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A 40 Day Challenge for Men — Day 4

Dealing With Chaos — Do You Deserve Fatherly Love?

As a man your father is important to you. Whether you knew him or didn’t, his influence lives on through your life. In many ways men aspire to be their fathers and are determined never to be like him. This tension continues through the years and shapes the kind of man you become.

Your attitudes are mixed up with emotion, memory and even sexuality. Whatever your view you should know what it is.

Men’s base view of masculinity comes from their relationship with their father. Whether you tend to dominance or to acceptance as a man, you may well have learned it from your father. You should be aware of where your sense of masculinity comes from and whether that has helped or impeded you in life.

You don’t have to deserve your mother’s love. You have to deserve your father’s.
—Robert Frost

My father dominated his family throughout his life, he did it kindly, but he still did it. My own need to dominate and persuade was learnt from him. It was my choice to see him as my role model, but I’m not sure I had any choice. I’m not sure I knew any other way during my formative years, later on, though, I did.

I always felt I needed to earn my father’s love. I felt I needed to prove who I was and what I could be. Thankfully I was able to let this go before he died. I was able to know I received it.

I always remember the day he admitted to me he couldn’t deal with family matters any more. It was the day he sought my help, the day he seemed to pass on the mantle.

I see the progression of fatherly influence in my own sons. It’s a process we need to understand and know when to bring to an end. Sometimes we need to break the pattern and just be ourselves.

  • Who was your father for you? Was he a hero or a villain? How did he influence you? Do you know how he influenced you?
  • Who did you have to be for your father? What did you suppress to gain your father’s love?
  • Can you even look at this question dispassionately or are you still bound up in needing to earn your father’s love?
  • Can you see the progression through the generations? Is there a trait or an emotion that has been passed down that you need to break?

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Next: Day 5: Can You Stop Needing Your Mother?



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