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Celebrate the Father YOU chose . . . or How to Celebrate the dad who may have loved you inadequately

Posted by on June 15, 2014

what-works-36-serenity_prayer-large

‘Happy Father’s Day’ does not always seem to fit for some people who had less than an ‘A+’ experience with their fathers.  The ‘A’ often stands of Abusive, Abandonment or Awfully-emotionally-unavailable.

Long ago I learned to celebrate the lessons my father gifted me as a child of an Alcoholic father.  Yes, I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, yes, I highly prefer to be ‘in control’, and yes, I tend to ‘do it myself’ because I can predict the results.  While I have had to learn to temper and refined all these qualities I inherited as a result of who my father was, in the end, they have served me well.

The last lesson my father taught me has most shaped my life.  It is the importance of being able to imagine. 

My father’s birthday was June 13 and often fell on Father’s Day.  In later December, 18 years ago, my father had just returned from an AA meeting with a burning desire to work the 5th & 8th steps:

  • Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Dad went into great detail to ask for my forgiveness and made sure he told me he loved me.  When he hugged me, I was very aware the hug had extra meaning.  Brushing off this intimate moment I said, “Dad, it’s fine . . . it’s all good . . . . I’ll see you in six months for your 70th birthday.”

As he stepped back, wiping away a tear, he mumbled:  “I can’t imagine being 70!” He died a few weeks after.

To this day I consciously choose to imagine whatever it is I want in my life . In my coaching, and everyday conversation, I say:

  • Imagine that . . .
  • Are you willing to imagine?
  • What would happen if you allowed yourself to imagine?

In a Forgiveness Ceremony I facilitated a few years ago I made the opening statement:  “We all chose our own lessons!  We all choose your fathers!”  A big-rough-tough-like man sitting on the front row began to sob!  In total and utter gut-wrenching pain he shouted: “Why would anyone choose me as their father?”choose our fathers

The entire room sat pin-dropping quiet as we listened to the story his soul needed to tell: Through his shameful tears he admitted to being an abusive, over-of-control alcoholic, with a godawful  temper.   Awakening from a blackout one night, he remembered seeing his little girl, with a red swollen handprint on her face, weeping the words daddy: “Daddy I’ll be good  . . . daddy . . .daddy . . . ”  The words being shouted by his ex-wife still burned into his mind:   “If you love your child you will leave!” 

He did leave.   He never drank again.  And, he became a decorated veteran.  Returning from war the real battle had just begun. He had never forgiven himself for abandoning his daughter.  His plea was that he could find a way to forgive himself  . . . . his deepest fear was he would begin drinking again.

My invitation to him was this:  “Rise to the Angel’s perspective . . . look down on his daughter’s life  . . .  imagine how it may had been.” 

His immediate response was, “I don’t need to do that.  I have kept track of her every step of the way!”  He proudly reported:  She had an award-winning high school experience, she graduated college with honors, she married a really good guy . . . and she now had little girl of her own.

Out of my mouth came the words:  “What IF her soul needed what only you as her father could offer.”

only you

Being an recovered alcoholic,  my challenge to him was:  “Can you imagine going to her and doing the work of the 5th & 8th steps:.

  • Admitted to your daughter the exact nature of your wrongs.
  • Be willing to make amends.”

This story has a very happy ending:  On Father’s Day, dressed in his military whites, complete with his metals of honor, he knocked on his daughter’s door.  She answered the door . . . and without a moment’s hesitation she hugs him saying:  “I have prayed this day would come all my life!”

life prayer

Before you are quick to say not every ‘father-child’ story will have a story-book ending like this one, imagine it does!

What would happen IF you allowed yourself to imagine you chose your father and whatever experiences he gave you, they were for make you the person you are today?  Can you imagine today being:  Happy ME Day . . . I am who I am because of the father I chose!

happy me day

While it may be more difficult to imagine that the man who abused, beat, or, god-forbid, raped you was of your choosing . . . Imagine for just a moment that is the truth.  The books written by Bryon Katie or Caroline Myss first suggested this idea, and although it was hard to wrap my head around at first, the more I have worked with this thought the more serenity there has been.

For many the serenity prayer today may sounds like this:

father's day prayer

As I was writing this blog I had the opportunity to ask three people who had fathers who did a great job ‘loving them-inadequately’ what they learned from choosing an “A-type” father. In all cases they said:  I learned how I want to parent!  My father taught me how to love my children differently than I was loved . . . and I can celebrate that!

different love

For those of you who do not even remotely relate to this blog: Blessings, blessings!  Hug your father extra tight today! 

As for me, I am hugging my father who is in heaven today, with my prayer being:  Thank you daddy for doing your assignment well . . . Because of you I am the strong, independent, hard-working, pray-ful woman I am today!  I love you!  Happy Father’s Day!

father toes

FOLLOW KC Miller on her personal Facebook page or to become a fan LIKE KC Miller – Instrument of Spirit

16 Responses to Celebrate the Father YOU chose . . . or How to Celebrate the dad who may have loved you inadequately

  1. Pam Burnside

    Thank you KC. This message helped me way deep into my soul. Hugs and love,
    Pam

  2. Jeannie Mccall

    Thank you KC for your wise words. I have struggled most of my life with a less than perfect relationship with my Dad and yet I know the greatest lessons I have learned have come from him. Thank you for the reminder that ultimately I chose this relationship and it’s lessons for my own greater good. After reading this today I gave my Dad the first phone call in years in which I genuinely meant the words thank you for being my Dad. As always KC your words inspire.

