My Father

Never once did my father read me a story. Never once that I can recall did he hold my hand as we walked along. But my father, as troubled as he was, shared with me a few keen lessons in life. This man who was tormented by depression and frustration said to me, “When you hate someone. You are allowing them ownership of you. Don’t let anyone own you, but you.” My father never recognized his wisdom. But I did.

This June marks two years since he died of a massive stroke. He possessed great wisdom; yet couldn’t apply it to his life. Words of wisdom, knowledge and truth are nothing if not utilized in our daily existence. Due to some magnificent teachers we know the importance of owning one’s self. It does not mean to simply feel good about who you are, however. It means to own your words, your deeds, and your emotions.

And when we blame others for how we feel, we are failing to realize that we are handing over ownership to them of our very being. I remember when my son graduated from high school. Moments before the ceremony began his estranged father strode in, and sat in visual range of not only my son but me. This person was an emotional wild card, and the last person my son wanted to see. And when the ceremony ended he strode off; no congratulatory handshakes or hugs were offered to his son; no cards offering well wishes. His appearances had little to do with good intention. His motive was clear. He wanted to shake us off our happy, emotional plateau. As I sat in the auditorium it was clear to me, either I could allow this man to own me via ownership of my emotions or I could choose to dwell in the happiness of my son’s accomplishments and the family that surrounded me. It was for me to decide how I wanted to feel in the midst of it. I chose happiness.

There will always be people like that in this world. Those that want to steal our happiness. Those that will try to own us by keeping us unsettled, or feeling powerless. But it is always up to us as to how much of ourselves we allow them to control and own. I say, allow them nothing. And the same is true when it comes to romantic love. Love them. Enjoy them. But do not let them own your joy. Although you may miss them when they are not near; as you should if there is genuine love involved, do not let your happiness hinge upon their appearance. That is too much control to give another. Instead if they are not there to share a moment with you, allow yourself the soft pang of discomfort inherent to their absence. But try not to allow their absence to take from you your happiness.

Every decision you make is yours and yours alone. Every word you speak must be approved by the judge and jury of your inner compass. And your emotions should be held steadfast due to your inner beliefs, not someone else’s. Because people come and go. During your lifetime you will encounter just as many good people as you will bad, and just as many misdeeds as you will good. But throughout it all, there remains you. So own you. You are your forever constant in an ever-shifting, ever-unpredictable world. Be happy because you decided to be so. Say kind words because it is the true expression of your inner self. And do what pleases you because you matter. And the only one who should own you – is you.

Sane

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15 thoughts on “My Father

  1. lelahb39

    Thank you for sharing this wisdom! I needed this this morning as I am home with family that I love dearly, but find frustration in their lack of happiness and their depressions. Wise words, wise woman. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. SaneSamantha Post author

      It was not easy growing up under the parental umbrella of someone so discontent. But it allowed me to witness so much. And all of that has created in me the person I am. And it is this person, with these perspectives, that I share with you. I am so glad you found comfort in these words. By witnessing their journey, their choices, you grow stronger in your own. Its not easy though. Love to you ~ S.

      Reply
  2. words4jp

    Ah – we have something very in common – a discontent father. mine was similar, but he dealt with his depression with alcohol which became his life and his final undoing. i am certain i learned many lessons from him, but the only one i can think of most of the time is do not drink. i do know that he loved me and my mom – in his own way. you are right about the power people have over us. my ex husband does – still though i am better at breaking the cord than i was, but he uses the kids to enforce it and then i am stuck relenting because i choose to take the high road and not put my boys in the middle. someday that will be an issue he will have to answer to with his son’s.

    this is a wonderful post. as always, i appreciate your words. kimberly:)

    Reply
    1. SaneSamantha Post author

      Thank you, Kimberly. Actually, my father was an alcoholic beginning at a very early age. And it was a mechanism to which he returned in the months before his passing. During his years of sobriety, I was able to clearly see the loving, brilliant man that he was. But always, the shadow of his torment surrounded him. As much as I miss him, his death has allowed him to be released from his torment.

      Little does my ex realize that I used his behavior to teach my children about human behavior. I can not give my children a healthy, functioning father. But I still can use what I’m given to benefit them.

      Much love to you, my friend ~ S.

      Reply
      1. words4jp

        my father began drinking at 10 and was never, ever sober. he died at 67, which, yes, i know he finally gave up – he did, he could have lived longer – he was finally at peace.

        i agree with the life lessons – my ex has provided quite a few. i look at these as lessons that my children have been ‘fortunate’ to experience – a sort of making lemonade out of lemons sort of way.

        much love back – kimberly

  3. onelifethislife

    I loved this post! I can relate in many ways. Those who steal your joy are happy to do so if you let them. I have had my share of life lessons from family and those who I believed to be friends. Thank you for reminding me of that.

    Reply
  4. Read Stuff With Me!

    And yet again, your words held personal value for me. Its a beautiful post. Reading almost every sentence in there made me think about some people and some emotions and also about my own self. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. marilyn

    your post realy hit home. diden’t know that we share the same pain. but we have learned form the past to make us strong today. keep the good blogs comming.

    Reply
    1. SaneSamantha Post author

      We learn, we discover, we move forward. This is the way once one is awakened. I am so pleased you enjoyed and found resonance with this post. So many of us share the same pain. Love to you ~ S.

      Reply
  6. fredphillips

    So true. People who feel unloved or unworthy or inadequate or powerless will inevitably try to make others feel the same way. It is so important to understand and grow from the experience. Awesome to you Samantha for doing so

    Have an awesome Mother’s Day!

    Reply
    1. SaneSamantha Post author

      Thank you so much. I try. I really do try. My mother’s day was very nice. My daughter wrote for me the most beautiful, heart felt card. My son went into the woods to pick my favorite flower. Wonderful children. Thank you, again. Much love ~ S.

      Reply

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