Father’s Day was this weekend in U.S., a day when we celebrate our relationship with our fathers. Some of us don’t have a lot to celebrate, as our fathers may have been absent, unknown, or so emotionally distant that we cannot find a reason to celebrate our relationship with them. My father has been dead for 27 years and while I spent much of my life being angry with him and wondering whether he cared about me at all, I now understand so much more about him and can actually be grateful for the gifts he gave me instead of focusing on how he ignored so many opportunities to show how much he loved and cared about me. (the photo is of my father and me, taken quite a few years ago!)
Fathers mirror our lessons in power and love, often through their limitations instead of their abilities. My father was, as were many of the men of his generation, emotionally damaged. Orphaned during WWII at age 4 and adopted by strangers in a strange country at age 7, much of his life was lived with the question of what happened to his birth family. He was quiet, withdrawn, and emotionally disconnected. Yet, there were a few times, like the first time I was rejected by a boy I liked, and he comforted me, told me that I was beautiful and would one day find someone who loved and appreciated me, that he was loving and supportive.
I wanted him to be strong and powerful, to protect me and to show me that he loved me so I could know that I was lovable. But he didn’t love himself or feel worthy of love, based on his life experiences, so he could not give that kind of love to me.
My father, like so many men of his generation, was consumed by grief, anger, sadness, powerlessness, and had no idea how to express his emotions. For their generation, emotions were for women, and ‘big boys didn’t cry’. What I now know is that he couldn’t give me what he didn’t have and although he may have wanted to, and I think he did, he simply did not have the skills or knowledge to be emotionally present for himself, so he couldn’t be there for me either.
I feel that I know my father better now than I ever did before, and I am at peace with the person he was, instead of being angry at the person he was not or, as I have learned to accept, could never be. It took me a very long time to figure that out. I had many expectations of my father and was very angry because he did not meet them. I could not appreciate his pain because I wanted him to fix mine, to show me that I was powerful and worthy of love.
He lived with me during the last few months of his life and that gave me an opportunity to see the depth of his emotional suffering, the feelings of unworthiness, the deep hurt at having been separated from his family, the grief he held within him, and how closed his heart was. In the moments before he died he told me he loved me, that he was proud of me and apologized for not being a better father. It had taken him nearly 30 years to say that to me and it was the healing and proof of love that I needed.
It was also a choice point for me and I could accept it and move on or be angry and reject this gift because it was too little, too late. I chose to accept it (not right away though), grateful that he loved me enough to find the courage to say it, even if it was in the last moments of his life. I now know, with the understanding that comes from experience, wisdom that comes with age, and compassion from being a parent, that my father’s emotional limitations were his gift to me. I could choose to be like him, or I could choose to be as emotionally open as possible and to end the legacy of grief, hurt, anger, powerlessness, and emotional distance that was the legacy of that generation.
We choose our parents, even our distant, hurtful, absent, or wounded fathers, so that we can heal ourselves. The belief that fathers should be or should have been ____________ (fill in the blank) puts the burden of our healing on them and limits our ability to learn and heal from our shared journey.
Whether they were horribly abusive or lovingly kind, there was a reason we chose them and when we can be compassionate and forgiving with them and ourselves, we can release lifetimes of anger and disappointment and accept them for who they are, human beings doing the best they can with what they were taught and know. Whether you were well or poorly fathered, your father is part of your soul group, an important aspect of your healing journey and another mirror of your healing.
This Father’s Day also fell on the Solstice, a celebration of the longest day of sunshine and the sun represents the father in astrology. It’s one more reason for us to re-align ourselves with a higher perspective on all of our relationships but especially, the ones which we struggle to understand or come to terms with because we feel that they were lacking in so many ways.
There is another aspect to consider as we decide whether we are going to spend our lives resenting our fathers for their poor parenting and emotional skills or move beyond those emotions and view them with compassionate kindness and understanding, and that is the awakening of the Divine Masculine energy. We celebrate the rise of the Divine Feminine, after eons of suppression, which was part of our Atlantis Legacy and which I write about in my book, The Atlantis Legacy, which you can purchase on Amazon at this link. The Divine Masculine energy represents the rejoining of the masculine to its heart center, which it has been disconnected from for as long as the Divine Feminine has been disconnected from its power.
Through countless centuries of war, death, domination, and control, the masculine energy has had its heart broken and is consumed by the grief which is a by-product of its trauma, and it is time for it to be reconnected on a heart level, so men can be whole and complete once more, reunited with the unconditional love that is part of their divine blueprint. We see it in today’s younger generation of fathers who are caretakers and providers to their children in ways that my generation never was.
By forgiving our fathers, which means that we refuse to continue to carry the pain and anger we have around them and accept them for what they were and are, without expecting them to be different, we can open the portals for a shift in how we masculine/male energy to be expressed. And then we can bless future generations with parents who are equally loving, compassionate, supportive, and aware of their power in ways that allow them to express all of the love in their hearts to everyone in their life. And in doing so we can end the legacy of grief which has been such a powerful limitation to the reconnection of ourselves to our own divine center, and to each other.
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