Good Morning Beloved…
Ed Was in Trouble
He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really angry.
She told him, “Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 5 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE!!”
The next morning Ed got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway. Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought the box back in the house. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.
Ed has been missing since.
Father’s Day, another ‘holiday’ with mixed feelings for me…and for many others, too.
I mentioned on Mother’s Day how difficult it always was for me to find a card that truly represented how I felt about my Mother as I journeyed through my young adult and later, adult years. I had the same issue with my Father though, not until he passed did the reality of those mixed feelings come to the forefront.
I had always tried to get my Father’s approval. Believe it or not, I was the athlete in the family, even though I had 4 brothers. I put myself through college, the first to do so and the only one to do it on their own.
I was a success, I thought, in all ways that I thought HE would be proud. I had a good career, was a very successful coach…even drove a pick-up truck! Everything, except ……I was gay. That didn’t fit in. I didn’t fit in. Being gay was against what was RIGHT. So I wasn’t right. In his eyes, I was dirty.
And so, I wasn’t the perfect daughter.
But I also think he was disappointed in himself too. I think he believed that his actions when I was very young and was abused by him, was the cause of me being a lesbian. And I don’t think he knew how to handle that, or me.
Of course, we know now that we are born with the tendency to be gay or straight or bi or trans…or whatever….but he never knew that, I’m sure. HE never understood that one’s sexuality is fluid.
So, here I am, a lesbian, trying to get his attention. No matter what I did, I could never get that acceptance from him that I yearned for. Even now, he has passed some 20 years, I still wish for a Father.
Maybe with this small description of my story you can understand why me, and some others have a hard time saying the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father…FATHER is not necessarily a ‘safe’ term for some of us.
So, yes, Father’s Day can be difficult for many of us. We, as humans, yearn for acceptance and approval from those we love and admire. And yes, we are trained to do that…to look for that acceptance and approval from the time we are babies. It’s called domestication.
We are trained from the beginning by our families, by our schools, our churches and other religious centers, by our very culture.
But, by discerning the Truth, we find that that’s all wrong. “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” That domestication no longer fits. It worked at one time when the society needed something to bring people together, though I don’t necessarily agree with how that was done. But that’s another lesson!
And it’s wise to be good citizens. We need to do that to get along in society. That’s what the 10 Commandments were all about, after all. A series of ‘laws’ to help the Israelites get through a 40 year journey in the desert. Think about it, could YOU have traveled in a hot, dry desert for 40 years with YOUR family?
But I digress….
Should we be looking for acceptance and approval from outside ourselves?
We talked the other week about being yourself. That is where the acceptance and approval comes from.
When I tried to be what my Father, and my Mother…and society, wanted me to be, I was hurting myself. I tried to be ‘straight’ and to ‘fit-in,’ but while that worked for them, it was hurting me.
Have you done that, tried to be something you are not? How did that feel? Did it get you any satisfaction? Did that satisfaction last?
Most likely not. Most likely it led to some physical pain, definitely some mental, emotional, and spiritual pain.
If we can’t be who we are meant to be, we are not happy, not growing, not successful as human beings and certainly not complete as the Spiritual beings that we are.
But there is hope…there is a place we can find that acceptance.
Jim Rosenmergy, a Unity minister and writer, wrote about a time he lived in a climate with extremely cold winters. It was not unusual for the windchill to be tens of degrees below zero. Near his home there was a pony that lived outdoors in the elements. Each autumn the pony began to grow his thick winter coat. One cool November day, Jim says, “I stood at his corral and asked the pony where he got his warm winter coat. Did he purchase it at one of the local department stores? Was it a gift from someone? Did he find it beside the road? These were absurd questions, but the answer that rose in my mind conveyed a simple Truth. It came from within.”
And this is where I can find the Father I was always looking for…within. The Divine Presence within all of us is where our acceptance can and does come from.
A few weeks ago, actually, a bit over a month ago now, Carol spoke on the Lord’s Prayer. THE Our Father….
And the Aramaic word is abba, papa. It is Jesus’ way of telling us we are children of a most loving God. A ‘father/mother’ who wishes to give us everything we desire as a loving parent would wish to do.
Just imagine you, as a parent, what you wish for your child. Even if you do not have a child of your own, imagining what you wish for the children of the world is all good; warmth, comfort, shelter, necessary needs supplied, most importantly, LOVE. This is what God/Goddess, the Divine Spirit, the Universe…whatever ‘title’ you place on the energy that is us and surrounds us and everything in manifestation; this is what is ours to claim and be and have.
I’ve learned through the years as I have traveled this journey; that my parents, my Mother and Father, did the best they could do with what they knew at the time. As did their parents.
And so did yours….
So, for this Father’s Day, I remember my Dad. I remember him as we went to see the Phillies together. It became a ritual for several years. And I relived it in part, at least on Thursday as I visited the new Phillies Stadium for the first time and had a hot dog for him. And the Phillies won!
I remember him giving me all that he had in his pocket as he and mom dropped me off at my dorm for the first day of college. A handful of change and a golf tee….I still have it.
I remember him, dropping everything and coming to pick me up after my boyfriend was killed in a motorcycle accident right before finals in my freshman year.
And I remember him, coming again to pick me up and a carload of people and stuff because the car broke down on the way home for Christmas break of my senior year
See, I choose to remember the good things that he did. And I am still working with my Mother to make good memories.
So, you see, as usual, we have a choice. We can hold on to the not so great things that happened in our childhood, or we can choose to remember the good ones, the fun ones. And forgive the not so good ones.
This is the difference between being a victim of our circumstances and a learner of them.
My parents, they did the best they could at the time with what they knew…those words changed my life. They showed me how to accept my parents for who they were.
We ALL must learn that lesson, for others and for ourselves. We are ALL parents, Mothers and Fathers of this world, as well as children. All learning, growing, BEING the Spiritual Beings that we are.
A Father’s Day Prayer, by Kirk Loadman
Let us praise those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice.
Let us praise those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become a
Let us praise those fathers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support.
Let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children.
Let us praise those fathers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children’s lives.
Let us praise those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has offered healing.
Let us praise those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earned their step children’s love and respect.
Let us praise those fathers who have lost a child to death, and continue to hold the child in their heart.
Let us praise those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own.
Let us praise those men who have “fathered” us in their role as mentors and guides.
Let us praise those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.
And let us praise those fathers who have died, but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.
Let’s take these thoughts into meditation…