Today is Father's Day. That has always been a day that precedes my birthday by only a few days. Of course, it is a day to remember my father, William Austin Howe Sr. but it has always also been a day to anticipate the passage of another year. This year is no different but it bears a bit more significance to me. My father passed on at age 58 and this Friday, June 22nd will be my 58th birthday. It gives one pause. At least it gives ME pause.
Having the same name as my dad is about the only real similarity between us at this point. I don't see my father when I look into the mirror, either figuratively or literally. I have had such different life experiences than he had and, because of that, I have a very different take on everything imaginable. The lessons I learned from my father have no doubt been invaluable, but they have very little real time influence.
As a counselor, I run across certain recurring themes with my clients. So many seem to look to their parents as the reason for why they are who they are. I always point out that we can also turn that around and look to our parents for the reason why we aren't who they were. It can work both ways. The important thing is to avoid the blame game. It was what it was but it isn't what is now. The past can be instructional, but when dwelling upon it causes us to miss the present, we do ourselves a terrible disservice.
I recommend meditation. There are many different forms of this, but whatever method you prefer, the object is to take a few minutes out of your busy life to reboot. It is a chance to be still and experience the immediacy of being in the moment. It is a chance to stop being the hamster on that wheel to nowhere. Meditation helps you to be still both physically and mentally. It is a moment to listen and experience the energy that surrounds us. Hard to experience that energy as intake if you are only expending it.
This is certainly one way I am very different from my father. He was on that never ending treadmill. I have learned to take time to be still. Because of that, I turn 58 years young without trepidation. I admit it feels a little strange and a little sad that he left so young. But I am not my dad. And that is what I remind those who come to me for advice about the effect of ones parents.
Peace and Love,