Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

For many of you reading this blog, Father’s Day does NOT conjure up warm memories. When you hear someone wax nostalgic about a father’s love you want to stand up and scream: But he didn’t!

For so many of us, Father’s Day is tough. The word father conjures up images of rage and fear and hurt and bewilderment and never feeling safe.

How then can we handle Father’s Day, if that’s how we feel?

For me, it was a hard won battle to realize that it only hurt me if I didn’t let myself remember the moments my father was loving toward me. And to understand that acknowledging those moments in no way diminished the wrongness of the other things he did to me.

I also came to understand that there was something powerful and empowering for me in remembering that part of him that was capable of love and that perhaps under other circumstances, if he had not been so deeply unhappy, he might have followed a very different path. Because it reminds me that I have that potential for love and kindness in me even when there are moments when that’s not how I feel.

I also found that on Father’s Day it helps to remember men in my life who have in some way acted as a father to me. Men who in some way helped me feel safe and loved and valued. Mind you, some of them were younger than me but if they evoked those emotions, they helped to give me what the best of fathers give their daughters.

If you had a wonderful father with whom you shared wonderful moments, I am so very glad for you! You were given a wonderful gift.

If you did not try to hold onto whatever loving moments there were. Do it not for your father’s sake but for your own. And cherish those moments with other men when you felt safe and loved and valued. Because those moments matter, too.

Wishing you safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),


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