I did not know or understand my father, until I emotionally grew up.
When I studied social work, I began to understand our emotionally distant relationship, which of course was totally his fault.
When I studied trauma, I began to understand how his early childhood and wartime experiences affected him. So then I could haughtily say, “He did the best he could.”
When I studied family constellations, I began to understand how he was a product of a culture, a time and the result of so many previously troubled situations. Family constellations made me question if I could have done better? I concluded….”I doubt it.” With this new perspective, I could begin to appreciate his contribution.
Not too long ago, I asked myself, would I have really wanted a different father? One who was warm, protective, available and loving?
The answer was and still is, “NO”.
My father was exactly the right father for me. Because he was who he was, I know that love is not necessarily someone who holds me tight and says “I love you.”
My father showed me his love by showing me how to survive even if it meant crossing an ocean in a ship when he was so afraid of water that he never once took a bath or a shower. He showed love for my brother by stealing food for my mother so she could breast feed.
Yes, affirmations are wonderful.
Actions go beyond words.
My father taught me the importance of “walking my inner talk.”