A Father Without a Family:
In less than twenty four hours I will be on my way to Russia. It is at this time I get a feeling of nostalgia, a feeling of what I could have done better. Most recently, I have noticed myself drifting off to another place, it could the middle of the day, or at night before I close my eyes. Not all of these memories have been good, yet none of them really disastrous. I still have something pulling me to the church, I cannot put my finger on it but it is definitely there. As I have written before, being an Engineer sort of pigeon holes you into a black and white mindset. Over the past five years I have tried to force myself to grow beyond that, to expand or I guess release myself from such a restriction. This covers all parts of my life, the way I parent, how I interact with people, my colleagues, family, how I love, and most importantly how I reconcile my own actions internally.
This process, what I am calling a spiritual enlightenment, has taken me to a much better place than I was when I first lost my marriage. It certainly hasn’t been smooth sailing, in fact it has been anything but that. Today, however brings a new day, yet another chance to slowly force open the door of the mind and soul. Conversely, sometimes I need to allow these doors to open of their own free will. The trick is knowing when to kick yourself up another gear and when to let things take their natural course.
“There is no greater sorrow than to recall a happy time when miserable.”
― Dante Alighieri
My children are growing up, they are both just the most beautiful treasures in the world, and to see them changing reinforces to me why it is so important to manage our relationships with the other parent, be it in divorce or an active marriage. Regardless of how your life is structured, keeping the lines of communication open and honest are absolutely key to being a great parent. Our children draw so much from the social surroundings that every way in which you work with the other parent effects them. It is up to us to make sure we are putting our best foot forward.
Try this for an exercise. Write down the ten things you do not like in your life right now. Be specific, and be honest. Now imagine yourself on your death bed, imagine that last ten minutes of your life. How important are those ten things you have written down now? Do they all still matter, or will you let them go? I would argue that most of the things you have detailed pale into the distance when faced with your own mortality. Why then do we let these things bother us now! Why own the stress, why entangle your mind and body in what some argue are things you cannot control anyway.
It is you that must resolve yourself for a better life, but be prepared to define what a better life is. I think for me it is quite simple. The love of my family, shelter, basic food, and my health. Maybe it is this philosophical experience that is driving me towards the church. Maybe I am looking for examples of a life without material possessions, without the stress of keeping up with the latest gadgets my peers have. I don’t know…
“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
― Marcel Proust
What I do know though is that for the next seven weeks I will have plenty of time to dive back into my mind again. It’s a bit like a form of meditation I guess, and for me I use music to set the scene. I keep a pen and paper handy, and when things come to me I write them down. What have I got to lose? I have everything to gain, and maybe one day it might make sense to someone else who is a little lost. Tonight I will hold my closest to me and enjoy the moment. I prey the same for each of you, and even if you cannot be with them in person, take them with you to your dreams….
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