Who’s Your Daddy? – Freeing the Father Within

This article appeared in the June 2005 issue of Spirited Solutions’ E-Newsletter.

Did you ever notice that in our culture, we use “mothering” to connote nurturing, supporting, and even coddling, when the word “fathering” only refers to the biological act? In other words, when we speak of fathering someone, we refer only to the act of providing the sperm necessary to produce offspring.

Doesn’t that strike you as a little odd? Why do we associate mothering with primarily positive, even spiritual qualities while we reduce fathering to a primarily physical act?

It occurs to me this Father’s Day that we need some new definitions of fathering that empower not only men but also women to be our best. What are the qualities you associate with a good father? Someone who protects and guides you, who cares about your well-being and is tough on you when needed? Someone who believes in you and wants you to succeed? Someone who is a catalyst for your growth?

My biological father has been largely absent from my life, yet I’ve been “fathered” by a number of amazing men, men who saw my potential and were willing to invest their time, attention, and yes, their love to see that I brought it to fulfillment. I am grateful to these men for showing me what I could not see in myself; they provided focus, faith, and firm principles for my journey.

More importantly, they taught me I was “worth” being fathered! Now, I think often about what it means to father myself. How do we parent ourselves and our dreams? How do we mother and father ourselves and our visions to produce the results we want in life?

Let me suggest a few quick steps you can take to make this Father’s Day have a lasting impact in your life and the lives of all the men who have fathered you:

Jean Paul Richter affirms, “What a father says to his children is not heard by the world: but it will be heard by posterity.”

What kind of legacy has been left to you and how are you sharing it—positively and powerfully—with the world? And what kind of legacy are you creating as you find and free the spirit of fathering within yourself? Happy Father’s Day to all of us!