From a Struggle to a Gift
What have you been carrying?
So, I have been delving into my family dynamic lately. Focusing on my Father. My dad was a WWII vet that fought in the Pacific Campaign. The emotional demands of intense battle, that impaled him in the theater of war, turned out to be quite the gift for me. But I spent most my life not knowing that.
My Father was a very intense man. With fierce resolve, tenacity, focus, determination, courage, etc. These traits, as far as I can tell, were not part of his demeanor before he entered the war.
Perhaps you are familiar with the HBO series, “A Band of Brothers”, which followed men who fought in the European Campaign of WWII. The makers of that series then made a similar series, called “The Pacific”, which followed several men as they fought in the Pacific Campaign. There are trailers online, if you want to get a glimpse of what I am talking about. I recently watched “The Pacific” to better understand my Father.
I am certain that the horror of war impaled my Father with the attributes of fierce resolve, tenacity, focus, determination, courage, etc. He had no choice. He HAD to take on these traits immediately, if he were to stand a chance in hell, to survive at all. In fact, I am amazed that he even survived the war.
Fast forward several decades. Dad meets Mom. They marry. And have 7 kids. Of which I am the last child. I was born into a very intense household. The environment I was born into was intense. I “took on” this intensity as a child. My environment had these intense attributes weaved into the everyday routines.
Fast forward a few more decades. (Am I THAT
old ;- ). And here is where the magic happened. It happened just last week. I will try to convey this as clearly as I can.
I had taken on these intense traits, fierce resolve, tenacity, focus, determination, courage, etc. as part of my family environment. I “engaged” these traits as part of my family dynamic. Navigating these traits. Learning these traits. How to deal, or cope, with them. Yet, my Father passed many years ago. He is not here in the physical arena. Yet, I still had an ingrained “endurance” or “stance” with these traits. As if they were still outside of me to be navigated.
And then, just recently, it all popped. It popped in the sense that it was no longer environmental. It wasn’t something “outside of me” to be endured. My family dynamic was well into my past. And yet, all those traits were instilled IN me. They were now mine. They are part of who I am. I have fierce resolve, tenacity, focus, determination, courage, etc. Without an external anything to posture with. I am free.
My Father gave me these gifts. Fierce resolve, tenacity, focus, determination, courage, etc. That he paid so dearly for. His psyche was impaled with these traits without a choice. Or a chance to mindfully choose them. But rather, thrown into an immediate demand to take on these traits NOW or perish. My Father had five heart attacks over his lifetime. Some of them massive. His psyche was so deeply scarred. He paid the hardest price, short of giving his life, for these attributes. And now they are mine.
Dad, Gilbert, I vow to you to use these amazing attributes that you gifted to me. To use them to fulfill the idea of a better world. To use them, for the rest of my life, to improve the human condition here on Earth. Dad, I see the pain of your heart. I understand at least a little bit, that you had to surrender your compassion for humanity. That you HAD TO become hardened immediately. Shattering your kind and compassionate heart. What a price for you to pay. Gilbert, I love you. I have a thousand hugs for you. I thank you so very much for every moment with you. I am so impressed that you were able to show up as much as you did. You have given me uncommon traits. And for this, I am so very grateful.
I am so very blessed to realize this before I too pass away.
What is awaiting healing within you? Take a look and see what gifts are awaiting discovery from your past.