What is the being of a father?


Musings on being a father

To father is simply to plant the seeds of a new life. It takes nothing to father.

Whereas to be a father is lifelong commitment to another life entered into voluntarily knowing that on the journey both joy and pain/sorrow will show up.  That is just what is so: in real life a rose without thorns simply does not show up – I have never encountered one.

To be a father is to choose to be responsible for another life.

To be father is to live the art of ‘loose’ and ‘tight’ – to allow freedom within boundaries and to act when boundaries are exceeded.

To be father is be opening  to being moved-touched-inspired-upflited by the child and learning from the child as well as moving-touching-inspiring-uplifting the child and encouraging learning.

To be father is to get that the child is not an adult in training – the child is just that a child and granting the child the freedom to be a child.

To be father is not to preach (that is easy and every fool does that), it is to live/model a life that moves-touches-inspires-uplifts the child.

To be father is to model both strength and vulnerability – showing that one goes with the other as do two sides of the coin.

To be a father is to be ok with saying/admitting “I don’t know, I don’t have the answers.”

To be a father is to accept and step into the process of letting go and let the child become wo/man.

To be a father is to model accepting and then handling that which shows up – wanted or unwanted in life.

To be a father is to be loving.

Fathers Day Card from Clea

Sometimes it occurs to me that I am doing fine at being the kind of father that I am up for being.  At other times it occurs to me I am/have failed so badly.  Neither is true – it is simply what shows up like the wind, sometimes calm and sometimes a gust.  To be a father is to wonder if you are getting it right and be open to encouragement!

 

 

How I defused anger through laughter


I was with my parent yesterday – enjoying their company in their home.  One minute everything was peaceful and then my father launched his missiles at me:

  • You have disowned our religion;
  • You failed to marry within our own and according to our customs;
  • You have wasted your money and not amassed riches;
  • You have failed to use your intelligence, your promise, and convert this into status for you, me, us;
  • Most of all we had such high hopes for you and you have abandoned us in our old age.

Ordinarily I’d get upset and walk out and go for a walk.  Occasionally, I have launched my own missiles back at him.  This time for some strange reason I just laughed.  It started with a small laugh and I enjoyed that so much that I laughed more.  And then more and more until my stomach was hurting from the laughter.

Then the most amazing thing happened: my father started laughing.  And so there we were the two of us laughing together.

What was the source of my first laugh?

At some level I got that this was my father simply being my father rather like a rhinoceros being rhinoceros.  And when I got this I started to laugh at my own stupidity:  look I was about to get upset with my father for being himself, how foolish.