I love days when we celebrate others! In an ideal world we would be given the opportunity to celebrate someone and / or be celebrated by someone every day. Imagine how it would feel walking on this earth feeling acknowledged and the freedom to acknowledge others. If I wasn’t so caught in my own thoughts, I may have acted differently as I watched a woman struggle to pay for her groceries yesterday. I had a perfect opportunity to acknowledge someone and let it disappear.
Days like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are often loaded with unmet expectations and make it difficult to acknowledge another. There are probably as many definitions as to what a father should be as there are fathers and children in the world. Typically, I would look at what strong masculine and feminine energies look like to define a great father or mother…the father who provides and protects at all cost to himself and the mother who nurtures, sacrificing her own self for the needs of her children but we live in a world where both parents are being invited and some even forced in to taking on the other role.
We now have expectations that parents are everything or at least exceptional at one of these roles and if it isn’t the role we are wanting at that time, we are left feeling disappointed and thinking the parent is just not enough. With women’s lib, women have been encouraged to be strong in providing and protecting and have succeeded, sometimes I think to a determent of our relationships but that’s another story. Men, on the other hand, have been expected to become strong nurturing roles in their children’s lives as well as providing and protecting and I’m not sure who teaches them to do this especially when the women, who typically do it well are busy learning how to play both roles. Then we also have to consider our own egos when the other partner starts to step into the territory that we have historically been responsible for!
We also have to consider that home relationships are built on a different set of communication skills than what are used in the world of business (where so many men find most of their time communicating in their providing world). Often this is the difference of head vs heart communication. It’s hard enough for all of us to communicate through the heart and I think that it is our role as women to stand strong in our nurturing, open hearted, loving roll and create space for men to step in and out of it finding their own unique way of building relationship with children. What I do know is that we all want acknowledgement in this world and not one of us does it perfectly but what we all do, is try to do the best we know how. Relationships are in a constant state of transition, at least healthy ones are and we need to be conscious of what we want to build and active in how that looks.
This was a different father’s day for me, being miles away from my 3 sons who all step into fatherhood in a beautiful way whether they have children of their own or not. My own father has not been on this earth for many years and although I miss his presence, I see how they have filled a gap and provided a strong protecting and nurturing energy for me over the years…so to each of them, I honour them on Father’s Day. Yesterday, I had the gift of being present with my husband, David’s family for dinner witnessing he and his two sons being celebrated and honoured as the men that they are and the roles that they play. Simultaneously, I witnessed the wives / life partners and David’s ex-wife all supporting these men in being strong in who they are. Let’s add to that mix the beautiful young children who clearly celebrated the “fathers” but really just took turns loving each one of us up and being loved up in return…with no agendas and no expectations. May we all continue to learn from the children around us and stay young at heart when we think of the relationships that are most important to us!