My fingers just flew over the keyboard last weekend, as though of their own will, pouring some thoughts about being a father, which I later shared with several men who I knew are. And now, a week or so later, the thoughts are still with me and I feel the need to expand on them, and bring them to light here. Even though I personally am “only” a father to a furry four-legged being, I believe I have picked many of the same lessons along the way. What makes these lessons even more poignant for me is the fact that I know, with a fairly clear degree of certainty, that I will likely outlive my furry child.
Blessings, men, for this Father’s Day.
The job, task, and a responsibility of being a father is probably not anything we have really been prepared for. I know my father was not, nor was I. No courses, lessons, or workshops. Learning from our fathers, whether how to be, or how to be the exact opposite. Or anything in-between. I know. I know that we all do the best we can in the moment. I know my father did. I do have the understanding of his upbringing, his childhood, his life, and the way it all has impacted his way of being a father to me. Still, it does not really compensate for the hurts and the wounds I had to learn to heal and deal with over the years. For a very long while, stuffing and holding it all in, deep inside, worked. Until it did not any more, and a new phase of the journey began, of opening these wounds, connecting with the emotions, allowing the sadness and the anger to come to surface and feel. Feel it all. Open up to the lessons.
I honour us, men, absorbing and embracing all the lessons life has been so graciously throwing our way, whether with a dose of irony, or a dose of humour. Wanting to crawl into our cave, yet still getting up and doing what’s needed to be done. Celebrating. Cheering. Being angry. Being sad. Loving. Crying. Being patient, which is the trickiest when being at the end of our rope. Wanting to find our way, our unique way, the right way, even though we oftentimes only know the wrong one. Learning to open our hearts to the sadness of the world, of our emotions, of the little ones’ bruised knee.
Dealing with all that society asks, forces, dictates us to be. Be strong. Provide. Protect. Stand back and let them learn their own lesson. Care. Love. Share feelings. Cry. Don’t cry. Do something. Just be there and hold space. Do something now. Be patient.
And throughout it all, keep learning and growing and opening up to the absolute truth and core of who you are. And then, share these lessons with those we care for, hoping we will do a better job than our fathers, not repeat their mistakes. Yet, every once in a while, we are being stopped – often shocked – by a painful moment of humility, realizing that we didn’t fall far from the tree after all. Our fathers are imprinted in us, whether we want it or not. And we will be imprinted in our children.
I honour us, fathers. Blessings. May our hearts continue to remain open to those we raise for the future of future generations.