Though Father's Day is a day our society invites us to celebrate the nature of fatherhood. For me it's a day of mourning. It's a day of taking inventory and accounting for the failure of what is an empty ideal. There are very few "True" fathers in our society.
If you would like a precise understanding of what I mean, I warmly encourage you to read "Iron John" by Robert Bly or "The King Within" by Douglas Gillette and Robert L. Moore. They are invitations to healing generational trauma, and things that have not been encouraged in our society. And so, as a result, in most instances, we identify ourselves as so-called "Men" and "Fathers," we are very... very... far from the reality of those esteemed and prized things.
We're predominately lost and violent souls, chasing form rather than harnessing substance. We want power over, others rather than to share power with them. We can often be moody, frustrated, and angry, with little or very disjointing understanding and awareness of our feelings, overly addicted to thought. Though we make children, do we take the time to study what it means to be a healthy... healthy truly... let me repeat... healthy father to our children, families, and communities. Personal pleasure and gratifying self is more important than what's going on in the hearts and minds of others and making time for authentic connection and communication. Are we perpetuating generational trauma or healing it? Are we working diligently and actively to improve ourselves... our families... and our communities... or are we leaving it to others, or worse, immaturely assuming that it will work out? TrueFatherhood is more than the ability to contribute genetic material to the creation of a child.
And look at the people elected to office. I don't care what political party they're in. Do most of them embody love, or is it fear? Pay attention! Notice who traumatized people has elected to office and gravitate towards. Look at what they argue for, and realize who's making the laws... very unwell people. We're doing the same things over and over and are stuck with regressive results. Rather than growing up and maturing, we're in an ever-widening downward spiral of immaturity, wherein cruelty, weapons, fists, and violence are more common than expressions of love, empathy, compassion, mutual solidarity, healthy team-work, and authentic wisdom.
The other day, perplexed about certain statements and choices coming out of the Southern Baptist conference related to literal statements that women are certainly not equal to men, I asked a devout Christian woman if she agreed. Shockingly she agreed, saying, "Women aren't equal to men. Men are supposed to lead. Women are not allowed to tell men what to do or have control over them." I asked her what would make her believe that given then in our society, men tend to show up pretty shallow, feckless, and without any coherent principle other than focusing on their belly button. Her response was, "Because it's written in the Bible." I wonder who is the author of that little book of Fairytales and sky, daddy patriarchy. How absolutely vacuous. We men... Fathers... given so much deference, and yet oftentimes doing so little to be worthy of such shallow logic. How lamentable indeed.
And so my grief on this day... Happy Father's Day? Not for me. It remains a day of mourning. It remains a day of my efforting to pass on what I learned through my original sponsor and other healthy members in the communities of recovery who take our work seriously... the ones that take the time to work on healing our generational trauma... attachment disorders... our benign neglect of authentic and transformational love rather than transactional.
In closing, I was once told there's a difference between a soldier and a warrior. "Warriors operate out of principles that center and operate in and around the greater good with compassion, dignity, and goodwill. Soldiers, on the other hand, merely do what they are told, unthinkingly, whether it's principled and loving or not. Soldiers are just rabid dogs, turned loose on something seen as a problem." That's never left me. We could actively and intentionally make an effort to uphold the strength of honor through goodwill, dignity, and acts of grace. The above said we work to be authentic and genuine fathers rather than it being a word that's nothing more than empty and hollow rhetoric.
// Rev. Mudo Seiho Morris | 無道清峰
Calligraphy | 名誉 | Meiyō | To be a person of True honor.