Thought for the Day:
“Fathers should make you feel safe.”
Question for the Day:
Do you struggle with Father’s Day?
As a therapist, I’m aware that many people experience pain on Father’s Day. If you did not experience the unconditional love of a father, then this holiday can be difficult as it tends to reopen wounds and trigger pain and disappointment that we try so hard to forget. Having to accept that the love you never had, always wanted, and frankly deserved just never came to fruition, is difficult, especially since the reason for the absence was likely beyond your control.
I’ve had many clients well into middle age that still yearn for daddy’s love. There are women who are still angry over abuse perpetrated by their fathers or enraged over baby daddies that did not step up to the plate and man up to their responsibilities. Many women are frustrated with having to explain to their children why daddy never comes around, when for absentee fathers, the holiday is just another reason to turn up with the boys instead of showing up for their kids. Raising children (well) seems to take the strength of ten men at times. Yet too often, women are left to go it alone which is a travesty and enough to make a single mom want to pull the covers over her head on Father’s Day and sleep straight through it.
It’s complicated, but I believe that all women are ultimately daddy’s girls. We all needed a man in our lives when we were coming of age to tell us we looked pretty, and to scoop us up when we fell and hurt ourselves. We needed a man to believe in us and tell us that we were smart and had all the potential in the world. We needed a big, menacing daddy to stare down that first boyfriend and make it clear to him that he might be able to get in some other girl’s pants, but to even enjoy the presence of our company, he had better come correct or be dealt with. This type of attention and protection says to a girl that she is special, precious and worthy. Without that basic acceptance from a man, many women will look for it in all the wrong places. We’ll run from man to man in search of that core male validation because there wasn’t a daddy to kiss the boo boos and make it all better.
Awareness is power ladies. If you grew up without a father, it’s okay to admit that it hurts. You may have had a strong mother who raised you to believe that you don’t need a man for anything and that she could be all the mother and father you needed. Though single mothers are truly the real MVPs, it may be time to let your guard down and own the fact that the absence of your dad was painful and left behind a broken heart that is slow to mend. It doesn’t make you weak to admit that the little girl in you just wants to hear daddy tell you that he loves you. If you don’t acknowledge it, you may not recognize the unhealthy pattern of behavior that often results, which usually represents an effort to fill that void in your own strength.
The beautiful thing about earthly fathers is that they are simply reflections of our heavenly Father. Yes, it hurts to not have a flesh and blood daddy here on earth, but it will continue to hurt much more if you never realize that there is a heavenly Father who can still tell you you’re beautiful, pick you up when you fall and empower you to reach your highest potential. There is no pain known to man that our heavenly Father can’t heal. That’s why I salute my natural father for being an example of this is my life. But I’m even more grateful that my sisters who had to go without, can experience the same peace and security. If you’re in need of a father, try God. I call him Jesus, and with Him, we can all be Daddy’s girls.
“When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”