What is the love of a father? What does it look like? Is it the same as from the mother? What is fathers love when the child never met him? These and other questions are coming up when we honour our father at ‘Father’s Day’.
When we work with the relationship to one’s father in Family Constellations, we often find that there is a distance between father and child, represented by the workshop participants, that seems to be insurmountable. Judgement towards the – often either emotionally or physically absent – father leads to struggles with substance abuse including smoking or drinking. Severe addictions like gambling or drug abuse are often a sign that one wasn’t able to receive fathers love as a child. Or as Bert Hellinger once said, ‘addictions have father’s face’ – or in other words, addictions show the absent of father’s face. Instead of looking up to the father for structure and support, it’s been looked for somewhere else: in drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, food or even in a negative emotion like depression. The rejection of the father is a result of creating a story around oneself and the father, where in the centre of it is a harsh judgement against the father: that he wasn’t there when needed, was unable to speak about his emotions or was always busy with something else rather then with his children.
We had a special workshop this month on Father’s Day where 26 participants connected with their fathers and the source of father’s love. In one of the 4 family constellations that day the dynamic between daughter and father was represented impressively well.
It’s almost as if I have given the world a gift that doesn’t want to be unwrapped
Tom (name changed) was representing the father of a participant who wanted to work on her anxieties. He expressed his feelings/observations towards the representative of his daughter like this:
“I see there’s confusion in my daughter, but my love for her is just to be who she really is. It’s almost as if I have given the world a gift that doesn’t want to be unwrapped.”
That’s what fathers love is: giving the gift of life to the world through his children to play very unique and individual parts in the grand play we call our world. Through depressions, anxiety, addictions and other low-vibrating emotions the child (now an adult) is holding back to unfold (or unwrap) the talents and possibilities that are imbedded into their DNA since conception. And this will lead to the perception: “regardless what I achieve, I always have the feeling I’m not good enough”, as the client describes her problem in the workshop.
After going through some entanglements and unsolved dynamics in the family system of the client she finally was able to open her heart to father’s love as it is: pure and unconditional, once the stories about how he has to be have fallen away and become irrelevant.
When the heart is open to receive fathers love and the love of all the fathers before him, the gift can finally be unwrapped: a shining star finds its rightful place at the firmament.
Happy Father’s Day to all our fathers everywhere in the world!