For so many people Father’s Day is not a day of celebration and remembrance but of avoidance and pain. For so many, the image of their father is negative, painful, absent or even abusive. They never felt love or affection much less affirmation and joy. Maybe they never knew their father. Maybe he made life hard for your mom… maybe he hurt you in ways that are unspeakable. Maybe your dad was a great dad… but he is now passed on. You miss him desperately. You were not ready to let go. So what do you do with Father’s day?
This is where you have choices… the same choices that present themselves in most every difficult situation:
1.You can be angry.
2. You can retreat… avoid… hide.
3. You can forgive and move forward.
Most people I have seen fall somewhere into these categories. They are so angry they push everyone and everything away – if they don’t love, then they won’t feel this pain again. So they keep everyone at arms length. Is that you? When was the last time you let someone in? I am so sorry your father hurt you or is gone… any loss has an element of anger to it…so be angry, but don’t stay there – get it out in a way that does not hurt you or anyone around you.
Then the retreaters… or avoiders… you know who you are… you may retreat through depression- staying in your bed or home for days at a time. You may retreat through drugs or alcohol… at least for a moment the pain ceases. At least you are not feeling the hurt, the pain of what you had or what you wish you would have had. This works for a while the problem is there is no ‘fix’ that can fix this problem. I am so sorry your dad is not there.
Then there is the third option… and for me the one I chose. Years ago, my father chose to end his life. So Father’s Day was really painful for a while. I was angry, I retreated, and then I forgave. Do I miss him? Absolutely! He is missing out on some really great grandchildren. But I made a very hard choice. I could continue in my misery or I could forgive him, love him, remember the good times and honor the good memories. No one is perfect. I found that when I forgave, said good-bye. My heart began to heal. Now on Father’s Day… I choose to focus on the good fathers who are ‘still getting it done’. I celebrate the good men who love their children and their wives. Who honor commitments. I celebrate my Heavenly Father who loves, heals perfectly! I choose to celebrate. There is a time to grieve… but there is also a time to celebrate!
So my challenge this Father’s Day… Make a choice.. choose to celebrate… choose to heal… choose to live differently… to make this world better because you are still here… you CAN make a difference!