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Sunday Special: Just For You, Too

Happy Sunday, Sweethearts!

Today is Father’s Day in America and since I had already written an homage to my late father and to my friends who are fathers, I decided to post a special message to men everywhere.

Men: Generally speaking, you get a bad rap when it comes to the family circuit. You thrive in the business and economics (hence the glass ceilings that still exist), but when it comes to matters of the heart, you don’t receive your spotlight when you do well. If you have received shade all day, all month, all year — let me be the first to tell you, thank you.

A deeper look: You may be discouraged to extend your love for fear of being rejected or emasculated. Perhaps you were dismissed when you tried to hug your parents as a child or attempted to kiss your significant other. When affection is rejected, it can cause men to shut down and not feel emotionally safe. The result can be an adult male who does not know how to adequately express his feelings. This can manifest itself in destructive or distant behaviors and your family suffers the most from those inaudible blows. Furthermore, you may have a positive father reference to model, let alone a positive friendship with other men to keep you lifted. I encourage you to not to shrink into the shadows. No matter what you think, it won’t make things better.

person on a bridge near a lake
Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

From a daughter who experienced an estranged father and later an involved one, please consider the following for your future:

  1. Never underestimate the power of your presence. Whether your reputation is tarnished or squeaky clean, your love will shine through anything when you decide to show it. Let them say no, but don’t let them say that you didn’t try. I believe my biological father did the best he could within his capacity. The father who raised me simply had a deeper well from which to draw.

  2. You’re the blueprint. I’m a firm believer that a man’s interaction with his child(ren) can create a customized definition of provision and protection. Sons and daughters tend to use their fatherly relationships as reference points for platonic and romantic relationships. You’re more than a sperm donor. Your fingerprint is part of their growth. You’re a life-giver and women grow what you plant. We nurture what you give, so remember that as you interact with your family.

  3. You need a team. In the name of sports, be humble enough to be a team player. If you have friends who are also fathers or men that you will take you seriously when it’s time to confide, let them know what you need in order to stay on track. Whether it is an addiction, temptation, or a knot of anger you can’t comb through, talk to your tribe. Just like on the court/field, everyone plays a role to win the game. Let your friends play their roles.
photo of men having conversation
Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

I encourage you to breathe through each attempt to be better and if you are already doing those items listed, offer to be a safe space for another man as he grows into a better version of himself. Mentor a neighborhood child who could use a father figure. Offer to make amends with a family member. Just don’t stop trying. Let them say no. You can live with the peace of knowing that you extended the opportunity for them to meet the new you.

I love you all. Keep standing strong. I see you.

Peace & Thanks for listening! Happy Father’s Day!

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No, thanks. I’m watching my Father-Figure…

Screenshot_2015-06-15-22-37-49_1A spoken word piece that one day I’ll have the courage to say in public. For now, this is the platform. To fathers and father-figures, I salute you today and everyday. Keep going. 👊

“Bills?
I pay them.
People?
I have to raise them?
Where are the instructions?
I don’t need them.
I’ll figure it out. Just let me see them.”

“Yes, I’m qualified.
Just give me chance.
My suit isn’t tailored.
I don’t know this dance, but
I promise I can do it.
I won’t be outworked.
I can figure it out
In my blue collar shirt.”

“How am I going to explain this when I get home?
They don’t get it. I’m really trying.
I feel alone…
Divisible
Invisible
At the same time.
Not having what you need
That’s despicable to me.
But there’s too many pieces I need to be
And I don’t know where to go
I’m trying to fix what’s broken, unspoken,
without a MANual
To help me grow.

That’s why I can’t show you
My tears and my fears.
The scars… I can’t hide.
My love for you is deep
But I can’t stretch my arms wide
Enough to help you understand
The battle I’ve learned to fight
The best way I can
Despite the tools I was given,
Living in a sardine can of lost dreams
Suffocating me with my own hands
I can’t breathe.”

“5 AM. Another day.
Gotta get out of here
Make a way
Make it happen
Scratching the surface
Until I find it.
God, I’m nervous.

I can’t cry.
I’m a man.
Men don’t complain.
They do what they can.
Family first.
Live second.
My net worth?
Please, don’t check it.”

I see you,
Invisible Man,
Walking tall in public
Encroached in spirit as you stand
Privately shaking, trying not to break open
Keep being, speaking as only you can.

Thank you. I mean it.
I know it’s your duty,
but gratitude is still in order
I appreciate you.
I’m grateful for your shoulders.

On behalf of every woman that’s ignorantly watching,
waiting for you to slip up
Lurking in lust, to trip you up
Buying your affection with the jewels between her thighs
I salute you for saying
“No, not tonight.”
For taking sons and daughters to football games and
Singing silly songs on the way to school
Worried about the gas tank not being full
Wishing that your bank account was bigger than a speck
Praying that you’ll move out of the projects
Hoping that your projects become successful
Dreaming for another way
Always helpful
Educating other folk’s kids everyday
You love them past their DNA.
You’re a survivor
Thriver
Pusher
Driver
The president of the house,
The kingdom we live in.
Your heart and passion supersede your dividends
And I thank you for the sleepless nights
Counting the costs
Catching our tears with your chest
Every time we felt lost.

Thank you. I mean it.
I know it’s your duty,
but gratitude is still in order
I appreciate your seed that
Built me to conquer
I recognize you because you look familiar
Like Jesus the Christ
My fearless Leader.

My burden bearer,
Distractions will come,
But I believe in you.
Those people? Over there?
They’re taking silent notes
Getting ready for their own test.
Only this time, without you knowing,
You’re the MANual.
You’re the model.
You’re the best.

Peace, Happy Father’s Day, & Thanks for listening. ✌

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