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You may not know it, but my father reads my blog, so I have to be careful of what I say. (Just kidding! He does read it, Hi, Dad. Happy Father’s Day! But I don’t feel I have to edit what I say.)
I’m fortunate that my parents got married and stayed together because they loved each other. They were together for 50 years before my mother passed in 2008.
I’m not a parent, but I have many friends and relatives who are and I see that all people learn the good, and less good from their parents.
What I know is that my father took the best of his father’s parenting style and he added to it to improve it. And I’m grateful.
My grandfather, Walter Thomas Hadley was born in 1905 and he saw a startling number of changes in his lifetime. When he was a boy, his father left him, his sisters and their mother to fend for themselves. They had to find their own way in tough times. My great grandmother took in laundry and my grandfather helped her with it, holding the washboard so they could earn what they needed to get by.
It used to be that children had to help their parents earn enough money just to buy food, and put the bare minimum of a roof over their head. We need to honor that. I honor my grandfather who worked so hard most of his life, to provide for his family.
Some of the stories my Grandpa told me have stayed in my mind, seared into my memory because they helped me to understand my grandfather who could often be quite brusque. I was the second grandchild, so I got the grandfather who would roll around on the floor with me and be completely cuddly and sweet. My younger cousins didn’t get to see that grandfather because by the time their was a pack of us he was more distant.
I remember my grandfather yelling it me because I wasn’t wearing shoes. They had this lush wall-to-wall carpeting which was quite a thing back in the early 60’s and it didn’t make any sense to me why I always had to wear shoes at my grandparents house. He’d bark at me “get your shoes on! You’ve got shoes, put them on!”
It wasn’t until I was a teenager that he told me that when he was a boy he didn’t have shoes. As a poor fatherless boy in the hills of Kentucky, shoes were a luxury, food was a necessity.
When Grandpa told me that he grew up without shoes, I finally could understand why he wanted me to wear shoes all the time. My ability to wear shoes helped to undo the shame and suffering he experienced as a boy, going to school without shoes even in winter.
My grandfather had a difficult childhood. Being hungry as a child, especially a growing boy in a house full of girls, with a mother who was frequently sick must have been so difficult. He once told me of being given the task of carrying the family’s only money, a solitary nickel, to the store to buy the basic supplies to make corn bread, was a terrifying errand. The entire walk to the store he feared losing that nickel, his family’s fortune, and the suffering that could cause.
What a heavy load for a small child.
At twelve years old my Grandpa quit school, and went off to work. He was “batchin’” it as he called it. A bachelor at 12. Competing with men for jobs so he could help support and feed his family back home.
My grandfather made his way in the world as a young man in the depression. He was 25 in 1930, venturing into marriage and fatherhood.
My Grandpa always appreciated everything he had. He never, ever took anything for granted and he taught the rest of us the same values. Eventually, my grandfather did quite well, through hard work, determination and a tremendous generosity. He volunteered to help others less fortunate and to make the future generations stronger so they could have the advantages he didn’t. He tithed to the church and other charities. He gave more than he got.
Grandpa met my grandmother, who was an educated woman, and she helped him by teaching him math and other basics that he needed to get along in business. They worked together at that at night, while raising four boys of their own, my father was the youngest.
Sometimes I wonder how my grandmother ever could have managed with four boys born within six years of each other. I can’t imagine the capacity that takes to really love and be kind, but she had it. She loved her four boys and she loved her husband. My grandfather could be tough, and grumpy and snap at us, but I never thought for one minute that he didn’t completely love and care for us.
I always knew that my family would go through hell for me if that was called for.
My father, Danny Wells Hadley, learned so much about commitment and providing from his parents. I knew that my father would take care of me no matter what. That knowing was the greatest gift he gave me.
Although we had our fights and disagreements, which could be epic, the Love was always there.
It was and is REAL.
Relationships require constant release of judgment and complaint in order to be happy ones. Holding onto resentments and regrets, guilt and shame, blame and hurt, destroy relationships. They’re like battery acid to our heart. And yet many people do feel they have to hold onto things to protect themselves from future hurts.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Only an open heart can ALLOW us to have a truly loving relationship now. The Love we’d like to share in our relationships is completely dependent upon our ability to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made.
