Saturday, May 14, 2016

why our Dads were dickheads--- an open letter to two young men

Dear ,, and ...

Sorry your Dad is a dickhead, and was verbally abusive over the phone.

Mine was a dickhead too. He was verbally abusive many a time.

It turns out my long time friend Mark Ritter's father was a dickhead, too, which was a huge shock, since I'd always thought he was a good guy. But he rode Mark hard and insulted some of his core values.

So what gives?
Bad fathers seems to be the norm, like maybe 90%.

And why are they bad fathers?

Because they aren't happy with themselves.

And why aren't they happy?

For the same reason, anyone is unhappy:

One: They believe their thinking.

Two: They aren't present.

These two go hand in hand. To be present is to be in the world of what we are experiencing right now, and that is not our thoughts about our experience, but the experience itself.

To be believing our thinking, which is often complaining about the world and how people are and what's wrong with them, or that's wrong with us, is a blur over the present.

The cure for them, these miserable fathers of ours, would be, or would have been (for the dead fathers) to have been present and to stop all their believing their thinking about what was wrong with them, or what was wrong with us. And to be present to themselves and their wives and their friends and us, in this marvelous moment of life.

Which is only now.

So what is our way out?
To not believe our thinking that they, these miserable men, should be different, until perhaps they are. But for now, they are mean, or abusive, or stupid or brutal or cruel or miserable.
Forget the labels even. They are just humans who can't say kind and loving things.

To think they should be different is to suffer.

To feel our pain in the present, without the words, this is the way out too.

Present experience.
Don't believe the words.
Watch the words and then leave them behind for the present, then believe them and feel the pain, then come to the present, even the present ache of a broken heart, without words, is "just" life aware of how life is sometimes.

This is words.

The now, your now, is always available.

The peace of not believing our thinking is always available, even with an aching heart, the peace is there.

It's weird. 

The Bible says, a "peace that passeth all understanding."  It comes sometimes when all the thinking would say we should be suffering.

And we chose now instead.

Back to dickhead Dads....  Or anyone bugging us.

If we are thinking they should be different, we aren't now. And so we suffer.

If we chose to shift this to just attention on the present sensations of our life right now, and leave the words in our head behind, we stop suffering.

This is our greatest freedom, the freedom to place our attention.

On the present.

Our breathing. Our skeletons. What we see right now. What we hear.

And then what?

Write a slew of goals about what we'd like to make better or different in our lives, and a series of action steps toward those goals.

Write a slew of gratitudes about what we notice in the present or what we like and love in our life.

We can't change the past.
We can't change our dickhead Dads.

We can move into, small step by small step, the life we want to create for ourselves.

If we believe we should be better at this than we are.... misery by believing our thoughts.

If we are curious about what actions might create more fun, interesting or better results,,, then the fun of making a life for ourselves is at hand.

Have fun.
Be present.
If you catch yourself believing your thoughts, notice what the effect of that is.

There are many entries in this blog of the Work of Byron Katie, and on Happiness. You might or might not enjoy them.