Learning what respect is is the first step in knowing how to respect yourself and someone else.
Men desire two things: being needed and respect. The problem with this is that many times they don’t earn it.
During all of our lives our fathers have failed us; it’s inevitable because no one is perfect. When these failures begin to outweigh the times that our fathers have loved us unconditionally, protected us, provided for us, or cared, we begin to lose respect for them.
Respect is earned; unfortunately men think respect should be given to them freely. At any point, the typical father will demand respect simply because he donated his sperm in the process of making you but what he doesn’t realize is that although his physical characteristics are automatically present his daughter’s respect isn’t.
Women stub their proverbial “relationship toe” every time this subject pops up. As daughters grow up, their picture of men is sketched on the forefront of their brain by their father. The components of man might…
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Still one of the best books on God’s love and the Father effect in our lives and perceived definition of love.
dad and DAD – an excerpt from Chapter 4, Crazy Love by Francis Chan
The concept of being wanted by a father was foreign to me. Growing up, I felt unwanted y my dad. My mother died giving birth to me, so maybe he saw me as the cause of her death; I’m not sure.
I never carried on a meaningful conversation with my dad. In fact, the only affection I remember came when I was nine years old: He put his arm around me for about thirty seconds while we were on our way to my stepmother’s funeral. Besides that, the only other physical touch I experienced were the beatings I received when I disobeyed or bothered him.
My goal in our relationship was not to annoy my father. I would walk around the house trying not to upset him.
He died when I was twelve. I cried but…
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While I work on revisions to the DBMH project book, I’m reposting entries that are great for measuring mental/emotional progress through reactions the first time and then this time around. If this is your first time seeing these, I hope they challenge you in ways you haven’t considered before.
This week’s song is by Christina Aguilera: Hurt.
The first time I heard this song, I did not understand the dynamics she spoke of. Why did she care about if he was proud of her or not?
Why was she so broken once he was off the scene?
Perhaps the unspoken words that were never exchanged affected this relationship more than she knew until it was too late. One day I heard this song and decided to tell my dad how I felt. Expressing myself made a difference for me… even if it never changes the hurt he continues to inflict on me.
Enjoy the song:
Seems like it was yesterday when I saw your face
You told me how proud you were but I walked away
If only I knew what I know today
I would hold you in my arms
I would take the pain away
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Be where you are. Express yourself honestly. Take courage and be vulnerable. Only the strong can, and after all you’ve been through, you qualify.
For those who feel like admitting you’re hurt will make you appear weak, you’re wrong.
For those who say hiding from reality is better than facing it, you’re mistaken.
For those who are desperate for love and attention but suppress it to get by… stop right there.
You do not have to hide anymore. You are not alone in the struggle. There are countless people who are broken, just like you, by the very person meant to protect you… your dad.
The truth stings. The truth is painful… but the truth really will set you free.
Can we stop pretending we don’t care for a minute?
Imagine someone talking about how awesome their relationship with their dad is without feeling the least bit of envy or jealousy.
Imagine someone asking you about your dad and you feel no embarrassment.
Imagine seeing your dad and feeling less ambivalence and more benevolence.
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A worthy reflection on one of the first blog posts written for the project. Love is (always and without exception) a choice.
Even though as infants and toddlers we were trained to love our blood relatives, as we come to an understanding that love goes beyond the words and hugs. Love is a commitment to put someone else before yourself. Love is a promise to look out for someone and keep their name from being marred or misused. Love is vulnerability.
Love is something we can help, simply put, a choice. Once betrayed, you choose to stop loving. Your vulnerability is treated as a weakness and manipulated. When Anaïs Nin stopped loving her father, you would think she would have found freedom from the negative energy of that relationship. This was not the case. She succumbed to what she describes as a “pattern of slavery.” A “pattern of slavery” to suppressed emotion, feelings of neglect, gripped in the chains of her own bitterness.
We can choose our friends. But blood dictates who is in…
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Once you know what it’s like to be left without a cause, you can react to the abandonment by staying away from any commitments so you can avoid the possibility of failure or you attach yourself to people, things, and processes that make you happy – fixating yourself with a dog-like loyalty that is not easily broken.
I’ll discuss avoiding commitment next week. Today, I wanted to start a dialogue around this concept of fixated loyalty. As with anything, balance is a MUST to maintain a healthy equilibrium. Channelling the tendency into good things can make you a better person than the privileged people who have never suffered neglect from their dad.
