The Empty Cries of a Father
Id had about as much as I could handle for
My computer was frozen, I was tired from a
weekend with too little sleep, and I was working in
a yard that would soon need a scythe to manage it.
End-of-the-year school activities were crowding an
already crowded schedule, and there seemed like no
time to relax.
When do other people find the time to do all
As I entered my house, I marveled at how sore a
human body could get from yard work. I was still
annoyed that my kids had left stuff in the backyard
after repeated requests to pick them up. And,
Id been noticing that the rest of my family
had done their share of relaxing while I toiled in
the yard. Where was Fathers Day when I needed it?
I was not ready for any more to be put on my
Honey, will you make dinner? my wife
called from the family room.
A very angry voice appeared in my head, saying
things to me which werent supportive of
maintaining a kind, loving family. I considered a
few suggestions from this voice, before discussing
the dinner plans with my wife. It became clear from
this discussion that my wife had her own issues
I swallowed hard, and went into the kitchen to
start dinner. The angry voices went with me.
Thats some gratitude for you! I
said to myself. Does anyone notice how hard
Im working? Im absolutely
Where was the adoration for a job well done in
the yard? Where was the back massage and cold drink
that I was so deserving of? (The fantasies of a
victim have no boundaries!).
In the drama that played out in my head, I was a
hard-working father who did all the right things,
and a victim of an unappreciative family. I felt
completely justified in blaming my family for not
acknowledging me. And of course, by blaming them I
would spread the virus of blame around my family
faster than a brush fire. I would feel
right, and I could feel justified in
seeing them as wrong, and as
Fortunately for me, there was no back massage
and no cold drink. There was not even any
acknowledgement for a job well done. There was only
the realization that I had failed to remember my
purpose in my family and on this earth. I had
failed to remember that I am not owed
love by my family. Our job as parents is to
discover love as the fundamental fact of life. It
is to bring this expression of our love into the
Parents across the world have reason to be
grateful, for weve all embarked on the
worlds most complete and intensive course on
love. While we may resist it at times, were
called every day to express the deep reservoir of
love within us. But sometimes, because were
busy blaming others, we miss the call
Fathers go through periods when they feel
outside of their family. They feel
neglected, or they feel invisible. Or, they feel as
though theyre simply a paycheck.
But whats really happened is theyve
forgotten theyre not on this planet to
get love from their family members.
Theyre here to discover the boundless love
thats always been in them.
After catching myself in my victims
dungeon, I began to climb my way out.
Hey, have I got a great dinner cooked up
for all of you, I shouted.
And although the response wasnt
overwhelming, I didnt even flinch.
© 2008 Mark
Other Father Issues,
* * *
To this day I can remember my father's
voice, singing over me in the stillness of the
night. - Carl G. Jung
a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has
been a counselor, business consultant, sports
counselor, and a certified life and business coach.
He has worked with individuals, teams, and
businesses to improve their performance for over 20
years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was
a world-ranked professional tennis player and has
coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped
hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching
techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to
balance their lives and to improve the important
relationships in their lives. He is the author of
the popular e-books, 25
Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent
Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself
at the Same Time
Mark is also the publisher of the Dads
Dont Fix your Kids ezine for fathers.
To sign up, go to www.markbrandenburg.com
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