Know yourself and love you anyway
Each of us have a unique set of strengths and weaknesses and whilst many of us feel ashamed of our weaknesses, our strengths should not really be a source of pride either. We are often told to work on our weaknesses, improving and overcoming them wherever possible, and whilst growing yourself is never a bad thing the message can be that somehow we aren’t good enough.
As parents, we expect to be perfect, the best dad ever – a dad that is strong, fearless and always provides for his family, he protects and defends those he loves. He is a superhero! And that is an overly sentimental notion, something I cannot always live up to. As a man, as a father and as a husband I have let myself down and had lapses in judgement.
Years ago, I was confronted with a crisis after having failed in the first round of a big business deal – my biggest fear was not finding recovery triggers or motivation, but rather what my kids would think of me. How this would affect their perception of me, their father? What influence might this have on their ideas about being a father?
If I want my children to share their failures with me, I have to share mine with them and show them what it takes to get up again and keep trying. Life brings us opportunities and challenges and its those challenges that force us to grow. If we hide those battles from our children how do we demonstrate the character it takes to embrace the lessons we are sent. If I give up, I give them permission to do the same – and that is never a lesson I’d want my children to learn.
A great deal of my relationship with my family stems from my relationship with myself, if I cannot be authentic and real about who I am, how can I expect my loved to feel safe enough to be who they truly are.