In part 1 of this topic, I suggested that a father not being fully present for a child is part of their souls’ plan. Children develop strategies to cope with the emotional absence of their father and, as a consequence, the soul learns and grows. We look at another two examples of father absence.
Christian was a perfectionist. Although this sometimes suited his career as a specialist engineer, it also contributed to his general feelings of dissatisfaction. He tended to be self-critical, frustrated with his work colleagues and annoyed with his boss who failed to acknowledge his efforts at work.
The source of his perfectionism was his childhood relationship with his father. His father, an excellent provider, believed his only job as a husband and father was to bring in the money, mow the lawn occasionally and take out the garbage. Christian’s father worked long hours in a high profile and demanding job. At home after work, he flopped down in front of the TV and tended to be grumpy and critical when interacting with his family.
Christian was talented at sport but his father took no interest, never coming to see a game. As is often the case with absent fathers, Christian craved his father’s attention, relentlessly seeking to impress him and gain his approval.
Even though his striving never worked, Christian continued trying to be perfect. He desperately needed to be acknowledged by his boss, colleagues and friends but even when he received a compliment or thanks, he remained unsatisfied.
During his regression, he learned his perfectionism arose from his feelings of worthlessness and his compulsion to please. He was his own worst enemy. He never praised himself, doubting the quality of his work and being constantly self-critical.
In previous lives, he had been careless and flippant. His current life plan was to make a shift to being more diligent. His absent father was a catalyst. By withholding fatherly attention and acknowledgement from his son, Christian developed his perfectionism. On the continuum of being very easy going at one end and very precise at the other, Christian had shifted significantly. He was now rigidly precise, causing a lot of frustration for himself when he didn’t quite measure up.
Once Christian saw the larger plan for his development, he relaxed. He was on track with his life plan. His negatively reduced and he began acknowledging the progress he was making. He realized there were tasks where being precise was important and others where it wasn’t necessary. Having his perfectionistic tendencies, he easily found the motivation to apply this new knowledge.
Once he felt positive about himself and his work, he stopped needing as much positive attention from his boss and colleagues. He was more relaxed at work and started enjoying his work environment.
Anna’s father was a quite man. He sat in the corner, reading his books or watching TV. Every now and then he would be annoyed by something his wife did and blow up angrily. He had no interest in his two children.
Even though she disliked her father, Anna married a man who was much the same. She soon discovered that her husband was also distant. He took little interest in their two children. Eventually this became too painful for Anna. She sought counseling and decided to leave the marriage.
Anna’s father never changed. After her marriage broke up, she went back to live with her parents for a few months. Her father kept to himself and ignored his grandchildren.
After her son was diagnosed with autism, Anna realized that both her father and her husband had autistic tendencies. The marriage had survived for as long as it did only because she played the same role as a wife as she had as a child. She tiptoed around her father and she had tiptoed around her husband.
She did a life between lives regression because she wondered what she was supposed to learn from these relationships.
Anna’s guides reassured her that she was on track. She was on the path of learning how to balance her needs with the needs of others. This is a very difficult lesson to learn. Some people give so much of themselves they become ill. Others are selfish and ignore the needs of others. No matter which side of this continuum, you are on, the consequences of being out of balance are unpleasant.
Anna’s husband and father are also in the process of learning this lesson. Her husband was not happy about her leaving. He had to fend for himself. He might have many challenging lifetimes before he understands the importance of caring for others.
When Anna left her husband, she was emotionally drained and feeling lost. She didn’t know who she was and what she really needed. She had given too much of herself away.
Now she is tasked with solving this dilemma. Bringing up an autistic son is challenging, especially since she knows she need to balance looking after him with looking after herself.
Knowing this is a difficult journey is helpful. We all learn through experience. This means trial and error. Being kind to herself is crucially important whenever she finds the balance getting out of kilter. But she knows she is on the right path and this is a comfort.
Absent fathers have their role in our soul development. Those people who have had absent fathers often envy their friends with attentive fathers. Although that is understandable, if you had an absent father, it is worthwhile meditating on the gifts the absence of your father may have given you.
One client met his father during his life between lives. He complained.
“Why didn’t you ever do anything with me when I was young?”
“Don’t you remember son,” his father replied. “You asked me to step back when we first made the plan for your life. You wanted to build your independence.”
The focus of our two sessions had been on his need to develop independence. The client knew immediately his father was right. All the past hurt drained away.
By taking a high perspective of your soul’s journey through many lifetimes might reveal that your absent father is, in fact, a blessing.