When it comes to an absent parent, “out of sight” does not mean “out of mind”.
I recently wrote a little book called, “Joseph’s Journey: When Dad Left and Never Came Back”. It’s about, Joseph, a 7-year-old boy that recounts the time his mother taught him about the Power of Choice when he realizes his father has stopped coming to see him. Joseph discovers that he can choose the way he wants to feel and the difference between his fathers choices and his own. Joseph is my son and this is our story.
Joseph will be 11-years-old in a few months and his “journey” isn’t over. He’s still on it and so I am I…right along with him. Just this morning he expressed his feelings of thinking about his dad and wanting to write and compose a song for him. He said that he wished he could sing the song directly to him while playing it on the piano.
Now bear in mind that his father has been absent in his life for the majority of his life–9 of his 11 years.
Here’s my response:
“You miss your dad and you’ve been thinking about him?” (Joseph answers in the affirmative.)
“I think he thinks about you too. I do. (Joseph smiled) And I also totally ‘get’ that it doesn’t make any ‘sense’ why he doesn’t come by to see you.
I want to express the DIFFERENCE between understanding someone’s choices and accepting someone’s choices.
Here’s an example of trying to understand someone:
Why doesn’t he just pick up a phone and call? Doesn’t he have friends or a way to get to a phone? Is he homeless? Does he have any money or a way to come see me? I don’t understand why he just doesn’t come! This doesn’t make any sense! Of course not, because it doesn’t make sense according to the way you think and the way you feel!
Here’s an example of accepting someone’s choices. Joseph do you love me? (Joseph answers yes) Have I ever hurt your feelings or done things that you don’t like? (Joseph answers yes) Do you still love me? (Yes) Do you agree with everything that I decide? (No) But you still love me right? (Yes mom)
Are you starting to understand the difference between the two? Understanding someone’s choices and accepting someone’s choices? (Yes)
Now, have you ever felt like you could NOT do something? For example, sometimes you really feel like you just CAN’T do certain math problems. Even when I try to encourage you to get calm and allow the answers to come to you, you truly believe that IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN and you just can’t do it at the time! (Joseph doesn’t like that I’m bringing this up about him and he says “yes” with a funny look on his face! ha-ha)
Okay, so that feeling feels real for you and until YOU see things differently or COME TO BELIEVE something different, this is just how it is FOR YOU, right? (Right) Okay, right. Does it help if mom gets angry with you? (No) Does it change how you feel, if I’m angry at you? (No) Do you appreciate it when mom can just accept how you feel in the moment and still show you love? (Yes)
Based on your dad’s actions we know he’s choosing not to come,but, the reasons why? We don’t know.
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right–Henry Ford
However, when you love and care about someone, it can feel painful when they do things you don’t understand or don’t agree with. That all comes with loving someone….sometimes it’s painful and it’s okay. ACCEPTANCE.
Do you want to see your dad again? (Yes) When you think about seeing him again how does that make you feel? (Good) Okay then if you want the Universe to create an opportunity for that to happen, you need to be in a good feeling place inside of yourself in order to receive what you want. Keep saying your affirmations every hour and take your two connected breaths every hour.”
To be continued…I have a feeling Joseph and I are going to have to talk about having compassion for one another very soon and what that means.
We’re on a journey!