Lessons Learned from my Father


I’m never quite sure how to behave on Father’s Day any more. My father transitioned just days after Father’s Day three years ago. In fact, this year Father’s Day falls on the anniversary of his passing.

Last year, I made a public declaration that I would not continue to celebrate the day he left this earth and instead remained focused on the day he came to this earth. However, with his last day with us being so close to Father’s Day, it’s hard not to acknowledge. Particularly this year when they are one in the same day.

FullSizeRender (43)Last Saturday as I was sitting under the pine trees in my back yard in Colorado, watching the sun shine through the branches, I was thinking about the fact that Father’s Day was coming up and contemplating my father’s life.

When we held his memorial at his church, the dog park, my brother and I did not prepare a eulogy. We simply shared extemporaneously. I spontaneously shared that I had learned two primary things from my father. These were two of his most honorable qualities. The two lessons I shared that day were “Be Kind” and “Do What’s Right; Even When It’s Hard.”

As I sat under under the trees last weekend, I began to contemplate some other “lessons” I learned from my dad. And some of the ways they manifested in my life as well as his. That also revealed the “shadow” side of these seemingly wonderful qualities.

You see, every thing in life has a light side and a dark side. Being careful not to place judgement, these are simply two aspects of something. Even the seemingly good qualities we possess can be overdone to our own detriment. As they say “there can be too much of a “good” thing.”

Here are the original two lessons that came to me that day at the dog park memorial as well as a couple more from both sides:


Lesson #1 – Be Kind.

My dad never had a bad word to say about any one. Even those that had done some very bad things. It’s the old adage “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.” My dad learned that lesson very well.

The trouble was that instead of getting out the hurt, the outrage and the anger. He internalize it all instead. I never saw him get angry. Not even once. Not even when he was dying.

Being “nice” at any cost is too high a price to pay. Your health and well-being is directly connected to your emotional authenticity. To being honest with yourself, feeling what you feel and finding heathy way to express what’s true for you. Your LIFE literally depends on it!


Lesson #2 – Do what’s right; even when it’s hard.

Like most of us, my dad went through some $hi! in his life. One of the most amazing things about him is that he truly always took the high road. He was the one to stick around to pick up the pieces, take responsibility and put things back together when they fell apart. He did what was “right” – always.

The thing is that as much as we might not think so, “right” is subjective. And if doing the “right” thing in the eyes of someone else keeps you from what is “right” for you then is it really “right?”

Each of us has to come to the delicate balance of internal alignment and external expectation. Anytime doing what is “right” externally creates a misalignment for you internally you must consider other ways to create positive outcomes.

Being true to yourself and living in alignment with your truth is always the right thing!


Lesson #3 – Be unattached and unemotional.

My dad never had a lot of expectations and he was “easy to please” because according to him he really didn’t have a lot of preferences. The old “don’t dream and you won’t be disappointed” comes to mind for me.

This one makes for a very easy going even keeled kind of a guy. But just like he never got angry he never got excited either. The thing about not getting angry or getting excited is that your entire emotional spectrum is limited.

We can only go as high as we can go low. So the more depths you can fully experience and feel emotionally the more heights you can experience as well. As they say “how can you know joy if you’ve never known pain.”

It’s okay to connect to your desires and feel your feelings deeply. In fact, if you don’t, you aren’t really living!


Lesson #4 – Hold people accountable.

Of course it is valid that people should be held responsible for their actions. But being the righteous one that never forgets doesn’t do anyone any favors, especially you.

There comes a point when it is time to let go and allow whatever happened to be water under the bridge. Your past becomes your present (and your future) until you can let it go and leave it behind.

Remember that forgiveness isn’t about letting someone else off the hook for what they did. It’s about freeing yourself by not allowing whatever they did to continue to poison your life.

It’s time to release others so you can be free!


I invite you to contemplate any ways of being that you have identified with as the “way you are.” These are likely things you are proud of about yourself. As you ought to be!

And…….I invite to to take a peak behind the curtain into the shadow to reveal any ways that this habit of being may not be serving you.

IMG_1747 (1)

I loved my father dearly. I learned many wonderful things things from him. Just because he is no longer on this earth does not mean that I will deify him. He was just a man. I love him as much for his faults and failings as I do for his wonderful attributes. And in the end isn’t that what True Love really is?

I honor my father today, the dark and the light, and all beautiful aspects in between.



Fatal error: Uncaught Exception: 12: REST API is deprecated for versions v2.1 and higher (12) thrown in /home2/ronda/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seo-facebook-comments/facebook/base_facebook.php on line 1273