I will spare you the gory details, but....
Let's just say my dad contributed to who I am today the way heat and pressure contribute in turning coal into a diamond.
Tomorrow is SUNday and the day after that is the one day that has more light than any other day the entire year. That, and tomorrow is Father's Day... And in Yoga, the Sun is a symbol for Father (father sky0...
So, I might as well shine some light myself.... its all around us, and everybody's doing it.
History: There are more than six kids in my family, and I am the youngest by six years.
I used to think of myself as a "mistake" but I have grown to prefer to think of my conception more in the way a super nova is formed. I find it to be a considerably more "enlightening" and productive way to think about how I came to be.
a star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass.
So, today I am writing about my Dad. In me. And the ways I am grateful for his not-so-great way of being a dad, and "pressuring" me toward who I am today.
My dad is no longer living. He died about a decade ago. But he lives on in a bunch of kids, of which, I am One.
My dad was a real character. He was funny. Charismatic. Attractive (maybe not "good looking" so much -- but he drew people to him like a flame attracts a moth). He had a great voice, sang most of the time as I recall, and was a self-taught piano player, and a great dog trainer. He loved to cook and dance in his night gown (yes, he wore a nightgown), and he was an artist, Truly. He was tall and engaging.
But I also think he was lonely. And a little lost. In many ways, I think he got stuck in a life that didn't suit him, and so stuff kept sneaking out sideways.
It's no secret that he was the catalyst (note: I do not say "cause") for a lot of heat in my life and in the lives of those I love. I share that pretty freely. My dad, he did some funny things and made some choices that to this day make my eyebrows crook when I think about them.
But, without him, I wouldn't be here. Nor would my siblings, which would be a bummer (from where I sit now). And if it had been someone else that would have been my "dad", I would be totally different. Everything would be different.
And I really quite like how things area. How and who I am. Here. As I am. Just like this.
And so, sideways as he was, I can say easily that I loved him. And that I still do. And I'm also grateful for ALL that he was. Not just the ways he was a good dad.
I'll tell you one other thing. I used to take a painstakingly amount of time to select a Father's Day card for him. None of them were ever quite right, and it wasn't the same when I crossed stuff out on cards to make them more accurate. So, I would just choose one that about love.... somehow. One year, when I was about 16, he told me when he opened the card, "You never mean any of this stuff. I know that." I just looked at him and smiled a sort of soft and agreeing smile. That sort of summed up our relationship, on the good days.
But allow me to circle back. I love him. Always did. Do now. And always will. And I am grateful for ALL that he was.
It can be like that you know. You can be grateful for the weird and "wrong" stuff too. And it doesn't mean you are condoning it. It just means there's more peace and possibility available to you.
You might be one of the lucky ones... maybe you had the greatest dad on the planet, who was always there for you, lived a life of honesty and integrity, and did a whole bunch of great things while he was here. Or you might have had yourself a dead-beat dad, or picked out a dead-beat dad for you kids. I say to that, "NEVER MIND". I mean -- I am living proof that pressure and heat can bring forth light. You, or or kids, if that's the case.... are also living proof. It doesn't take anything more than a desire. You don't have to know "how" to do anything. You just have to want to shine. Let the universal order of things, love, and light do the rest.
The month or so before he died, I had the chance to go home to Minnesota and spend some time with him. We went for a car ride and he sang, like I remembered him doing so many times when I was young... even though it was different given an oxygen tank was also in the picture. I made us rootbeer floats and we talked about stuff that didn't matter, because he wasn't one to talk about anything that mattered, at least not with me. I had the time and the opportunity to wash his feet and to forgive him for anything that may have been too painful for me to love him through at the time. And we rested together. It was really beautiful. And it was enough.
So that's MY dad... the one I trust did the best he could with what he had.
It's all worth while, ya know? The pain and the love. The truth and the other stuff. The suffering and the celebration. It's ALL worth while if we remember to LOVE.
And one last reminder, in case you missed this part: Pressure and heat? They aren't all bad.
I kind of like the fact that I'm a diamond because of it.
You are too. So as I see it there is no reason good enough to NOT shine on back at that dad, dead or alive, dead-beat or trophy-worthy, and to JUST LOVE HIM.
I know you can do it.
When we shine on others, whomever they may be, they then have the greatest opportunity to rise to their highest, to burn off that dark shit and be the brilliance they came here to be. (Pro tip: You don't have to do this in person: it works to do it as a prayer or simple heart-felt offering and that daddy-o of yours, he doesn't even need to be alive or even know what hit him).
Tomorrow is Father's Day. It's a Sunday. That's a yoga day for Fathers. And it's the LONGEST lit day (by the SUN, by the Father) of the whole year. I see everything as yoga, ad THAT is some seriously neat stuff. And sooooo right on. I dig how yoga is everywhere and in all things. Even in my dad!
Love you guys. And love you too, Dad. Wherever you are.