Of Fathers…Of Men

by Jim on June 16, 2013

On my Facebook page today I noticed many, many people posting pictures of their fathers, or their families when they were younger, all of which included a father. Some father’s had passed, and the pictures were to remember those positive attributes that a healthy father, and the role he plays in the lives of a family.

No where did I here about the father’s who weren’t there. I’m wanting to acknowledge those without a father. Those who’ve grown up without one, or, those who’ve grown up with a father who either wasn’t emotionally present, or even those whose father was unpredictable or even violent (and I’m including the physical, verbal, emotional, and the sexual here).

This type of upbringing shapes the lives of young boys and girls to the degree that it can shape the course of a young person’s world view, and their ability to have healthy relationships with others, and I’m really thinking about the relationships that people have with men.  If I’ve grown up with a father who’s in the throws of  alcoholism or other drugs, dysfunctionality, violence, or otherwise unpredictable behavior, my views on men could be super different than someone who’s grown up in a household with an emotionally mature male father figure.

To be clear, this post isn’t saying and is NOT about  “A family should have a father,” or anything of the sort. I’m wanting to directly acknowledge the adult men and women, and the current boys and girls without a father, or a father who’s scary to have, even though you really love or want to love him.

I know you’re there, and you aren’t alone. It will take time, and courage, and… you can have a good relationship with men. Men can be trustworthy, spontaneous, insightful, compassionate, caring, joyful, wise, and fun. It’s important to seek out those types of men in your life, and to be clear, they are there.

Our society sometimes portrays men (and women, but that’s another blog) in awful ways. Men are often portrayed as idiots, not thoughtful of others, could care less about their bodies, or their dreams. So to you, who are seeking good relationships with men, I’m here to tell you that while there are many men who fit these portrayals, there are others out there who are caring, who know and will show healthy emotions, that cry, that laugh, that are in integrity with themselves and those around them.

Sometimes I wonder myself how I’ve ended up being a mature man. It’s been a long road. Along the way I’ve found more and more men who are conscious, aware, caring, forceful, soft, all at the same time. Other men are on their journeys, on their “walk.” As you continue on your walk, know that there are men who will honor and respect your boundaries, respect and care about your ideas, and value what you have to say.  In the process of finding those men, if you’re a young man, it’s your time to know that you can start modeling these behaviors and actions.

As men, we have power, it’s important to first off, acknowledge this, then use this power for good. To be clear, I’m not talking physical power, but the power of presence and of intellect and ideas and imagination and of heart… and of soul. As men, we don’t necessarily know what’s right for another, it’s important to just be with our selves and with others so that we can understand more fully what this experience of a man actually is. We don’t have to fix or do to have value.

I want to go back to how I started this blog, though–If you’ve grown up with a father who was emotionally absent, or had any of the traits that I’ve already described, it can be a really screwed up experience…really messed up. I get it. It doesn’t mean that it has to be this way for you and your relationships with men in the future. So while I’ll scroll down past the pics of fathers on Facebook, please know that I’m thinking of you, I’m acknowledging your pain, your path. Take a breath on this day, and take your next step. Keep Going.

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