Things I Wish My Father Would Have Said To Me
My Father: Man of Mystery
I always knew that my father wanted more out of life. He is a simple man of very few words, but his eyes tell a different story.
It has taken nearly fifty years for me to unravel the mystery behind who my father is, and I would have to say that I am the only one who has (sort of) figured him out. But despite all the darkness and enigmatic secrets that encompass the man beneath the facade, he is still my father... And I love him.
I only wish he would have given me more.
A Message To All Fathers
My father is alive and well; living in solitary confinement with a chip on his shoulder and an immense amount of guilt. He doesn't visit, rarely calls and only places a letter in the mail on special occasions ––it's been that way since I was twelve. I could go on and tell you all the things that have lured me to the point of writing this article, but it would serve no purpose, other than keeping me trapped in a victimized cage.
Instead, I'd like to share a few points of interest that may benefit someone else's father; someone more inclined to listen and take my past experiences to heart. So here it is; in all its glory... My message to all fathers.
A few bits of wisdom that I wish mine would have shared with me.
The Dalai Lama (My OTHER Father)
Don't Look For Happiness In Someone Else
My mother was married twice. Her mother was married twice. And I (shocker), have also been married twice. But if I play my cards right and send the right message to my daughter, it is my hope that she will have less trouble finding Mr. Right.
My father never taught me about love; in fact, I don't recall him ever even using the word until I was in my late twenties. He never said that true love lies from within, or that I should look for a man of character when I'm ready to settle down ––I had to figure that out on my own.
When you grow up in a dysfunctional world; filled with labels, judgements and ridicule, it is easy to forget who you are. You get caught up in a moment of wanting to be accepted and you stop being true to yourself. Then, after a string of unhealthy relationships, bad decision, and an endless amount of self-doubt, you find yourself searching for answers to questions that only one person can give. And that person is you.
You can't love anyone until you love yourself. But first, you have to like who you are. It took me a long time to figure THAT one out!
You're GOING To Screw Up... And THAT'S OKAY!
You're going to make mistakes ––lots of them, but it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Don't spin your wheels on a car with four bald tires; change them, shake off the frustration and keep driving!
I'm really hard on myself; always have been. I'm a perfectionist by gene pool and there's almost no way around it. But I always wondered what life would have been like if my father were to have told me that "screwing up can sometimes be the best thing you could ever do."
No one ever congratulates you on making a mistake. But when the person you turn to for guidance gives you nothing but a twenty minute lecture on how you "should have done it better," it's awfully hard to recover. And typically; you don't.
It would have been nice to have been told that mistakes are just gifts in disguise; tools to teach me what not to do, instead of mocking me for doing it wrong. The funny thing is; even when I DID get it right ––he never said a word.
No time like the present!
You Can Do Anything ––But Only If You Try
My parents never offered to pay for college, much less teach me about financial aid. So when it came time to buckle down and get my act together, I was already in my mid-twenties; twirling through the streets with late night party mongers and socially unacceptable mavericks like myself.
I thought about it the other day and realized that my father never once asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. There was no emphasis on following your dreams or furthering your education; it was all just a series of meaningless dribble that filled empty voids in an otherwise monotonous conversation. But somehow, I rose above; uneducated and confused, and landed a job with one of the biggest companies in the World. To this day, he has no idea what I did there or for how long, and I've never understood why. He was just happy I had a job, and I was happy he wasn't disappointed.
I wish he would have told me to follow my dreams and guided me into achieving them. I would have given anything for him to say that he was proud of me or that he wanted to know more about my personal life, but he never did.
He was just happy that I was happy, even though I never really was.
I Will Support You In Whatever You Do In Life
When I started writing back in August, I had secretly hoped that my father would get on my website and read. "He has access to the internet," I thought, "and I'm pretty sure he knows my name, so why wouldn't he?"
Turns out, that was a really good question.
It's no secret that I'm not profiting much in my new role as a wannabe writer. And I'm well aware of the learning curves up ahead in order for me to become one that DOES. But I'm doing it, and I'm working very hard at doing it well ––even if he never finds out.
Maybe I would have tried sooner with a little support and guidance from the one man I've spent my entire life trying to impress. And maybe I would have pushed myself harder had I known he believed in me, too. Maybe one day, he'll surprise me and show an interest in the person I've become...
Or maybe he never will.
How important do you think a father's role plays in a child's life?
What happens when there IS no father?
- Father Facts
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America (one out of every three) live in biological father-absent homes. Click here to find out more!
Fatherless Statistics for the United States
- Courtesy of Fatherhood Factor
This is data produced by several government agencies that paints a pretty grim picture for fatherless households. More proof that dads need to be committed.
Give her the key ––and make an extra copy for yourself...
Just incase she loses it!
The Father, The Keymaster
There are two people in this world who can make or break you as a person; yourself excluded. You look to them for approval, support, encouragement, advice and unconditional love that knows no bounds.
But the father; he is the one who holds the key that unlocks all the doors that keep your fear, worry, and self-doubt trapped inside. He has the power to unleash a world of possibility and courageous self-discovery that might otherwise take an eternity to breakthrough. And he gives it to you when the time is right in order for you to succeed and find the happiness that he so desperately wants you to have.
There is little that a child won't do for a father's love. But what will he do to keep theirs?
© 2014 Lisa René LeClair