Leadership Coaching & Inspirational Speaking

The journey to forgiveness: How to reconnect with your father

Steve Core explains how you can mend a broken relationship with your father and understand where the problems came from in the first place.

"Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice." - Charles F Kettering, founder of Delco.

This quote highlights the contrasting fortunes facing sons - if their fathers shower them with love and affection, they are more likely to be happy and stable. However, if the relationship is cold or virtually non-existent, this will mirror how they approach their lives.

So if you have a poor relationship with your father, why not use Father's Day - which takes place on June 21st - as a springboard to improving it?

According to Steve Core, inspirational speaker and founder of Core Business, the journey to forgiveness involves a three-step process. (For more information on how Steve forgave his father and mended their relationship, check out his TEDx talk.)

Understanding

Before visiting your father, write two letters to him (not to be posted) that deal with your thoughts on anger and love with reference to your relationship. This will give you a great framework from which to have a series of conversations with him in order to understand your father's own childhood and his model of the world. For example, was there a lack of warmth in the family home? Did he have a distant relationship with his own father?

Secondly, find out what was going on when you were a child and your father was in his 30s and 40s. What events in his own life helped shaped his attitude to you?

 

Acceptance

Once you understand the reasons behind the previous problems between you and your father - which is undoubtedly the hardest part of the process - you can begin to accept the situation and move on. We're not typically aware of our childhoods - it just seems normal at the time. So there have to be conversations to help us understand and accept why certain things happened. By accepting the reasons why problems existed between you and your father, you can start focusing on the future and having a new relationship built on trust and respect.

Forgiveness

The final stage in the process is actually the easiest, as by the time you come to forgiveness, you understand and accept the roadblocks that were previously in place between you and your father. It might be that you have been burying your head in work all these years hoping to find the validation missing in your life, but this will simply not work.

However, by following this three-step process, you can not only feel complete for the first time in a very long time, you can also reboot the relationship with your father so it is the way you have always wanted it to be.

"You can't forgive what you can't understand. The critical part wasn't the forgiving, it was understanding why he wasn't a better father," Steve says of his own relationship with his father. "Only by having conversations with him could the mystery get resolved. In hindsight, it's quite easy to understand why he was the way he was."

With Father's Day on the horizon, now is the perfect time to sit down with your father and try to mend that most important of relationships.

Click the image below to watch Steve’s ‘A Story About Fatherhood’ TEDx talk

A story about fatherhood  |  Steve Core

TEDxHult London

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