From my own experience, I’ve found my tendency to fixate my loyalty to be beneficial to living my life to the fullest. I am committed to serving God, no matter what the cost or where it takes me. My love for Him is deep and true and not anyone or anything even slightly compares. My fixation blinds me to alternatives and keeps me focused on being obedient so I can be blessed and life a good life. Because anything less than a good life would include heartache and grief and I’ve suffered enough already…I trust God to keep me from breaking down, being my helping hand and comfort through any times of difficulty. And He has been that and so much more. Simply knowing that God would be devastated if I walked away from Him and went my own way is enough to keep me connected.
The same goes for my health, friendships, projects… anything! The balance comes into play when betrayal and deceit enters the scene and compromises the connection. A friend and mentor was struggling through some personal issues and disconnected herself from me. In the midst of my hurt and disappointment, I was determined to prove myself… prove that I was good enough, that I was worth loving. Though the disconnect had nothing to do with me, I was being sideswiped and stripped of any power to maintain the connection. Years passed before I was able to realize that nothing is ever personal. If someone chooses to live life without you when you planned to stick it out till the end, you have to let them go. Loyalty, after all, is a two way street.
You cannot allow yourself to be so loyal that you empower people to take advantage of the fixation. Know that you are worthy to receive the same time and dedication you put out. Don’t sell yourself short obsessing over staying connected. Most times you gain more in letting go than you ever could stubbornly holding on.
Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise. Proverbs 13:10 NLT
Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. NIV
No matter the relationship, when contention arises, pride is nearby.
Pride points fingers. Pride gives up trying. Pride simply refuses to take the humble side.
The conflict you are experiencing in your relationship with your dad or whomever is the direct result of arrogance.
You might be sitting there, reading this, nodding your head in agreement saying, “That’s right, his/her pride is hindering our connection.”
Let me add one more definition to pride: Knowing there is a rift in the relationship and waiting for the other party to do something about it. Feeling like you’ve done all you can is equal to calling it quits. Putting off the responsibility to the other person is pointing fingers!
Take the humble side. Humility heals the breech and it’s worth the trouble.
Pretending is encouraged in our society.
“Fake it till you make it”
“Put your game face on”
“Don’t let your feelings get in the way”
There are endless lines of encouragement with a subtext communicating the need to ignore the negative, inconvenient hindrances and get to where you’re going.
In some cases, like pressing to work, church, or the gym, and ignoring how you feel is self-discipline. Very important distinction between self-discipline, which is strength, and denial, false strength.
Pretending you don’t have a broken heart after being rejected by someone you cared deeply about is not going to help you. Acting like being stood up is no big deal to ease the sting is dishonest. Saying that the absence of your father has not affected your life negatively does not make it true. You can’t fake away bruises. You can’t game face your way out of already being broken.
Real strength and self-discipline requires the expression of true feelings amidst different situations. Many artists do this through music. Others through their own chosen art form. I have chosen words to express myself and have been tons better for it.
Do not let what you wish to be and strategic appearances of being strong cripple you. Be honest about where you are. Be strong in being vulnerable. Pretending to be strong will only cause your true weakness to blindside you.
Get angry. Get sad. Feel. Cause being true to how you feel is being real.
Whoever coined the phrase “ignorance is bliss” must have been replying to Solomon when he wrote, “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” (Eccles. 1:18) If you consider the idiom from a broad perspective, anyone who adopts such a frivolous perspective is quite selfish. Sure, knowing children are dying everyday from hunger, sexual abuse, and abandonment is a rough fact to stomach, but not knowing does not change the facts.
I’m taking this a step further. Knowing is not enough either. Is it worse to know there’s a homeless person freezing just beyond your door and leave him there than to know he’s there and call and inform a shelter or offer a blanket? Of course the former is much worse than the latter. Knowledge must move us to do something. Knowledge requires action. Perhaps you have no money to donate to a cause that alleviates the misfortunes of our world. What you do have is a voice. Knowing creates the obligation to share and spread awareness. Awareness then enables other players to change the game with the resources they have… a domino effect of good. So, how then, can ignorance be accepted as blissful?
All of my adolescent years were spent in the false world of bliss, ignorant of the deep searing pain of being abandoned by my dad. The problem with false worlds is that one day truth comes to demolish every square inch of deceit, leaving you in the ruins of confusion.
I wish I could go back and tell my dad I did indeed miss him… even if I’d shut off the feelings of missing him. I wish I could return to the day he left, to cry tears where he could see each violently fall to the floor instead of silently soaking my pillow in the middle of the night. I wish… I wish…
What can I do now? Explore my emotions, know my feelings, and express them now.
Every relationship is worth my fair shot of honesty in the moment.
How do you express yourself honestly in the moment?