Fatherlessness is a deeply wounding circumstance that embeds itself into every aspect of our personal development. It can’t be ignored or simply “let go.”
Recently I’ve been bombarded with emails, videos and messages expressing the appreciation for Fathers Incorporated’s work in our film, “Spit’in Anger: Venom of a Fatherless Son.” The film has now been seen in over 60 cities and 5 film festivals. In addition, I have received countless video testimonies of people expressing their anger and other emotions with respect to their own fatherlessness. With every expression of pain, my heart weeps. Not only because I understand their pain, but also because it makes me re-live my own.
So often during our Q&A session after we’ve shown the film and on social media, people have uttered the worst three words a person in pain can hear; “Let It Go or Get Over It.” Each time I see or hear it, it sends chills up my spine and leaves me frustrated with feelings I can’t describe. It also makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs, “Are you kidding me?” How insensitive and disconnecting can three words be!?
“Let It Go” is not something that places you “in” the next phase of your life. It’s something that transitions you “to” the next phase of your life, especially and particularly in the case of fatherless children and adults.
There have been three viral posts of people expressing varying degrees of their fatherless pain over the last few months (that we are aware of). The first, of a man who recently lost his father , the second of a young girl addressing the need to see a father she’s never known , and the third of a young football player speaking out about how the absence of his father affects his life and sport. Each one is as equally heartbreaking as the next. The level of emotional depth displayed is phenomenal given that it is expressed without professional and therapeutic assistance.
Short of giving them ALL a hug, which I know will only last until their next moment of expression, I can only pray that their anger doesn’t impact them in an unhealthy way. More importantly, I pray that their anger doesn’t negatively impact their own children and the ones who love them. .
Based solely on my experience as a fatherhood practitioner of 25 years, a fatherless man, a man who unfortunately played a fatherless role in my oldest daughter’s life and as a creator and producer of a documentary addressing the issue of fatherless anger; let me give you a little advice:
- You just don’t “GET OVER IT.” Just like there is a healing process to physical pain, there is process to emotional and spiritual healing. Anyone who thinks they have ‘just gotten over’ this kind of pain is in denial. Anyone who has never experienced this kind of pain should refrain from giving you advice or opinions.
- “Letting Go” is a process, not an action. The loss of anything essential and meaningful to you demands a process of healing and grieving. Seek professional help. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. There is nothing wrong with saying “I’m Hurt.” However, there can be something wrong in the unhealthy way it’s displayed.
- Pain is Real. It exists. It should be recognized and attended to. It impacts the way you think about others. It impacts the way you think about yourself. Pain and anger are secondary emotions. They are a reaction to something much deeper. Work on rectifying the cause and you can begin changing your reaction to it.
- Social Media is NOT your Therapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist or Counselor! It is simply a place where people with varying degrees of opinion, insight, experience or lack thereof, say whatever they’re thinking at the moment with absolutely NO OR LIMITED KNOWLEDGE of your issue or story. If you want healing, find a professional that can help. If you want drama, more confusion and dysfunction, keep getting your advice solely from social media. By the way, you can find good information on the Internet; but not a lot in sound bites of 140 characters.
- For those who are believers, GOD can heal you. However, it’s rare that the healing takes place overnight. Where is the lesson in that? In all my days, God has never healed my heartbreak, my loss, my grief, etc. overnight. What HE has done is help me understand the issue, learn from it, and walked me through the process of healing and regaining joy over my life.
No pain is quickly relived without the assistance of time and nurturing. Fatherlessness is a deeply wounding circumstance that embeds itself into every aspect of our personal development. It can’t be ignored or simply “let go.” Forgiveness is the quickest way to reconciling the pain. So give it a try; I did and it worked.
Photo courtesy of Fathers Incorporated