Father’s Day Reflections: Mixed feelings when he is not there

father son shadow

Yesterday was Father’s Day and after talking with some people about their experience it became clear that while most everyone has a father, not everyone has good feelings about Father’s day.  And I can understand why.

More than 20 million children (33%) live without their biological father in the home and many live with a father who is emotionally unavailable. This reality affects our entire community whether you are a child, a single parent, a father, a step father, or grandparent (the list goes on.) The feelings one has about this holiday are often mixed.

How can you cope when this is their reality? Is there a way to find health in your situation when your biological father is or was absent, unavailable, inconsistent or gone? While the details are different for each person, I believe there is hope. If you’re a person with mixed feelings about Father’s Day, here is my hope for you.

If you don’t have a dad around today, I hope you have good memories of him from the past. Memories of being seen by him, being guided by him and basking in his encouragement for you to always be your best self.

If you don’t have good memories, I hope there is someone that stepped up in one way or another to bring dad energy into your life. Even one memory of dad energy in your life can be a resource.

If you didn’t have a that person to step up with dad energy, I hope you have the chance to witness it in others and see the impact it has on a being. It can be quite profound to witness when you are able to let it in as a gift.

Examples of dad energy might include the following:

  • Kindness and compassion shared in practical ways
  • Solid knowledge given in ways that help growth and development
  • Wise counsel provided during difficult times
  • Good boundaries are modeled and taught
  • Natural consequences are valued and allowed
  • Emotional, physical and spiritual respect for self and other
  • Play that includes strength, strategy, stamina, exploration and adventure
  • Teaching how to prioritize goals that align to values

Don’t let another Father’s Day (or any day) go by without being grateful for, or considering how to invite, dad energy into your life. It is so needed in this world.

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