For the most part of 40 years I’ve had difficulty truly conversing with my Dad, with much of the conversation pieces being superficial chat about work, the weather or sport. But, a couple of years ago I ‘switched off’ to the sporting banter so our conversations have become really brief.
Sometime ago, we had a skype chat with my parents in South Africa. Since then I’ve had this nagging feeling to write him a letter. So I sat down and the words just flowed, and even during the process of writing the letter I felt it would have to be shared, that it wasn’t just a letter between my Dad and I. So here is a letter written from my inner-heart to my Dad…
Reflecting on our recent conversation (and that it reminded me of a recurring theme in many of our conversations) I feel to share something that has been dawning upon me over the past several months.
I recall during our conversation, marvelling at the complexity and intricacies of the human body and all of its functionings and goings on (fuelled by my studies of Anatomy & Physiology) and your comical reply was “that it (the body) can always be fixed with a triple cane (vodka)”.
I know this is said in jest, but it supports the very notion that I am becoming more aware of in me, that we say and do things (particularly as men) to prove to ourselves that we are LESS…
Less than the absolutely amazing beings that deep down we know we are.
I am coming to terms with just how amazing I am and how much potential I have to allow that amazingness to develop further, not only for my benefit, but for the benefit of all those I know and will meet; and in the microcosm of life, to be that as a role model for my 3 sons.
You have been such an inspiration and role model to me through my developing stages of life, with so much that you have provided to equip me for the way life is, that I feel to reflect on this, and suggest that I have stumbled upon a part of me that you perhaps did not offer me as part of your role-modelling because you too had forgotten that you have it equally within you.
You are AMAZING – always have been and always will be!
So, please don’t feed that urge to be-little the amazingness you are, because I now know you are so much more than you allow / know of yourself to be. Perhaps, let there no longer be a place in our relationship for self-abuse style banter between us, as men.
All my love,
And not long after, I received his response entitled “Letter to my son”…
Thank you for your letter.
As a parent one strives to provide the very best in education and life skills for one’s children in order that, with the fullness of time, they may develop on their own chosen path to surpass the skills and character of the teacher.
There is no university degree in parenthood – much of the time one bumbles along as a well-intentioned parent with the above aim foremost in mind.
I am happy to say that you and your siblings have surpassed my wildest expectations – You, Greg, are indeed an amazing person, of whom I am extremely proud.
Some light hearted banter between a father and son is a reflection of our humanity and should always be seen as such.
Needless to say I was not surprised by the response as I had already felt the quality in which it would return, but was nonetheless blown away by his honesty and beauty.
I truly feel conversations with my Dad will be on a whole new level of truth and understanding, going forward.
Having had the opportunity to share in the Universal Medicine inspired Men’s groups has undoubtedly provided the springboard to allow me to understand, recognise and begin to set aside the ‘superficial nature’ of my relationships with other men.
The true revelation however, is the understanding that how I perceived our relationship, at the time, was merely a reflection to me of how my relationship was with myself: I could not hold a true and heart-felt conversation with anyone without first having a true relationship with myself (honouring who I truly am). But, looking back there were definitely many moments where a true relationship existed and I could share from the heart (and that this too, would be reflected back) – but this was not my general way of life.
By Greg Hall, Brisbane Australia (Published With permission by Derrick Hall)