An Engaged and Loving Father is the most powerful man-making force on the planet.
What is a Father Wound?
When fathers are absent physically or emotionally, something profound happens. It touches a man to his core leaving him with a longing question: “Am I good enough as a person and as a man?” It might be the pain of rejection because even though he was there, he was never really present.
All men long to hear one thing from their father, “This is my beloved son and I am proud of him.” The truth is that too many young males and men did not or have not heard these words from our fathers.
Men that grow up with fathers that were unable to please often carry a suffocating belief system: ‘I can never cut it. And if I’m not cutting it, then whey would others want to be around me?”
What does a father wound ‘look’ like?
- Sadness and dissatisfaction in life and careers
- Low self-worth and self-esteem
- Frustration and anger
- Isolation and alienation
- Inappropriate and/or risky behaviors
- Perpetuating the father wound in your own children….and suffering all the while
- Lingering depression or clinical depression
- Self-destructive behaviors: alcohol, drugs, infidelity
Why do father wounds exist?
There is no single answer but the most common is fathers of today are perpetuating the father skills they learned (or failed to learn) from their fathers. Fathers have provided for their material needs but have been absent or silent when time comes to provide for the needs of the heart such as intimacy and connection. Some fathers are not able to model intimacy in relationships or be an active presence in helping their sons deal with pain of rejection by peers. They lack the tools themselves. And you cannot teach what you don’t have.
Fathers are often relegated to a disciplinary role in the family. They teach their sons to not display any sense of vulnerability and to deal with life with toughness….perpetuating another generation of stuffed feelings and internalized negative feelings.
How is Fathering supposed to work?
Iron sharpens iron. Being a father means initiating the son to life and affirming them into the beauty, adventure, battle and meaning of being a man. To be the instructor, the role model, the intellectual and emotional architect for the son beyond knowledge, duty, obligation and obedience. To explain and provide guidance to the son as he realizes his roles as King, Warrior, Lover and Judge. To deliver to society a good and proper man. This is a lifetime responsibility.It is a glorious responsibility, too. It’s never too late to reclaim it.
“The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he still lives” – Albert Schweitzer
“The father wound is so deep and so all-pervasive in so many parts of the world that its healing could well be the most radical social reform conceivable,” – Father Richard Rohr