Calling all Sensitive Guys and all Tough Guys

White froggyFurther to yesterday’s post stemming from a facebook interchange on why some dads are not involved, a man posted, “there are a lot of men that don’t feel welcome around their children just because of the relationship the mom has painted for the child about the dad in the past! There will only be successful relationships between father and child when the mother puts her feelings and emotions to the side for the big picture and endorses and encourages the child to relate and spend time with the fathers!  I say let go moms… if you desire for your kids to have a dad!  Get to know the truth!  Take responsibility for your own actions.  Do your part and don’t worry about what he is doing or not doing!”

There is a lot of hurt around this issue that has its threads tied up over generations, tangled up in issues of race, gender, patriarchy, matriarchy, power, stereotypes of what it means to be a man, a woman, a child and a human being.  Imagine that it may be time to hear each other out, respect each other in all our varied positions, and work to heal together in the service of our children—but also in the service of ourselves.

We have to help dads realize that taking care of our children is not just a moral nicety—it is completely necessary if they hope to feel free and happy. Parenting is a paradox: it’s difficult and at times less than no fun, but it is also a powerful path to happiness, and even to God.

A key obstacle for many men is shame. They do not think, “I got that wrong, I’ll do better tomorrow,” instead they think and feel, “I AM wrong, what’s the use of trying, it will always come out badly.”

Healing shame, improving self-esteem, inviting all of us to be a group… our wounded fathers need healing and compassion (and they need to step up and parent more and better… for their own good).

If we decrease our judging and increase our understanding, then the Truth (that we are all One) will set us free.

So, let’s dedicate today to all the dads who step up; and to all the dads who still hurt too much to be involved.  We’re not looking for excuses, but for compassion (and maybe just a little bit of metaphoric “tossing against the wall” as in the “Frog Prince” in the service of waking up, to our kids, our village and our world that all need a little more love). 

Namaste, Bruce (a dad who doesn’t always get it right, but does keep trying—and feeling happier as a result)

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One Response to “Calling all Sensitive Guys and all Tough Guys”

  1. Julianne Flora - Tostado Says:

    Re: the following: “there are a lot of men that don’t feel welcome around their children just because of the relationship the mom has painted for the child about the dad in the past! There will only be successful relationships between father and child when the mother puts her feelings and emotions to the side for the big picture and endorses and encourages the child to relate and spend time with the fathers!

    Reflecting recently about how things seemed to ‘get better’ between my young adult sons and their father, it seemed the turning point was after he finally got through to me that there was something I could do, that I would need to do, for the boys to be able to see him in a positive light.

    I resisted at first, feeling still hurt and angry about ‘being a parent all alone’ (he commuted an hour each way to work for 11 years and too often came home too tired to be social). I started listening to myself and I started hearing my tone of voice, the subtle and innumberable ways I was creating more distance and less appreciation than necessary.

    I am so grateful that he insisted I do a better job of representing him fairly to the boys. (this was good for my growth, as well as for our marriage.. and for our sons)

    Keep insisting, Dads… sometimes we moms can not hear ourselves!
    Julianne

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