If you haven’t already you will meet certain people, on this brief trip through life, that quite simply demand your attention. I don’t mean they grab you around the throat and shout in your face to get your attention, I mean their presence is so great, you simply have no choice
To get down and personal with you for a moment, I can tell you there are many, many children – young boys in particular – who’re lost to the world. They’re lost because they have no guide; no example to follow. Many young boys are desperately, unconsciously seeking some form of direction, and guidance.
For me, guidance as to what it means to be an adult, has come in many forms. It would seem to me, the knowledge of how to behave, how to control my feelings, how to love and treat those around me, and most importantly how to take responsibility for myself, has taken all of my fifty three years to gain any kind of traction.
In the main, the missing element for me, during childhood, was a father figure I could grow to respect and model myself on. With the absence of this father figure – as with so many young boys – I found myself grasping at any kind of guiding light or influence I could believe in.
Unfortunately for many, this guiding light proves to be a destructive force, that causes children to drift into those lost lives mentioned earlier. Manipulative and abusive adults seek out these vulnerable children, and then use them to further their own agendas, whether this be criminality, sexual perversion or religious extremism, we all know the sad results.
Through means that are unimportant now, much of the influences I experienced as a very young boy, had elements of a spiritual nature. That is to say, at a deep level, I believed my true father to of been an important man, who died some years ago. Two thousand years ago to be more exact.
The only flaw in my mothers plan, of showing me this ideal of a father, was that he was in fact dead. A dead man can never actually show you, in practical terms, what it really means to be a grown man in the twenty first century. This is why the outdated teachings of most religions have very little, if any, bearing on modern life whatsoever. Having said that, my true father had some useful lessons to teach me, in terms of my behaviour to my fellow man.
Without these lessons though, I would have found it much easier, to fit in
Most of us, don’t really take any real notice of the lessons important people teach us, until it’s too late. One of the reasons for this is the lack of respect fathers, mothers, and parents in general, show themselves and each other. Knowing how to respect yourself and each other is not something that necessarily comes naturally .
When children are unable to witness good, clear and clean examples of compassion, gentleness and love, it can take an entire lifetime – of torture and mistakes – to gain the necessary insight into how we become a grown man, or woman. Even then, to be fully grown on an emotional level, is something that we can still fail at after a lifetime.
To be gentle compassionate, understanding and loving, of all our fellow man, is something to aspire to. Perhaps only a few of us see any importance, gain or value in this, however, those few who do, are those we must look to, so our children will be inspired. Value, gain and importance comes in the form of our future survival. If we’re to survive as a species, in whatever form we evolve to, we must learn how to grow emotionally.
The curiosity needed, to inspire us to want to understand how our minds work, must come from those we see value in modelling ourselves on. Those who see the importance and value of growth, as being the future survival of mankind – even though they won’t be around to witness it – are those we must begin to take notice of, or perish.
It may have taken me fifty seven years to face my responsibilities, yet now that I have, it’s true to say the torturous pain, of being a child amongst the few adults I’ve met, is now over
Much of the pain you may be experiencing is borne of the confusion created, when we’re unable to step beyond a certain point, in our emotional development. It can seem that no matter how hard we work, at being grown and responsible, something deep inside longs for the love and care, we potentially didn’t receive during childhood.
If you ever meet that person who shows you the love and compassion you longed for as a child, you will hunger for their time. This is one of the reasons therapists must – and I do mean must – fully comprehend the power (and purpose) of transference, if they’re to properly protect themselves, and their clients.
And so there we are. So much pain and confusion is borne from the absence of effective role models in childhood. Parents should be particularly guarded when it comes to the behaviour and language they exhibit towards each other in front of their children.
Children notice everything. Subtle unconscious communication between the adults around them gets noticed. Be aware of this, and how disrespect of each other, directly reflects onto the child as disrespect of them. The mother who criticises her husband in front of his son or daughter is doing everyone a disservice, and likewise, the husband who mistreats his wife in front of his children.
Being a fully grown adult is more than the ability to fend for oneself, it’s about seeking ways to grow emotionally, and improve ones behaviour toward others.
Being grown is also about taking full responsibility for ones feelings, behaviour, and mistakes in life. There is never anyone to blame, least of all, absent fathers in childhood. They also missed the lessons in how to be a fully grown adult. Grow and set everyone free.