Fathers are often underappreciated for their contribution to their family mainly because most men follow the belief system: “strong men don’t show emotions”. So it makes it tough for most men to connect to their kids though they literally sacrificed their entire lives for one and only one thing – to offer a quality life for their kids on a golden platter.
My relationship with my father took me on a journey from a carefree child to waging an uphill battle with my life, and back to becoming free again. He was strict, yes really really strict. He freaked out when I was hanging out with friends who he perceived as losers, he would yell when my grades went down, and he grounded me when I was partying after 10 PM. While the stringent childhood helped me earn a college degree and opened the world of opportunities as my father wished for, it also took a toll on my adult life as I was constantly afraid to make a mistake fearing punishment and society’s judgement.
However, all that changed after I met my wife who saw the best in me. Her transformation with coaching inspired me to hire a coach Neil Goldstein, an MIT graduate and now an executive coach who helped me gain awareness of my thoughts. I was able to reverse the negative impact my stringent childhood had on me so I could experience freedom again, caring less about what others think and instead following my heart. Today I see a life presented in front of me on a golden platter just like my father wished for, and none of this would have happened without my father’s fierce protection in my childhood. I could have easily become a drug addict, alcoholic, rapist, murderer or suffered depression as an unloved child – the qualities which are not easily reversible as an adult, but he did not let that happen. While my dad was tough many times, he ALWAYS cared and loved. Even as a kid I never questioned his steadfast commitment to my well being.
To this day I cherish my self-restraint skills that my father helped me cultivate by being strict which helps me stay disciplined in areas I choose to practice self-restraint. Fathers are unsung heroes and it is true in my case. I have until now underappreciated my dad only because he loved me fiercely. If you love your Dad and haven’t recognized his greatness and love he showed for you, acknowledge him before it’s too late. Happy Father’s day Dad.