Not every relationship is easy. Not every relationship flows without challenge, but what if those challenges are helping us grow in some way?
Sunday just gone saw father’s day in many parts of the world, and for many people it was a day of celebration and for as many more, a day of longing, sadness and grieving for what can perhaps never be the ‘ideal’ paternal relationship.
There is something so primal about our human need for safety and security, for love from those we love, for support to lean into, and for guidance as we grow from birth into childhood, adolescence and maturity. Often that need never diminishes.
In this Sunday’s #breathetheworld session we posed the following question:
If I asked you to speak to your father on the subject of ‘what it was like to be your daughter/son, what would you say?’
Understandably, the responses were many and varied.
“If I am to tell the truth I would say, Dear Dad, I love you and sometimes it has been fun but I need to tell you that your reactions of anger to many things have added to suppression of my voice. I feel fear around speaking my truths with you. I often feel that I don’t really properly know you. I feel both anger and grief. And I really wish you would try to stop drinking alcohol every day and realise the beauty of what is out there!!”
“Hello Father. Sometimes it was hard to feel your love, but I am happy to be able to feel it now. There were times were I missed you, but nowadays I know, that your supportive hand is always at my back. Thank you for that. It’s good to feel you and to know you are here. Thank you for your care and your love.”
“Dear Dad, our relationship was often crippling, suffocating, misunderstood, but I respected your integrity to not follow in your father’s footsteps of domestic violence. For that I am truly proud of you.”
“Dear Dad, you were the most kind and gentle person I’ve ever known. I was so lucky to have been your daughter. I think of you every day and I thank you every day for being such a loving father to me. I miss you.”
“Thank you for creating me, but sadly, I felt invisible, ignored, unloved, unfed, unclothed, and felt like you saw me as there to wait on you and serve you. Then after ignoring me for so long you crossed a line no father should ever cross and that has deeply affected everything I do in my life. You chose not to be a part of my life and now you are in spirit.”
These shares were so moving. The chat box quickly became flooded with a multitude of highly varying experience of being in relationship with the ‘father’ whoever had that role in your family.
“Dear dad, your connection with the earth, your ability to walk in wonder through nature and connect with the trees, to feel the view, has shaped my identity. Your sensitives grounded me and directed me on this spiritual path I’m now on. Sometimes we do not always have these deep conversations but being your daughter means knowing you are there and you understand.”
“Hello Father, thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for stretching my mind everyday. Thank you for imbuing me with such potent masculine energy. It brings me some sadness that in the recent years we have drifted due to the emotional experiences I have been through and your inability for emotional expression. I forgive you for not being able to give me that. I love you for everything you are and I know you try your absolute best.”
“Dear Dad, you died when I was 25. You were a narcissist and treated my mother badly and used me to make her jealous. I loved you and you manipulated me, but you also were the sun in my life because you acted like a child. Since you’re dead, I am with men who treat me like you treated mom. I’d like to transform that pattern and forgive you.”
“Hi daddy! Thank you for loving me so unconditionally and simply because I’m me! Never expecting anything or asking anything but simply offering love, support, guidance! You are continuously proud of me! Your love makes me strong, makes me know anything is possible, and let’s me know I don’t need to be anything other than my true self to be loved! I love you and my gratitude for everything you’ve done for me and the family! You are an incredible man! I breathe today for you!”
“Dad, all the memories of the times we actually shared and connected came flowing through the breath”.
The last share above highlights why we do this work. We breathe into the opportunity to transform our stories and experiences. We meet old hurts and move beyond them and whilst that may take time, we commit to patience and to being with the feelings. When we don’t try to change what is there with denial or force, we create the space for true transformation.
What is it like for you to read these shares? Does it help knowing that there are many others out there who may share your challenges and your joys? Drop us a comment and let us know, we love to hear from you all.
Join us next Sunday June 23rd at the same times (9:30am or 5:00pm London time GMT) and together we will drop into the master of life with our content companion; the breath.