  3. Linda Powers

    Thank you KC, your message is a reminder to celebrate that I chose to be a totally different parent than my father, who, to this day is still awfully – emotional unavailable. Because of my father, I as a single mom for many years, I made a conscious decision to be checked in with my son, who says that my showing how much I love him more than made up for not having a father figure in his life. My son is now a wonderful loving conscious father for his daughter. Thank you dad, Happy Father’s Day!
    Blessings!
    Linda

  4. Michelle

    Thank you KC..this is so very true as I have chosen many fathers to fill this role through the years..and have one remarkable stepdad who I am so grateful for… Happy Fathers Day.. ~

  5. Barb

    So beautiful!! I’m grateful for all our dad taught me too!!

    • KC Miller

      Barb, thank you Sister for commenting on my Father’s Day blog . . . I love that we have come to understand the G.O. in our Dad. Blessings : ) KC

  6. Lisa Vincent

    Thank you for this unique perspective. It can be especially difficult at times to reconcile the fact that our parents are not perfect. Trying to pick out a Father’s Day card is always a challenge for me. All of those lovely sentimental cards thanking dad for “always being there for me” or “always believing in me” aren’t necessarily true for every one of us. Your blog offers a fresh and compassionate perspective on this dilemma. Perhaps it can help some put aside the bitterness that can accompany less than ideal childhood memories. It’s said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I hope this blog can help someone let go of the pain.
    Lisa

  7. Kim Gibson

    KC, this is an awesome article. I too had an alcoholic father. I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and the need to be in control as well. My father never apologized to me in person, but I believe he has sent me many messages from beyond. At any rate, your blog struck me today not only because I have learned that lesson, but also because I believe this message will help heal many, many hearts, even if the father never apologizes. I am a big believer in “I am who I am because of….” the people I have been in contact with, the good, the bad and the ugly, they all help us learn and grow and we form ourselves into the individuals we are because of our experiences! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I have passed it along to my own followers and have asked them to pass it along as well. Blessings to you! Kim

    • KC Miller

      Kim ~ thank YOU for commenting on my Father’s Day blog . . .for passing it on to others . . . and for fully celebrating who YOU are in the world! I SEE YOU! Blessings : ) KC

  8. Sara Miller

    Although I would not wish any child to have the father I was born with, I can see the positive in growing up with a not so A+ father. Not only do I believe I am a better mother for having the father I had, I also believe 100% it helped me choose an amazing husband to be the father to my children. I also see the love my father in law has for me more clearly because of my absent father, and I am fortunate to celebrate him on this day. Thank you for reminding me that he is the man I now choose as a dad :)

    • KC Miller

      Oh dear Sara . . . your comment on my BLOG POST means so much to me and to your father-in-law. I read it to him and his heart melted. YOU are our daughter-of-the-heart! You are a great little mama . . .and YES, Ryan is an amazing father. Blessings to YOU and your little dream family . . . : )) KC

  9. Michele L. Spann

    Thank you KC and all the lovely souls who shared their experiences! While reading this earlier today, it brought warmth to my heart. I too reveled in the lessons from my father. I know deeply that my parents did the best that they could and although not all of my experiences where not necessary thought of as nurturing and supportive, they were perfect…. Each and every moment shaped me to be ME and the qualities that are my strengths. I am grateful that I had the experiences and grateful for choosing my father to help me see things more clearly and give me the motivation to continue to seek. I also have incredible gratitude for all the father’s who where not biological my own, but shared their gifts for me to learn from. So I humble say, Happy Father’s Day to all of my teachers!

    • KC Miller

      Michele ~ Thank you for commenting on my Father’s Day blog . . .and thank you for continuing to seek! My witness of YOU is that YOU will a teacher to many who will need this message! Blessings : ) KC

  10. Richard Seaman

    Two things come up for me around this amazing compelling blog you have written.

    1) I was beckoned to fly to Spokane to be with my mother the 1st week in May, 2009. I would usually call and plan everything out with her before just showing up unannounced. This time something else took over my body and I just went online and purchased plane tickets and showed up. As I was leaving the last day she looked me straight in the eye and said, “I don’t feel like I am going to be here for very much longer.” 12 days later she died in a 4-wheeling accident at the age of 60. I know on a higher level that her soul knew she had completed her life journey. Just as your father didn’t see himself at the age of 70! Our souls have a -consciousness about its timeline.

    2) “Rise to the Angel’s perspective . . . look down on his daughter’s life . . . imagine how it may had been.” -WOW :) That gave me chills and it reminds me of the concept I write about in the chapter “Hold it Up to the LIght”.in my new book Spiritual Reliability …..Thank you for pouring your heart out into this Blog – beautiful read for me today. Blessings, Richard

    • KC Miller

      Richard, thanks for reading my Father’s Day blog and sharing your mother’s story. I had forgotten she went to heaven at age 60 . . . I’ll be 60 in less than 60 days . . . I CAN and DO imagine living allot longer . . . I know on the deepest level I am still ‘On-Assignment’. YOU are such a powerful witness to the processes of the Light! Blessings : )) KC

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