“It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.”
– Johann Schiller
From Father Knows Best’s Robert Young to Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, every generation has their own iconic sitcom dad, happy to come home after a grueling day of work, never too tired to toss the ball or shoot a few hoops with the kids, able to dispense profound advice on any topic at a moments notice. But what if your father wasn’t that guy?
What if you dad was never there to coach your little league games, teach you to drive a stick shift, or proudly walk you down the aisle at your wedding?
For many people, any effort to visualize a happy day with dad conjures up negative feelings – or no memories at all.
If your father was unavailable or absent when you were growing up, was a less than perfect role model, or passed away when you were a child, you might wish you could sleep your way through Father’s Day and wake up when it’s over.
Don’t pull the covers over your head just yet. You can honor the day by acknowledging someone who made a difference in your life and by doing so, attract the kind of positive masculine energy you’re missing.
I want to share what happened at an Evening of Spirit a couple of years ago…
I looked out over the audience and immediately spotted a young woman. She was clutching a photograph in a frame, and looking up at me with a hopeful expression. That wasn’t what caught my attention – what was really drawing my eye was the gentleman standing behind her, looking at her with pride. He was an elderly gentleman, and I got a strong sense of father energy from him. I asked her to stand up, and I described the Spirit coming through. I was getting impressions of soccer games, and a big old Thunderbird car.
“Is this your father?” I asked.
“No, no, no,” said the woman, getting a little agitated. “He didn’t have a car like that, and he traveled all the time and was never at my soccer games.”
She walked up to the stage and showed me the photograph she had brought with her.
“This is my father!”
The soul I was seeing was definitely NOT the man in the picture. After some discussion, we determined that the man behind her was her high school soccer coach, and that he had been a mentor to her and often drove her home from practice. He was the one who helped develop her passion for soccer and had helped her get into college with a sports scholarship. Her father had been absent most of her life, and when he passed, she couldn’t help feeling that she had missed out on having a relationship with him. The loss she could not let go of was keeping her from feeling content with her life, and interfering with her relationship with her husband and daughters.
I convinced her to put her desire to connect with her deceased father aside for a few minutes and listen to what her coach was trying to tell her. He urged me to let her know that he had been honored to be a part of her life. He could see that she was a wonderful mother and watched with pride as she coached her own children on the soccer field.
“Let her know that I’m there, guiding her, when she’s coaching her girls. They’re as talented as their mother was!”
She looked at me and it was as if a light went on in her head.
“He was such a great role model for me! I’m going to stop chasing the dream of what my real dad should have been and be grateful that I had this man in my life!”
I left that event feeling that the whole room had learned something very profound. Your biological father might not be perfect, but if you let it, the universe will fill the gap by providing a father figure. The strong, protective, masculine energy you are looking for can come in many forms – it might be a coach, a teacher, a grandparent – anyone. The person doesn’t have to be a man at all – they just have to be there to protect and guide you.
If Father’s Day leaves you feeling that you have nothing to celebrate – this is the year for a change. Take a minute to look back and honor the individuals who have played the role of father for you and be grateful for the support they have given – whoever they are.