Today is father’s day and I notice I’m kind of grumpy and I’m not clear why. There seems to be a hollowness when I feel myself as a father, always a good time to check those beliefs that warp perception.
Being a father is a sacred trust. It calls forth strength and vulnerability, courage and compassion, giving and receiving. Somewhere along the line, I created a perfect father “picture”. Maybe this was influenced by the television program, “Father knows best.” I know that sounds funny, but I can feel the messages of being a father who was always perfect with this wife and children in every situation. He was never angry or harsh. He always brought out the best in everyone in the family in every situation. What a standard to compare myself to!
In my inner exploration, I have found absolute gratitude and love for my father. Orrie was a great teacher. He loved me, and for many years didn’t know how to say it. I was unable to see his love in his actions. Before he departed from his body nine years ago, we had found appreciation for our similarities and differences. When he was gone, only love remained.
So, I thought I didn’t have anything else to uncover about fatherhood. Today’s awareness reminds me of the difference between being a son and being a father. As a son, I have found peace, but not as a father. I want to be perfect for my sons. I find myself lacking at moments, and my judgments are strident.
Looking at what I am not provides no space to see what I am. I know the power of the inner judge to obscure truth. I suppose I will continue to be offered evidence of this until I no longer judge myself or anyone else.
Now the real picture of me as father is coming into view. What a gift it is to be allowed to be father of all these beautiful spirits. It is I who offers them thanks for this privilege.