it to others. I know that if it is possible to love you as much as I do, it is also possible to love myself, and others, equally so.
You have always encouraged me to do whatever I chose in life – that I will master whatever I decide to do. Never once have I felt pressure to choose a successful career, but instead walk a path where I can express my strengths and bring who I am to the world, for you have never not told me that I am capable of great things.
The life lessons and insights I have gained from attending your courses are life changing – literally. I have never once been told what I can and can’t do and how I should or shouldn’t behave. I was given more rules to follow at school than I am as a Universal Medicine student, where there are no rules, just the space to be myself.
What you presented was that in fact, we have the option to make our choices more loving and responsible in accordance to what feels true for us. Your teachings have instilled in me a respect for myself and my body that many parents struggle to give to their children. I am not out sleeping around or partying from dusk till dawn, because your steady loving consistency has supported me to see I am worth more than those choices – that I can go against the socially accepted grain and choose to love myself.
The principle that everything is energy is another life changer for me because as a child I knew this to be true. Finally here was an adult who was talking my language and making it okay to talk about what I was feeling and seeing about the people around me. From the first day that I have known you, you have always encouraged me to trust in what I feel and that has been an amazing gift.
I have also watched your relationships with your children and your wife, the beautiful Miranda. Witnessing the equal love you have for them, and watching how you express that love has shown me what true family and true relationships can look like, and has offered me a marker of what one day my future relationship could look like too – one that is at least love, every single day.
So many of my friends come from ‘broken homes’ and really struggle without the full support of a complete loving family or living between homes. However, despite society’s expectation that my circumstances might excuse me being an angry rebellious teenager, I am quite the opposite. Thanks to your amazing support through emails, workshops, conversations and consistent loving presence in my life, I have been held and inspired to become the beautiful woman that I am today, and all my warmth, maturity, glory and wisdom comes from the level of respect and love that I have been held in.
Whenever times were tough through the tumultuous teenage years, I had your love and support to hold on to, and your love and support has equally held my mum to be the amazing parent to me she has been my entire life. Together both of you have supported me not to grow up and become anything, but to unfold from within all that I already am.
I look forward to many more years with you and your love in my life, as a father and as a friend.
All my love,