Sunday 7-21-13 Daughters and Dads

“When someone entrusts their heart to you they are giving you a piece of their soul. You cannot treat the soul casually.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

Happy Sunday!

I have been thinking this week about family relationships, especially those between dad and daughter. This is definitely a subject in the collective consciousness this week beginning with Oprah’s Lifeclass last Sunday, “Daddyless Daughters” was the topic, and questions and conversations have been popping up this week from my family and friends on the same subject.
My brothers and my men friends seem to be very shook up as their daughters reach those early teenage years and pull away from being ‘daddy’s little girl’. First, gentlemen be proud of yourself for caring and being there for your girl, and then know that she is just moving into the next stage of growth – coming into her own identity separate from the family.
On the life class program last Sunday, Iyanla Vanzant said something profound that has guided many of my thoughts for the week. She said that when Daddy leaves the family he takes the daughter’s self-worth with him. This is really BIG, representing how females from a young age need to be shown that they are loved from the male energy, their Dads, to establish they are worthy of love and respect from the future men in their lives.
Dad’s, your role is more important now than ever to love and respect her as she goes through this period of building her own self worth.
Joel Osteen spoke of supporting your family relationships this morning (as always supporting my reflections of the week) wherein he told the story of a promiscuous women who was able to trace her feelings of emptiness back to her Dad who would not look up from his newspaper to admire her in her prom dress. She spent her life trying to fill that empty hole lacking love, always feeling unworthy of true love as she could not love herself.
If you read my 2012 story of my awakening then you know that realizing my own self worth was a big part of the changes in my life. This week I have allowed myself to think on my relationship with my Dad when I was a kid and I will acknowledge now that he did not give me the attention or affection I needed. Dad went through his spiritual awakening when I was about 16, I rejected him at the time saying to myself “too little, too late.” Of course it wasn’t too late and we had many years of my adult life to know we loved each other but it seems I still carried the lack of self worth for decades.
I open my heart now to release any hurt, pain, or guilt that remains between us Dad. I LOVE you and I thank you for Loving me!
Joel’s sermon this morning was primarily about changing the way we treat our spouses, men needing to know their wives are proud of them and women needing to know they are loved and admired, but he added how we treat our spouses is a model for the type of relationships our children will have. So Dads if you want only the best, loving, respectful, mate for your daughter you need to treat your wife that way. You are showing by your actions each day the type of mate that your daughter will think that she deserves.
Dads, I know you just want to protect your girls so they will be happy. Another concern you have seems to be controlling your own anger at how you see others treat your little girls – girls can be vicious to other girls. This brings the thought of boundaries into my head. In an interview Oprah had with Maya Angelou they told the story together of a dinner party Maya was holding and someone started telling a racist joke, Maya stopped him by saying “not in my home” and asked him to leave. I really respected that in her, it really shows self worth, protecting what you know is right instead of behaving ‘politically correct’ to not offend someone else even though they are behaving badly. It is possible to stand in your own Truth to speak your mind while still being respectful and honorable – just know that your intention is to set the boundary but not to attack the other person.
So Dad’s set boundaries; let you daughter and her friends know what is not acceptable in your presence. It will be your voice your daughter hears when she needs to set her own boundaries and protect herself in the future.
I send my love and support to all you wonderful Dads who are doing your best to love your girls through this tough period of separation. I know you guys are good at this, we women can be difficult with our moods. Yes, your beloved girl is becoming a woman, give her a good Loving foundation to be a Phenomenal Woman!
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
—Maya Angelou
Read more of this poem at:

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