There is an old Indian saying that Our Fathers teach us wisdom, whereas our mothers teach us unconditional love. Sunday, many of us celebrated Fathers day - a day to really celebrate and honor your father especially if he played an important role in your life. My father left an imprint on me that I will utterly be grateful for. Although he passed away almost 12 years ago, I still feel him with me, around me, more than ever - and I think it is because of the many experiences we had together and the time he took to spend with us. He travelled alot for work, so we spent time apart together, however, the time we did have together was quality time. He made sure he would have those teaching father-daughter moments that i can still remember to this day. As a young child I watched him in his day to day interactions with others, I listened to his ever so creative stories, I learned to love music and appreciate all types of music from him, and I learned to dance from him. He taught me humility, he taught me the importance of hard work and having a good work ethic. He taught me about being fair and being objective. He also had a temper - which unfortunately I inherited:). There are moments with him that I will never forget such as the many special one on one trips with him -or the way he surprised me with a singing telegram for one of my birthdays, or just plain advice he gave me on men, on relationships. He also taught me about spirituality and understanding the importance of spirituality in day to day life. My father was my friend first.
Yesterday, my husband also celebrated his sixth year as being a father - and i think it struck me even more when he said - "Fathers' Day is more important to me than christmas or even my birthday." I was a little surprised at that first, but as he began to talk about it, i began to understand that it is the joy of seeing his son grow, being able to do things that fathers/sons do with each other and being able to pass on his wisdom to his son in the same way as my dad passed on his wisdom to me. Maybe not in the same exact way, but watching the two of them interact is quite beautiful. With both their energies combined as they interact together it is quite touching to see the way they play ball together, the way they watch a game together, the way they like to bug each other, and the way they understand each other with no words needed. What's even more uncanny is their mannerisms - it's like watching a junior and a senior in action at times!
Fatherhood comes with great responsibility and it is so important that we are aware of the impact we have on our little ones as they grow into adults - be it female or male. If you play a father figure role to someone, it is extremely important that you be mindful of the impact you have on that little one - your words stay with them, your actions stay with them, and your presence provides them safety and stability. It is a shame to think to yourself that they may not be aware, or they may forget - if that is so, just look back to your childhood and and think back of the ones who shaped you, who impacted your thinking, and the words that were once said to you that stayed with you forever.
There are so many of us that have lost that time with our father becuase of the negative relationship we had with them growing up, or because of their trauma history, or because of our mistinterpretation of their actions and behaviors - journaling helps in connecting the dots with our relationships so that when it is our turn to be a parent, we don't repeat the same mistakes.
Some Journaling Prompts:
1. What my Father taught me _______________
2. List 5 things associated with your father - now pick one of them and write about it for 5 minutes.
3. Write a letter to your dad...either as a form of forgiveness or as a form of praise/gratefulness. U can choose after you write it whether you want to send it to them or not.
4. Father Figures take all different forms. When you were growing up and even today - was there someone that you regarded as a father figure? Write about the male role models you have had in your life and the impression they made on you. What did you learn from them? And how did you try to emulate them as an adult?
5. I had my son write out a poem for his dad with the letter DAD - He was asked to write a sentence beginning with each alphabet - his first entry into journaling poems:)