As the sun set on another Father’s Day, I thought about how this year’s father’s day felt a little sour. Due to some travel logistics and co-parenting complications, I didn’t have my daughters with me this year as I’d hoped. But truthfully, I didn’t let it ruin the day. I reflected with gratitude that I have two amazing children that I adore and strive daily to create a better world for.
And I also thought about John Mayer’s song called “Daughters” which does a great job of revealing the intrinsic paradox of how poorly fathered or under-paternally-nurtured daughters create challenges for men who’ll inevitably become fathers to genuinely love them. This is a PERFECT illustration of life’s ultimate karmic cycle at play in relationships. It’s pretty much a law. What the father gives to the daughter, she’ll give back in some form – to her son(s) or the sons of others. In John Mayer’s song, he puts it this way:
“I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world
But she’s just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I’ve done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I’m starting to see
Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me
[Chorus] Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do…”
From the lyrics, John’s referring to the impasse that comes up in relationships. And in normal circumstances he’d blame himself for the breakdown and unworkability of the relationship. But as he takes an honest look at the situation, he realizes the young girl he’s dating has issues that stem from her relationship with her father, and it’s not about him. Whatever it’s about has something to do with a father who wasn’t good to this daughter he’s been in a relationship with. Perhaps this can be credited to the father’s lack of inner strength and the resulting limited capacity to nurture.
So, here’s a question to the Fathers that don’t have it easy or are dealing with their inner-realms of being:
How do you love your daughters? When they’re present and when they’re absent? When there’s little to no communication? The answer to this might cause some eye rolling but it’s simple. It’s actually the answer to the question, how do you love yourself. As mean, we fail to allow or permit ourselves to nurture our deeper selves with the same delicateness we want to offer or extend to our daughters.
In my mind, there’s a connection with the emotional well-being of men in the world and the fate of the world. And until we love ourselves by tending to our inner-most need to be filled with the wisdom required to love ourselves in such a way that we can parent and nurture from a well-spring of self love, the karmic cycle John Mayer is referring to will continue. I invite all fathers to take a deep lesson to heart and invitation to heart, master self love and you master fatherhood in ways you’d never imagine you could.