If you were like myself, you grew up in what I think was an average home of the sixties and seventies. Dad was the provider, protector and last word on anything in the house. He didn’t let you see him cry, he didn’t say anything sappy to you and not to your mother in front of you and he most definitely didn’t talk about sex to you! You knew he loved and cared for just “because” even though he rarely if ever told you that. When you were very small, you were sure he knew absolutely everything then were amazed how much he must have forgotten as you grew older then miraculously when you left home and had children of your own, how much knowledge he seemed to have tapped into. It was easy to respect this man, as he showed you respect as you grew, allowing you to spread your own wings when the time came for you to leave the nest but always having a place for you if you needed to come back.
Not so Nice...
Having grown up in such a loving home makes it easy to honour and respect your father but what if your home life was not so gentle, what then? How do you get past any violence, abuse, addictions, and hurtful words spoken? When do you let go of the hate and learn to forgive and move on? Well, it most likely will not happen over night but it does all start with you. Like any other life experience, only you know how you experienced it! You will have to be the one to go within and see how these things have been stored and how they shaped your own emotions and outlook. Only then are you able to make the decision not to let them create negative emotions and energies within and around you. Remembering that no matter how horrible a time in your life was, you have come through it and can determine how you let it affect your life today. By holding onto negative feelings and memories you are allowing them to control your present and future thoughts and actions. You cannot have both pleasure and pain within you at the same time so you need to choose which you want.
How do you honour a man who may not have met your expectations as a father when you were a child or now as an adult looking back you can see that he did not honour and respect you as a child? You may begin to feel a sense of guilt because he is your parent and you “owe’ it to him to honour him. One thing that may be hard at first to do is to recognize that everyone, and this includes your father, does the best he can at any moment in time. Choices are always available to us and the ones chosen may not be the best but from these experiences we can all learn lessons. Even though we all come with a plan, it is often put to one side or forgotten once here and all the energies of the earth, the people and situations surround us. Unfortunately, we do not arrive with written out instructions for our father on how to raise us.
Just as you are going through your own journey called life, you need to remember that your father is no different. How he was raised, what memories he has hung onto, whatever life lessons he is meant to learn are all within him, affecting his choices, emotions, and how he relates to you. Below are just a few points to consider when pondering your father, his traits and what you have learned from him. Perhaps, after going over this list, you will be able to take that first step in finding the inner peace, love and compassion to forgive and thus honour your father.
What did He teach you?
- When you were in spirit you chose this person to be your father - to be the one to give you physical life
- What lessons did you learn from him? Can you take a negative situation and see where you can gather strength, encouragement and wisdom from it?
- He was an example of what he thought a father, husband, should be but you don't have to follow that example if it is not one of love and compassion. If it was abusive, he has taught you what you DO NOT need to accept from someone.
- God is within everyone, so Spirit is within your father as well and that part of him needs to be honoured even if that is all that you can do at this moment in time...honour the God within.
- It doesn’t always have to be your biological father who you honour as a father. Many uncles, brothers and friends have been like a father to others, providing the love and support that may have been missing for whatever reason in the home. give thanks to these men in your life.
When you find it difficult to honour your Father
- Father’s can and do make mistakes as they are feeling their way along their own path.
- There are always other life experiences happening at the same time such as other relationships, job, their own searching for personal growth
- Fathers are no different than you – doing the best they can at that particular moment in time.
- You cannot make your father feel or act a certain way. It is up to you to determine how you will react to him.
- Father’s are not able to go back and change the things they did or said any more than you can. Take those situations from being negative into objectively looking at them and deciding what positive things did you learn from it?
- Don’t blame your father for your grown up actions. Take control back into your own hands and let go of the past. You do not need to repeat his mistakes!
- Allow for healing through forgiveness. This will create freedom within you.
- You don’t need to feel guilty for your father’s actions – he alone is responsible.
- Remember that you chose your father in this lifetime. What lessons have you learned from each other?
- Take a look at how you act, your life and circumstances. Are you repeating a pattern? Did you learn from your father’s actions or are you allowing them to control you life today?
Remember how the words and actions of your father shaped your life as a child, your thoughts of how a father should be, what a spouse should be like, how masculine and feminine energies were displayed. Learn from these experiences so that you will set an example for the next generation and become the father they will honour out of love.