Ten Teachings From My Dad
I often sense the impression that a quest for inner truth and personal growth is taken to reflect mistakes made during youth. I want to make it clear that this is in no way the case and that I harbor no resentment or hard feelings when I look back on my childhood. In fact, I have nothing but fond memories of that time of my life. Even for individuals who had a more challenging upbringing, we are able to move beyond the past and forgive others when we realize that everyone is doing the best they can with what they know. Each experience, difficult and uplifting alike, contain lessons that contribute to our growth if we cultivate the courage to reflect on them. We cannot change our past but we can change what it means to us.
Many of the behaviours we experience within the parent and child relationship are largely unconscious patterns, replayed throughout the generations. Each subsequent generation is presented with the opportunity to heal and evolve past our ancestral patterns with conscious intention. Odds are that behaviours your parents exhibit towards you they experienced from their parents when they were younger. I have come to believe that the parent/child relationship can be one of best life teachers for both individuals. The greatest challenge is the first step of dropping one’s ego enough to even see this learning potential. We live in a unique time of awakening where people are realizing they have the abilities and tools to overcome past programming and destructive behaviours in order to heal wounds from the past.
I have heard that the role of children is to become experts at what their parents hate. It seems like that idea is reflected to me from many people I meet who decide to follow their own path. A parent’s task is to let go of the idea their child will follow the path they had in mind. Another commonality is to experience tension and disagreement during the teen years. I would venture a guess that this is due to the strength of the ego in both the child and parent. Although they may not see eye to eye, both individuals have much to teach each other. I am not going to assume I know what it is I am here to teach others. Instead, I would like to pass on the wisdom I have received from an individual whom I love very much – my dad.
Despite the surface level differences between us, I still feel as though I have retained much of the essence of his teachings. I would like to share some of his outlook on life and express my endless gratitude for having been taught so much wonderful wisdom.
1. Experiences are much more meaningful and fulfilling than material possessions
2. Generosity and kindness toward others trumps everything else – if I have even an ounce of generosity in my body it is from this man. There is no way I could possibly keep track of the number of times he would drop anything he was doing to help someone else who needed him. The people in his life always took priority over his personal projects. He has always been a strong example of unselfish generosity in my life. In my ideal world of giving, he is the richest person I know. This does not go unnoticed or unappreciated!
3. Life is an adventure
4. It is important to think critically and examine all sides of an issue before making conclusions and assumptions
5. Be friendly and outgoing towards friends and strangers alike – be yourself!
6. Always do your best at whatever it is you are doing. There is no point in doing a mediocre job
7. How to pack a lot of stuff into a small space – this has come in handy many times!
8. How to take care of things so that they last as long as you need them
9. The importance of staying active and having fun
10. That I can do and be anything I choose
I felt the need to express my gratitude for the incredible lessons I have learned growing up. I know now that even though we may not always perfectly understand one another, we are more alike than either of us readily admit. Developing my humility has allowed me to finally see the truth in these lessons and I am grateful for that. I also know that no matter what happens he will always love me, and I him, and that is all that really matters in the end.
Sending you my love Dad,