May is all about the women in my family. My mother-in-law, sister, daughter, and granddaughter all were born on May 9. Every six years or so May 9 also is also Mother’s Day so that makes it even more interesting since they are all either mothers or will be one day.
June, on the other hand causes me to shift my focus to my relationship with my Dad. His birthday is May 30 which also was the original Memorial Day before our wise leaders decided it was easier to create a 3 day weekend than to stop progress for a single day in the middle of the week. (There’s a certain irony in that as I consider that the erosion of the father/son bond coincides with the beginning of the industrial era.) For me, Dad’s birthday sets the table for the upcoming holiday dedicated to honor our fathers.
That means that over the years I’ve had a solid three weeks to reflect, appreciate, honor, bash, and blame my father for just about everything good and bad in my life.
My Dad came from the era known as “The Silent Generation” and he definitely fit the mold of the strong, silent type. In all of my 58 years on this planet, I have never witnessed a tear escape from his eyes and acts of physical affection in my family were displayed about as freely as the face of a Hanbali Muslim virgin. I discovered that this can be quite challenging for a man who cries every time Wiley Coyote gets duped by the roadrunner and falls off another cliff.
I spent most of my life chasing my father’s love and admiration like a crack addict chases his next rock.
It wasn’t until I gave up the chase and shifted my energy into giving the love I so desired that I was able to see that it was there all along and I just needed to crack the code of his love language.
Here are three examples of many codes I was able to crack and the intel I gathered from them.
- You know I love all you kids. This is code for, I love you because you’re the only one I’m speaking to right now. I wish I could say it in a language that you understand better but I never learned how because my father was even less skilled at it than I am.
- If I have to choose between you and your mom, I will choose her every time. This is code for, I love you so much that I want to teach you the greatest lesson you will need when you become a father. That is that the most important thing you can do for your children is to love their mom first.
- The Red Sox are having a great season this year. This is code for, I see you as a man now and I want to connect with you in a language that I use to connect with other men.
I feel very blessed to have lived long enough to crack the code of my father’s love language and even more blessed to have him here today to share our admiration for each other in a way we both understand. We both have lived a lifestyle that probably should have killed us long ago and yet, here we are.
Some believe that, as spirits, each of us chose to come here and travel a very specific journey of learning. Maybe Dad and I chose one that takes a little longer than others. Or maybe everything is freakin random and only has the meaning my crazy brain attaches to it. Either way, I feel peace in my heart, knowing that the light from my father’s love has always been there.
The veils that a culture or society places over us can only dim our love light. In order to shut it out completely we have to close our eyes.
How’s that for some deep shit?
Greg Boudle is a men’s life coach, author, and speaker. Find out more by visiting his website, lifebeyondclean.com