I had lunch with my father the other day. It had been almost 2 years since we had spoken, and even though I was still angry about the “incident” that was between us… I figured it was time to have a conversation at least.
As we were wrapping up a 5 hour conversation, yes it was peppered with sports team discussions, the latest television offerings, and how much the area has changed here and there… but it was in that last hour that I decided to dive in head first into the topic and bit the bullet. It really is tough to have a conversation with some one that has played out like a criminal court case in my head. When I came to realize WHY it is that in a court of law they make both sides present the evidence first to the point that they almost have to agree on it. Because it became increasingly clear through this conversation we were having that we did not have the same facts. He was remembering all sorts of things and events that I did not; and he remembers all sorts of things I said and did that I DO NOT REMEMBER. At that point there was an in-pass, which I just resigned to accept as an agree to disagree type of arrangement.
But it was actually in the parking lot that I was confronted with something, that really REALLY had me questioning things the whole 45 min drive home.
Why don’t I trust my father’s judgement?
It has been a well-known fact to most of my friends that my father is more of a 3rd base coach in my life; some times I go to him for advice, but most of the time if I want to run home plate I am going for it no matter what he says. I have commonly been heard saying, “Eh, As long as we don’t talk about my life (major life decisions) and money then we get along fine” in response to the question, “Are you and your father close?”
So in a life filled with friends who seem to go to their parents for advice on anything and everything, why have I never felt that pull in my life? When I have to make a significant decision, I kick it around with my friends, I make pro and con lists, I attempt to find similar people in similar situations to ask their experiences… but rarely IF EVER to I ask my Dad for advice. As I began to replay in my head how my childhood unfolded, there wasn’t a major significant trauma that paved the way for this massive amounts of distrust. I can not point to any specific incident that set this idea in motion.
But as I was attempting to pick apart these feelings and emotions I realized… it’s the little things. For me it is ALWAYS about the little things. He was a good talker to almost ANYONE at anytime, but the down side to that is when all a person does is talk, that is all it is… talk. And I have definitely bought into the belief that talk is cheap, saying your opinion is easy but doing something with it is hard. Telling someone how to do something is completely hollow in the midst of helping them do it or learn it. So with my Dad it all boils down to inactivity. Not physically, but emotionally, socially, intelligently, spiritually, and financially.
So when we were standing in the parking lot talking, I shared some of my newest life accomplishments: getting my finances in order, managing my food, getting my career broadened, and going to a new church for friends and life. In the midst of my sharing these new things, there developed a them from my Dad’s side: I told you how to do that years ago. I knew that was what you needed to do to get over that. I have been saying that for years. And to his credit some of his statements are TRUE. He has told me to get my finances in order and lectured me on a detail by detail method that I NEEDED to follow. He told me that I should major in business and get into a corporation to make better money. And at least a dozen more, but at the time I was in full rebellion to his opinion, his ideas, or his wisdom.
But that is just the rub… at the time I did not believe it to be wisdom. I did not believe it to be truth. I was searching far and wide for a role model to follow and be mentored by; but I would not, could not look to my father. I did not trust him. I did not believe him.
And last but not least I did not want to turn out like him-in so many different areas, that I believe somewhere in my subconscious conscious that if I don’t take his advice I can’t turn out like him. So the battle continues… How much do I share? How much do I ask? How much do I trust in my father?
How much does a person need to do to prove their word can be trusted? That their judgement is sound? That they are truly communicating wisdom and not folly? Or will I always have a defense mechanism in place against certain people in my life both family and friend?