Our self-compassion gives us the ability to have compassion for others.
Our compassion for others trains us to have compassion for ourselves.
I was a grudge holder in my younger years and so I caused myself a lot of suffering, and I spread that suffering out onto others.
I’m so grateful that my father never, ever gave up on me and that he loved me through it. And I did the same for him. Now, our relationship feels clean and clear to me. The past comes up, but there’s not pain in anymore. We’ve done the work to clear the past.
When we truly forgive, the cause of the pain is gone.
And that’s why I teach forgiveness.
I’ve learned from it.
Forgiveness isn’t taught in schools.
It’s taught in families.
My grandparents did carry some resentments into their old age. In looking back, I see that their hurts were related to their own inability to forgive themselves, and projecting that out onto others, blaming others. It wasn’t a lot, but it was painful for them. And I learned from that too.
We’re all teachers.
The only thing there is to teach is Love because that is what we are.
We’re teaching each other to really love without conditions, without needing, wanting, carving, and to give fully without expectations. It can feel like a tall order until we get the hang of it.
That’s where forgiveness becomes our best tool.
I’m certain that my grandfather was taught selfless, giving Love by his mother, and someone taught it to her. My grandfather was able to see that quality and ability in my grandmother and it attracted him.
Together they taught it to my father and his brothers.
My father was attracted to my mother and she had that same ability and quality to truly be able to Love.
And they taught it to me.
And we all bring it out in each other.
The Love is there.
It’s always there.
And if we are willing we can enhance it in each other,
and not squelch it or bury it.
If we recognize that we’ve hurt another and caused them to diminish their Love Light, we can forgive ourselves first and they will naturally benefit because we’re one with each other.
This is the way of humanity.
We’re here to help each other.
To release all resentments.
To surrender the grudges.
To free ourselves and our ancestors
of all our choices born of fear that we’ve passed down.
We’re here to be truly helpful and remember our Heavenly Father in order to honor our earthly fathers.
I don’t have children, but if I did, I absolutely know they’d have to learn from my mistakes, and I’d have to forgive myself for my errors and shortcomings and be grateful for any bit of goodness and Love that I could pass on.
Today, I encourage you to forgive your father and yourself.
Release the judgments you’ve held against yourself.
And if you need any help with that come to our Sundays With Spirit.
TODAY, you can join me and my dear friends, Eisha Mason, Ray Davis, Carla Mahle and more friends on zoom. Eisha has been an inspiration to me for decades and I’m so glad we’ll get to be together on zoom today. This will be inspiring! We’ll have a spiritual celebration together with message and music – we call it Sundays With Spirit. Please invite your family! If you can’t join us, you can catch the replay! Because we’re going to be live on video, you’ll have to register to get the detail. All are welcome, there’s no charge, but you do have to register, unless you’ve already registered in the past.
When you register, you’ll also get easy access to past services with Lisa Natoli, Jon Mundy, David Hoffmeister, Maureen Muldoon, Corinne Zupko, Maria Felipe and more. If you’ve already registered for a previous Sunday – you don’t need to register again, you’ll get a reminder with the details automatically.
I look forward to our gathering TODAY. It means so much that we can join together and love on each other.
Please pray with me! Prayer works! Joining together in prayer for our healing, for the active practice of joining with Spirit, and allowing my healing is precisely why every day I write inspiration and record a prayer to go with it. You can join me in cultivating the willingness that raises us ALL up so we can be truly helpful in this world.
My Finding Freedom From Fear Bootcamp starts on July 5! I’m recording ALL NEW CLASSES. This is going to be SO good because I am ON FIRE!
Let’s have REAL and lasting transformation this summer with a spiritual practice that brings benefit and healing for all. Now is the time for us to dive deep and eliminate the patterns of fear in our life. I thank you for being on the journey with me.
May you and your family feel blessed today and every day!
Trust your intuition! If you’ve been thinking about doing my Finding Freedom From Fear Bootcamp for a while, but just haven’t been ready, consider booking an exploratory call with one of the spiritual counselors. They can answer all your questions and you’ll know what’s best for you. Book an exploratory call today!