If a father knows his son is with him on the feeling level, that is what is most important to the father. If the father feels the son is pushing him away, it is very painful and the father will want to pull the son in closer, control the son, all the more. The issue between father and son is not so much on the surface of what it being done day to day… it is on the deeper feeling level. The father also wants to feel that the family is close, that the kids are close and supportive, and love one another.
If it feels to the father that the kids are drifting apart, it will be painful for the father and he will try to rearrange the surface to bring them closer together, just as the father will rearrange the surface to bring the son closer to his dad and the family, if he feels the son drifting away emotionally. If the son speaks to the father from the place of love and understanding for father and shows that, through not just words, but even more importantly, tone of voice, all will be well between them. The father will feel safe in affording the son more freedom on the surface of life.
Due to emotional issues between most every father and son, this is not so easy for the son to do. Also, when the father holds power such as money or flat out verbal aggression over the son, or when the father historically does not ‘hear’ the son, it is not so easy to do.
However, if it is done, it will be heard and is the most effective way for the son to gain autonomy. It also shows the maturation of the relationship between father and son. Many people may mature extremely well in all areas of life with the one exception of their relationship with father. Yet, it is actually easy to do if the son can maintain this simple open-hearted approach… Few sons overcome their childhood issues with the father. Few even acknowledge the issues. Yet, to do so is the mark of a great man. When accomplished, the relationship of a father and son as adults is exquisite, beautiful, deep, and fulfilling for both.
Very touching blog that elegantly speaks to dynamics between children (both male and female) and their fathers. Such compassion and empathy for the delicacy of it all and a beautiful approach towards really healing the relationship.
Touching, poignant. This really touches my heart deeply. As the mother of a son who is father to 3 sons, I am going to send this to my son and his sons as a Fathers Day gift to them from me and you. My eternal thanks.
Thanks for the blog Maharshi. Happy Father’s Day.
Happy Father’s Day!
This article is a rare and remarkably honest and deeply reverent tribute to our relationship.
In between the lines, in the gap, this touches a profound foundation.
After a recent retreat, a friend (I will call him Dick), dropped a line on me like an atomic mantra or prayer…
After a short heartfelt and soulful exchange about our own Father’s, he simply said “…a father’s relationship opens many doors…”
In an instant it felt like the doorways of every church and temple opened wide – revealing a cascading path to God, heaven. And the deeper connection to my Father was at the start and at every point as if my bond with my Dad was a vessel, along a great ocean current.
I, and my bond with my father would never be the same …. All I could do was find a quick sanctuary to be with that feeling.
I recalled the prose and verse from religious and spiritual mystics and poets, but none seem to hold the humbling spirit this article touches.
This article holds and reveals that deeply spiritual and reverent depth while simultaneously speaking to our own complications and challenges. During those times our relationship was defined in those humble glances, looks at each other – to remind ourselves of the deep meaning – underneath the comedy.
No matter how challenged, stressed, frustrated and noisy the surface of our relationship has been – it is amazing to know the deeper bond was still growing, and driving us both somehow.
In a short time, Michael Mamas’s program healed and restored more in me, in us than a million fishing trips, road trips, family reunions or father/son game day outings at the club (the nineteenth hole). Yet, it is clear to me our relationship has been the vehicle all along this journey.
I’ve been sitting in your lap behind the wheel driving through our Home-town…
All that seems to matter is that I love you Dad.
I’d give everything I own for one more day, fishing by a pond, or a slow country drive, or a working day at the family business where you’re instructing me and my cousins with that awesome authority.
I have so much to say in response the billy’s exquisite comment…
Today I drove my eldest daughter to a 4 week summer program in visual arts. At the same time, my wife flew up to Pennsylvania with my younger daughter who will be attending a 5 week program in ballet. Tonight we feel the pangs of an empty nest.
Certainly this blog applies to all our children… and all our parents.
Lovely and profoundly heartfelt.
A loving fathers day to all…..
Thank you Maharsi. My father past many years ago, and I was not there for him when it happened…as he was mostly not physically around a lot of my life. He was so angry the last time I had been with him I did not feel compelled to run home when I heard he was in the hospital,just before he died. Even after the funeral and all these years later, I do not think I have grieved for him or even forgiven until I read this blog.
Thank you. It has made a huge difference in my perspective of my Dad and my relationship with him.
Happy Father’s Day.
It was interesting to read this blog and think about my husband’s and son’s relationship. Any insight into the workings of the male mind and emotions is always helpful.
Very beautiful blog and I feel that it is so very true..most of the time. I have adjusted my thoughts in regards to my father over the past few years. A few years ago I brought him up in class and received a response from you Brahmarshi that felt a bit uncomfortable. It did not take me long to understand your point and adjustments were made. My father is a fine man however he is simply not interested in having a relationship with me or my sister which has been obvious for years.I no longer judge him for that. I can acknowledge a may have had an easier journey with a loving father however I would not be willing to change a thing on that journey..I’m here..I’m good:)
Happy Fathers Day and Thank you Brahmarshi
My father was very tough on us as children, which have made it hard on all of us siblings to have a meaningful relationship with him. Yet, as he has gotten older and softer, it has become easier to talk to him without incurring his wrath. I still find myself fearful as the old scars aren’t fully healed and occasionally he still blows up and yells at me. He is getting more and more forgetful these days. I’m sad that I was unable to connect better when his mind was still good.
Michael and Mark,
Your comments deeply, profoundly, and really quite beautifully portray the challenges involved. All one can do is from their side uphold the fundamental principles. That is true in all relationships… not just father and son. It is called ‘taking the high road’… often much easier said than done.
My sons Father passed away in their late 20s. They have married and have great father in laws and they have a great step dad, Gary…that love them dearly, it is obvious. They do not go to any of these three “fathers” for guidance.
They both have their own children, sons.. They are really good fathers to their own sons. My thought is—does their relationship with their own sons help them to fulfill the missed relationship with their biological father.
Guess it is really about the letting go of the loss of their dad and enjoying the relationship with their sons!
Great blog, thanks for the pondering it caused me to have.