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Father’s Day… and forgiveness.

I am disloyal to my Occasional Opinion… I know. I don’t write as much as I should. In my defense I do not want to be a journalist, and this is my disclaimer, and to theme, my forgiveness of my self.

It’s Father’s Day. A difficult day for myself and many others in the States and wherever else this day is celebrated. I put myself with those who cannot wholly celebrate this day… Those who have lost a father to natural causes, or illness, or tragedy… but more so I belong to the subset that cannot celebrate this day traditionally because they have no relationship to their father. Some in this group may never have known their fathers. Among these will be the honored countless veterans children who lost their father’s before they even drew their first breath, or shortly thereafter. My heart and gratitude goes out to these families for the sacrifice they make. Most painful today, and Mother’s Day for those who lost that parent in service to our country and way of life.

There will be those that fit into the aforementioned “tragic” circumstance or illness as well. There will be the abandoned, who through no fault of their own were simply dealt the unfair hand to have the gift of life bestowed upon them by the irresponsible or morally incapable. There will be the adopted, who can be grateful in every way for having found love and caring in the homes of those whose hearts were so big they could impart that precious kind of love to children they had not brought into this world themselves… But who at one time or another have, do, or will think of their birth parents in one way or another. There will be those exactly like me… Who had their fathers in their lives at a young age, for myself up to my later teenage years, and then for whatever reason, no longer have a relationship with them, and possibly like me, do not know if they are even still with us.

There is no group this is easier for than any other. We all, as human beings, need something from those men who fathered us, if only acknowledgement. Some may think it is easier for males than females and there may be some truth to it. There will be argument as to whom a daughter is closer with, their mother or their father, but no argument that the first man in their life should in every respect have been their father. A young lady learns how she should be treated and loved by a man, from her father. If not in how he loves his daughter, then how she sees her father love her mother. We would always hope this involves kindness, patience and love- but we know that in the world we live in that’s not always the case.

For males our fathers are our model for manhood. I’ve read in modern literature the phrase “our fathers are our models for God”, and to some respect it’s true. We learn about being a man from our fathers. We learn every aspect of manhood from that example, everything from how to play sports in some cases, making a living, success and failure, as well as how to live, and love.

When you lose a parent there will be a time you will be angry. This time can go on for years, even a life time, if not blessed with the maturity and wisdom to acknowledge it. It’s a part of loss and grieving. It’s natural. Anger is a deceptive emotion that can sometimes ingrain itself into your being so deeply that you may not even recognize it’s gone dormant for a very long time… until something sparks it to life again, and if you’re honest with yourself at that time, you could work on it from that point. This holds true for us all. You will be angry at them, at yourself, at the world, and if the loss is a living loss, you may be angry at those the parent now chooses to spend that time with. This is where forgiveness comes in of course.

It’s much like anger, this concept of forgiveness. It may be something you thought to have achieved long ago, only to find out later, maybe there’s just a little more to work on. I’ve had the concept suggested to me often, and having to be honest with myself I have to consider what it is that would inspire someone to suggest that to me? When I know, or thought I had forgiven already. You always have to consider the impression someone tells you that they’ve gotten from you whilst you are unaware of your own projected persona. In the search for truth of self- this is often the truth you can never grasp on your own, and it can be the most valuable insight to who you are- because it’s who you are perceived to be by the world around you. Perception isn’t always truth, because you have to consider the source of course- but to be an open minded person, you must consider all sources.

In that respect, I’ve come to the conclusion that much like maturity itself, maybe forgiveness isn’t something you can ever truly get to, and simply have it, or be there like climbing to the top of a mountain, where you can say there, I got it, I’m done. The processes of forgiveness themselves are so complex, with that in mind the case is made without question- it’s not something that one can simply snap their fingers to, or say the words to, and decide- they’ve forgiven. Not with issues such as these. No… maybe forgiveness, like the pain of loss, and maturity, is a living thing, growing, and changing as we go on through life. Something organic like life itself, that takes work, one day at a time, today, more than the last, and so on… and when it’s built up, maybe forgiveness needs occasional maintenance. Occasional reminders. Like Father’s Day, when it comes around.

Forgiveness as well, is a difficult concept to advise to others in this respect- because unless you’re ready to apply it to every aspect of your own life, as life happens… you can’t expect anyone else to take your example can you? No. More to the point that it’s a difficult, living tenet to work with I think. You have to be able to show it, to prove you know it.

When all other hurdles have been jumped, all obstacles met and surpassed, we have to work on forgiving the circumstances that led us to these times, and actively apply the kindness and love we would have expected of our fathers, to ourselves. We have to acknowledge the fathers we know around us, in family and friends, who are present, and fortunate enough to have that opportunity to be there for their children. As difficult as it may be, we have to try and forgive, if not simply withhold judgment of those we know that for reasons all their own, are not present for their children.

Always remembering to be humble in the fact that we all have lives that are subject to judgment in one form or another- and that we should offer outwardly what we wish to receive back from the universe.

And in the end, for all of us out there who have or hope to have the opportunity to be a father one day, not counting those who’ve suffered the loss… there is always the promise to ourselves that we will do a better job than was done for us by our fathers who are absent.

We will be safer. We will be stronger. We will be present. Supportive. Loving. Caring. And fine examples of what a man should be to our sons and daughters.

Happy Father’s Day.

Everyone.

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