Any time someone makes a reference to me resembling my dad, or looking like my dad, or acting like my dad–I’m filled with dread. Dread because my father is not exactly the nicest person around. Growing up he was either high, drunk, breaking something around the house, or calling people curse words. He fluctuates between Eeyore on his calm days and maybe Al Pacino in Scarface on every other day. If there is a natural disaster or some horrific news his first response is typically “Good!”. If I had an interview his response would be “You probably won’t get it”. Things like that.
On my way in to work today I was thinking about a great interview I saw on TV surrounding a non-profit I would really love to work for. I was daydreaming about all the cool things I could do and the people who I would feel I could influence and then all of a sudden I thought. You know..I really AM my Father’s daughter.
I don’t go around passing out doomsday flyers, or shoving religion in people’s faces, but I grew up going to church and looked forward to it. Normalcy in the midst of horrible dysfunction at home maybe but I enjoyed going. Even in my 20s I don’t have to be asked to go and I find value in the sermons and an identity in a spiritual Father that I don’t have to be embarrassed about. So it occurred to me during my daydreaming that not all similarities to fatherhood have to be a bad thing. I know people like to throw around the term “daddy issues” which quite frankly I hate that term. It sounds incestuous to me or something. Babytalk almost. Just belittling maybe to the whole thing. Like because I have a bad relationship with my father, that all of a sudden I’m going to want to date older men, or flirt with other people’s fathers or something.
But I guess you can say I don’t understand what it is to have a father. I grew up with one. He was there. But it was almost like having your uncle there. Or a distant relative that had no where else to live. So I don’t always comprehend on a greater scale the God as father idea. I believe it is true (obviously) but it is still something that is approached with reservation, and expectancy of disapproval.
Anyway back to the point.
I thought about all these things I would love to do with my life–that haven’t happened yet. And I like to imagine what I would say if certain situations arose, and then it occurred to me. Like ticker tape across my brain: You are you Father’s daughter.
But instead of being filled with dread I was reassured that I don’t have to take that phrase as a giant failure. Granted there are some redeeming qualities in my “real” dad. However there is so many negatives ingrained in me that it is just a pet peeve to be compared in any way to him. In that moment however, I knew that God was comforting me and proud of the thoughts I was having. When you believe that there is a good dad, a good God, and that he created you exactly as you are and loves you no matter what garbage you get into, no matter how many curse words you throw at him, no matter what you will continue to do, it makes being compared to him and likened to him not so terrible.
In that moment I was reminded that it is okay to be my Father’s daughter.