(This is part 2 of a series on being a father. Here is part 1 of our series on fatherhood)
Why did I choose butterfingers every time?
Because it is what my dad chose…
And I knew he could do whatever he wanted. Choose what he wanted.
And that is what he chose.
His choices were limitless (from a child’s perspective), so, naturally what he chose must be the best.
To this day, if I were offered many choices of candy bars, it would require an intentional decision to choose anything else, because choosing the Butterfinger is just what you do!
In the past, it wouldn’t have even felt like a decision…
Choice = Butterfinger.
It isn’t like I thought about it at a meaningful cognitive level…
I didn’t need to; I didn’t know to. (Heck, I didn’t know I wasn’t!)
This example is silly and not very significant for life, but I think it shows the effect I am trying to illustrate.
A good friend who is a poet recently wrote this:
Fatherhood is an ocean. It’s life-giving, mighty, and gentle. It doesn’t matter who you are, it wraps you up in its current and pushes you in different directions. It doesn’t matter how far you go. It covers the globe; it’s always there. And when you get tired, you have to lie opened up belly and face towards the world- the most vulnerable position. And only then, can you close your eyes and let go. –Your in the most vulnerable position and the ocean carries you… that is when you float. And it doesn’t matter how far-it covers the globe- it has no end.
The unavoidable power of fatherhood we can accept.
The goodness invested in us we can embrace.
But what about the lies, the excrement, or the voids?
Replacement, and the acceptance of the replacement, and the empowering of the replacement in our own minds. Here is what I mean…
First – other spiritual parents in our lives as replacements for our biological father if he needs to be replaced. For all of us, spiritual parents can be healthy and wonderful additions to our lives. Accepting their acceptance, love and approval as more real and more significant – opening ourselves up to their influence – is vital.
Second – accepting the revealed God as our Father – our ultimate Father – and though He is not physically present in front of our eyes, we can let the Truth of His faith and approval and the “reckless raging fury” of His love for us hold our hearts and souls – filling them until the junk is washed over like old oatmeal out of a bowl. Soaked, lifted, and washed away
Once, when Jesus got angry at the way the Pharisees liked to be honored as representatives of God, but didn’t honor Him with the way they treated others, finally turns to the gathered crowd and exclaims “Do not call anyone on earth your father ; for One is your Father , He who is in heaven.” (“father” was apparently a name the Pharisees liked) Matt 23:9.
How does this apply? If you had/have a father who wants to be father but refuses to love, cherish, etc… then don’t call him father; why? Because you have a father. In some way, this should be true of all of us – even the ones with great fathers! Even the great ones are really just like the moon reflecting the light of the sun. The sun is still the real light source.
At best, as a father, I am just a reasonably accurate though poor reflection of my children’s true, everlasting and eternal Father.
Whoever you are, remember, you have a Father. Someday I believe, He will make things right, and call us Home.
Thanks to all the great dads out there, including mine.
You’re not alone and we would love to join you as you take steps toward a stronger, healthier future.
I believe we all need a safe place to explore the issues that may be preventing us from experiencing a full and satisfying life. My greatest reward as a therapist is helping my clients examine ways to make the changes in their lives that will allow them to look forward to the future with hope. I am a bilingual (Spanish-English) LPC.
Our team will reach out to you soon!