Honoring Our Fathers


Today, and hopefully every day, we honor our fathers. Like Mother's Day I know that Father’s Day can bring with it a slew of complicated emotions and experiences. It is not always an enjoyable celebratory day.

I invite us back to Gurdjieff's notion of ‘the cost of our arising’ as something we must be aware of and even pay for. Remember, understanding ‘the cost of our arising’ is about seeing that we do not make ourselves by ourselves but rather we are a product of all that has influenced us, all that has supported and nurtured and formed who we are. A piece of paying for the cost of our arising is honoring, acknowledging and giving thanks for those who have contributed to our arising. Fathers of all kinds are in large part responsible for our arising.

Today we can honor, acknowledge and give thanks to our birth fathers who play an irreplaceable part of our arising. No matter what unmet expectations, realistic or otherwise, have transpired, fathers give of themselves to bring us into existence. Fathers have a love for their children deep in their hearts. At best this love comes through in powerful and meaningful ways.

Today we can honor, acknowledge and give thanks to our living or non-living paternal biological and spiritual ancestors who we may feel connected to and whom have offered us fathering (our grandfathers going back on both sides, as well as others, for example, mentors, Jesus, Saint Francis, Thomas Merton, Howard Thurman, and the many other saints, mystics and liberators throughout time).

Today we can honor, acknowledge and give thanks to Father Sky who sustains and nourishes us, endlessly providing air to nourish us, offering us light and life for our bodies and souls.

Today we can honor, acknowledge and give thanks to the Great Father. In the Christian tradition, God is both beyond gender and related to as Father. Luke 12:32 tenderly says, "Do not be afraid little flock, it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Today we can honor, acknowledge and give thanks to ourselves and see ourselves, regardless of gender orientation, as fathers. Each one of us are fathers to each other and ourselves and commissioned by the Great Father to participate in this giving process. The act of fathering can be seen as one of emboldening our true nature; both through provision of physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs as well as instilling agency, strength, and courage to engage the challenges and juiciness of life. True fathers do all this from love practicing mutuality instead of hierarchy and oppression.

And so I honor the grief that may be present this day for those of you who never had a father, who had a father whose love toward you was blocked in some way, who have lost your father, who have always wanted to be a father to a child and have not been able to, who are fathers to children who are blocked to your love, and any other unnamed losses around fatherhood.

And from a wellspring of gratitude, having received such abundance, I say “thank you to my own father, to all physical fathers everywhere, to each one of you who participate in the act of fathering, and to the Great Father.”

May we engage the act of fathering

May we embolden others to be themselves

May we offer provision for others

May we instill agency, strength and courage

May we co-create and build afresh

May we be a way to love

With love,

Heather

 


This week, we continue with our exploration of the Beatitudes. Hold inside yourself and meditate on the fourth Beatitude as well as a few alternative translations from Prayers of the Cosmos: Reflecting on the Original Meaning of Jesus’s Words.

Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.