Today was Father’s Day in Australia.
I spent early parts of the day, with my limited resources, trying to find a picture of him that I could post for today on my FB page, in memory.
I didn’t find anything suitable. I found a selection of photos illustrating him wasting away in his last year and that brought back painful memories. I wanted to remember him in the best way possible.
I went out for a bike ride to a weekly markets in the city. It’s a good place to sit myself down with some live music in the background, think, write, and people watch. I had forgotten how much I enjoy observing what happens around me.
After a couple poetic sketches, I was inspired to write a poem in memory of my father today. And I found a picture suitable enough to use illustrating my creativity.
And I thought that would be that.
Friends on FB were posting pictures of their fathers. Old family photos of smiling people having fun together, mid-hug, joyous memories. Along with this, descriptions of their positive experiences, their support, their love.
And I thought about how I experienced very little of that. Since age 10, when my Dad was knocked off his motorbike by a drunk driver, family life was never the same again. He suffered many problems as a result, which resulted in a family of 5 active children living with a physically incapacitated person sensitive to everyday noise. He suffered brain damage which forever changed the way he would interact with us. We lived with a person who became increasingly angry, irrational and explosive.
After five years Mum left. Eventually I followed.
I don’t have photos of hugs with my father. I remember some very early days of young boys rolling on the floor playing with him and that is all. I remember years of hating him, of wishing he was dead because that was the only way I could see life improving for the rest of us. Many years of having space and time gave me the opportunity to let go of the hurt and eventually reconnect. With assistance I eventually came into my own acceptance of what happened, of understanding, of letting go of blame and letting go of my own guilt.
I have come to acknowledge the aspects of my parents that I encompass, focussing on the positives. But I have always struggled with feeling loved, with needing to be loved. And I guess I am envious of those people I know who had such support during their formative years, who have some solid grounding in their lives.
When I see their stories, it leaves me sad.
A lesson I have learnt clearly, personally, this past week, is that the pain of emotions is a response within our mind. It is a chosen reaction. And we can choose to deal with it, to look at it with a different perspective, so that the pain is simply not there. The pain is only ever within our mind and as such, we have the individual power to not feel it. And that does not mean to bury it away somewhere. No, I mean to simply understand that by seeing around the emotions with a self awareness, there simply is no pain.
Pain only exists when we choose to create it within our mind.
This gives me hope. It lets me know that I can train myself to not create the pain. To live with a greater awareness of my self and a greater awareness around my thoughts. To live in a space where I am at peace, while still acknowledging all that I feel, all that I am.
And hope, is perhaps the most powerful emotion of them all.