Just the other day I heard someone groan, “Oh, I sound just like my mother/father.” Have you uttered these words before? This is a fear many of us have yet it’s important to really take an honest look at what it is we fear. Within my life I’ve heard this time and time again and I believe it’s fair to say that most if not all have mommy/daddy issues that cause them to struggle within their personal relationships. Granted our parents (or lack of) greatly impacted our lives as we grew up, especially if we held certain expectations of them or compared them to other parents. Honestly, I used to say the same thing until life circumstances and personal choices brought me back to living with Papi, my dad the man I had emotionally struggled with for many years. So, those daddy issues I had were about to be faced head on and it was my responsibility to identify the tools and resources so I could move forward.
As the youngest child of 3 I tethered most to Papi during my childhood, always feeling as though I was daddy’s little girl. I would always envision us spending time together and craved his attention whenever he was home from a business trip. Yet that dream was shattered when the childhood home I grew up in was taken by the bank due to a bad business investment my parents took part in. For years I resented and blamed Papi for losing my home (never occurred to me to inquire how he felt about it) and then how he focused more on work than being with his family.
I didn’t realize then that my expectations of my dad and how I wanted him to be clouded my vision of what was reality. I knew in many ways I was very much like my dad, and was also told by others how similar we were in looks. For years, I would become upset whenever someone mentioned our similarities until I decided to look more closely at what characteristics we shared. Since 2014 I have been living with my dad which has been both a blessing and a challenge yet one I appreciate now every day for the lessons I have learned. Just this month I took the next step to move out on my own as we are both more emotionally and physically stable within our personal lives.
As I celebrate Father’s Day I am grateful for the opportunity the universe offered me and to learn how to accept him just as he is. I’ve taken 5 top lessons I’ve learned from Papi, which once drove me crazy yet now I realize how much they have positively influenced me. Most importantly though, the challenges I have faced while living with him from his sometimes egotistical behavior to his negative attitude towards life have encouraged me to focus more on compassion then frustration. After all, being annoyed with him for how he looks and experiences life is my problem and he has chosen how he wants to live his life even if I can’t always understand it.
I thank him for being one of my teachers in life and am so grateful that he’s still with us today. I love him unconditionally even though I don’t always like or appreciate his actions or words.
5 lessons learned from Papi
1) It’s okay to talk to strangers: For as long as I could remember, I always saw my dad striking a conversation with just about anyone. We could be in the line at the airport, grocery store or eating a meal and he would begin to speak about anything and everything. He was so engaging with everyone. So naturally it was a skill I adapted to as I’ve always engaged with children and adults while traveling, waiting in line or just out and about. I’ve met amazing people by talking about the weather or comment on whatever they had in their hands. Simple conversations sometimes led to long lasting friendships. As a primarily solo traveler it’s been these conversations that have enhanced my trips and encouraged me to withdraw out of my sometimes introverted shell.
2) Delegate: I would always get so annoyed (sometimes still do) with my dad when he would call upon anyone (sometimes various times a day) in our family to help him even with the most simplest tasks. Seriously, I would think to myself as I pounded a nail into the wall or fixed something around the house, why couldn’t you just do it. Recently I learned that he would even pay the neighborhood kids to teach us how to ride our bikes during our childhood. Now instead of getting annoyed I actually marvel at how this man could delegate just about any task that he didn’t want to do and people would say yes. As I became more independent in life I took pride in being able to do just about anything myself yet that has also been a drawback as I would usually do things by myself rather than ask for help. However, I’ve been changing that pattern as I’ve come to recognize that asking for help builds community and shares the responsibility of accomplishing a task. It’s actually so much more humbling to ask for help than to do it on my own all the time. It’s still a work in progress for me but one I’m more aware of thanks to my dad.
3) Family is everything: Since living with my dad I’ve been able to see much more clearly how he shows his love towards his family.Whenever I returned home for long periods of time I would walk on the beach with my dad. We established early morning walks as time for us to talk. This was my chance to ask him questions without distractions. It was during these walks that he shared how he regretted not spending more time with us kids as we were growing up because he was traveling. He admitted that his focus was only to provide for the family. As he’s become older and since my mom passed away I’ve seen a more tender side as he’s been more engaging with his grandchildren. I have come to appreciate how he shows his love for each of us in his own way thus releasing expectations of how I think (or would prefer) he should show it.
4) Travel to learn cultures: I give credit to my dad for encouraging my gypsy spirit (although I know it’s not one he would take pride in accepting). I could remember traveling on an airplane since I was a little girl to visit family in Puerto Rico or travel to Latin America for a business/family trip. Our trips were about learning new cultures and seeing new sights, which I continue the tradition to this day. Traveling for me has always been a way of life and I am doing all that I can to incorporate it into my business and personal lifestyle. Because of my dad’s joy of traveling with the family I have been able to visit numerous countries and regions growing up and then found new places that I enjoy traveling to. I am grateful and very fortunate to have experienced this because I know many have not.
5) Stay focused: Throughout my life my dad only had employers working as a sales engineer for Latin American countries selling welding and then medical equipment. He began with Hobart Brothers shortly after leaving Cuba while living in Puerto Rico and remained with them for over 20 years until the business was sold. He then took over the company my mom started while I was young, Servitech Corp while she focused on building South Florida Medical Equipment, a family business. He loved selling these products and traveled extensively to share his knowledge with companies around Latin America and the US. His goals were always to provide for his family and stay committed with his tasks at hand. Although my path as an entrepreneur wavers as I figure out all the ins and outs of running my own business, I’m focused on creating a freedom based business that empowers others to release stress naturally. As he was able to stay focused and committed towards his goals in life, which has always empowered me to have goals and objectives within my life.
In summary I am grateful for the opportunity of living with my dad and the challenges I encountered while living there, both personal and professional. I’m grateful that I was able to be present with my mom as she transitioned and then supporting my dad however I could and still do. I’ve learned to view challenges as opportunities with lessons to learn while also taking responsibility for my life and what I can control. I know my dad does not view life in this manner yet that is his choice and I love him unconditionally even though I may not like all of his actions and viewpoints.
If you have been struggling with a relationship with your mom or dad which you know is holding you back in life, then I encourage you today to book a complimentary stress release session with me and share your story. Then we can identify a supportive plan to assist you in releasing your frustrations so you can lead a balanced life towards health and happiness.
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Pass this blog along to someone who may benefit from it as we all need love everyday!
Paty, La Mariposa
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