Fathers Day – honoring absent or abusive fathers

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Wednesday

Fathers Day is coming……

Honoring parents appropriately is a healthy activity whether your experience of them was good, bad, really bad, or non-existent.

Since Fathers Day is almost here let me focus on fathers.

If you have or had a loving, present, involved father, you will have no hesitation or difficulty honoring him.

Let me address those who did not:

Your father, whether you knew him or not, is the most important man you will ever know (or not know). Like it or not, he’s breathing in you. His genetics echo in you. He’s in your mix. He leaks into your conversations. He appears in your dreams and aspirations, whether you know it or not.

His power over you is probably compounded if you reject him or the very idea of him.

You may ask, how do I honor a man I never knew, a man who rejected me, damaged me, or a man who – add your own experience….?

I’d encourage you to take time to acknowledge that, despite his flaws, fears, failures, even crimes, you do have life and you are a functioning person. You do have skills. You are here. You do have the capacity to see and enjoy beauty and the capacity to love, all of which would not be so without his contribution.

This is a very tough message, but honor him for your sake, not his.

[Seldom do I labor so long over content and even hesitate once it’s written. I expect some pushback but I’ve written what I truly believe. One good thing about a newspaper columnist is he or she is easy to ignore.]

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