I’m sitting in a Starbucks and I’m watching a dad and his seven year old son engage in conversation. “You cannot wish for something, you have to drive for it. I’m wishing for something, but do I have an outcome? You have to focus on outcomes. In order to get there, you have to focus on the next answer, and the next and the next.”
It sounds harsh, but it’s rather sweet. The boy is chewing on his straw and pretending not to be engaged. But he really is listening with his full attention. I can see the pieces of himself that is growing through guidance, and whatever that means for him in the future he has someone who cares that he succeeds.
I remember some similar conversations with my father as a kid – “We don’t QUIT because it’s HARD, we are KELLEY’S! I don’t want to hear WHINING I just want DO-ING!!”. I’m very proud of this wisdom – as a result I am someone who, no matter what her emotional state (and there are many) she can still show up to work and do the job she came to do. It’s why even in a tent with holes in it I still feel warm under the sky…because regardless of my foundation I love building my house and keeping it, flawed as it is.
The wisdom of the father can be that like Jupiter – the Roman God of the Sky and thunder. Just like when our fathers shoot into the wind with their children, thy can come out of the sky like lighting. Father energy is very powerful because it is honest. It doesn’t lie to us or sugar coat the truth for the sake of our feelings. It tells us what we need to know. It makes mistakes, surely for no one taught the God of the sky how to rule the universe and his family at the same time. But even as Jupiter was a flawed and human god, he ruled the sky regardless of what was going on. He was the king.
The flip side to that father energy is the rigid sense of right and wrong we can sometimes get into on principle. How many times during election years, fiscal crises, or general times of discontent do we fight over things that don’t matter? Does our sense of security fall because we are constantly challenging our security blanket? We are supposed to – that’s the job of the children to challenge their parents with a new vision of the future.
But we also have a duty to them that we can grow resentful of sometimes. To respect their opinion when we disagree. To grow away from them because we must seek community of our own. To be patient with them as they have been with us. To recognize that we put them through some shit when we were young and they resisted the urge to drown us or sell us off to the circus.
May your week be filled with the wisdom of the father – truthful, guiding and consistent. May you have someone in your life to absorb the wise energy of the father from. May you be resolute in your path with a father’s mind inside you, and a father’s light to guide you. May you forgive your father for things he hasn’t done and may you draw gratitude for the things he did. May you do your best, never quit, and be strong and graceful as the father energy serves you and your community.