For some people, their father is an archetype of cruelty; for others, he is an archetype of healing and encouragement. Though, what is a recurring narrative in virtually all of our lives is two-fold: Either we live to surpass our father, or we live to correct his mistakes.
How has your father influenced the decisions you’ve made in life? How has he influenced the directions you haven’t taken in life? And finally, what does it mean to confront him in the cyclic nature of your personal journey, once you’ve grown from your own trials and tribulations, forming you into a complete adult?
What Is The Father’s Role To Us?
Traditionally, the fires of our tribulations forge us like a sword as we come of age: from both the physical act of our conception, to the metaphysical narrative of our growth.
The mother’s womb, as well as how she nurtures us in our beginning years, makes our casting. The father is the blacksmith who shapes us, the materials of his nature we inherit in some form or other, as they are poured by his actions into the mold our mother sets.
This means that the father has a key role in determining our efficacy as adults in the same manner that the blacksmith plays a key role in the efficacy of a sword.
Two blacksmiths could forge a sword with the same materials using the same casting, yet yield wildly different results. How?
Because the forging of a sword is much more than simply pour some hot metal from a furnace into a mold. There are many variables pertaining to how the metal is heated, hammered, and flipped.
Every modicum of care the blacksmith inputs makes every bit of difference in the output.
Completing The Cycle Of Your Journey
The act of facing your father does not have to literally involve a physical confrontation. For those without father’s in their lives, the concept could just as validly apply to the initial casting of your character that the father has set.
For instance, there are people who don’t even personally remember their fathers. Perhaps, he died when they were too young; perhaps, he simply wasn’t present for any conceivable reason.
But even his hypothetical lack of presence would have a direct influence on how a child develops.
Therein, completing the chapter of your individual journey that involves confronting your father could very well mean coming to terms with damage done to you even with in his absence.
It’s the metaphysical that would apply in this instance, more than the physical.
The question is about what it means to complete yourself as a whole person, the sacrifice it takes to either correct your father’s mistakes, or to surpass him entirely.
Failing In The Confrontation With Your Father
The metaphysical element of the father in our psyches directly connect us to the outside world, disconnecting us from the safety of the mother’s womb and preparing us for the harsh nature of risk and suffering.
To confront, become, or even overcome the influence of our fathers doesn’t always have a happy ending for all.
Some people never complete the transition; they fall into what’s called “Peter Pan Syndrome,” which is a permanent void of childlike inhibition. In this void, they become mentally frozen in time, unable to handle whatever their respective responsibilities may be as adults.
Or, another manifestation of failing the confrontation with one’s father is the developing of a shield of narcissism. There are varying forms of narcissism, but in this specific context, it pertains to the method of projecting a false image of oneself. It is to run from reality, being satisfied with an illusion of the self rather than the reality of the self.
Though, bearing the burden of life’s responsibilities is universally applicable to all adults everywhere, varying only by what they choose to do with their lives upon becoming a physical adult.
Succeeding In The Confrontation With Your Father
When there are those of us who do succeed in developing into complete people throughout the process of overcoming in our metaphysical confrontation with our fathers, it’s a beautiful thing.
What manifests is a full adult who can look inward and take responsibility for their actions, before blaming the world or others for their flaws, whatever they may be.
It is a person that can look outward into the unknown, understanding that along their journey there will be pain, suffering, and loss. They will make mistakes and they will struggle.
…but in the end, they will have progressed the evolution of their bloodline into being better than previous generations, setting the rung higher for themselves and their children, rather than lower.