By Brandon McAfee
Do you remember that movie? I do. It was a classic movie that had me feeling empathy towards the main characters. As I reflect back on the movie, I remember having empathy towards other characters in a different way, but I didn't know why. I mean who can't understand a man acting to defend his child? Who can't understand deciding with such FINALITY and being willing to stand on your convictions?
Thankfully I don't have to make that specific choice. However, I am not freed from making choices daily that can and will have a major impact on generations to come. The pressure that is created from the desire to be “the provider” for my family can seem insurmountable at times. Mix that with the DESIRE to not want to repeat, what I think are mistakes from my experience and the NEED to strive to be better than the examples set before me. I also have additional pressure all be it for good reasons. Some of those reasons are no formal education while I am on the path for personal freedom. I have come to believe that I must trade one life for the other.
I was recently made aware that my biological father will soon be going on to take his place with our Father in Heaven. This information got me to THINKING but not FEELING. Funny thing is I have nothing but good memories of my father during my childhood. I didn't know how to feel. I still don't! Over the last 15 years or so years I can honestly say I did not have much of a relationship with him other than a few holidays here and there. This lack of action led to there not being much of a connection.
Let the rage start to build. . . I could blame my father for a several things he could have provided over the years such a hug when needed, the encouragement to pursue my goals, examples on how to be a father, candid conversations, sharing parenting stories, etc. There is a part of me that absolutely blames him for everything that I didn't learn that he should have taught me. He cost me a few years of valuable lessons that I didn't have to learn the hard way such as; When to let things go, when to press forward, what to watch for, and 'you have to learn that one on your own.' I could go on. . . . Bring out everything I do not have today was because of him. Screw him, good bye, glad to have not known you, deuces! I think I need a couch, notepad and someone listening intently on my every word.
However, I realized a long time ago that I have made choices as well that have led me to this state of lack of emotion. I could have called more. I could have gone over more. I could simply make a better attempt. At some point, before I even had my first child, I wanted to be better than what I thought my father was. I've learned over the years that I am not perfect just as my father wasn't. I've learned that I can only give what is inside me just like my father did. My imperfections are on display every day in the eyes of my family. I am no different than the examples that have been set before me.
Today, I understand that I can make different choices each day that will impact not only my future but my lineage. The thing is I DO NOT blame my father because he could only give and pass on the best of him. This day and each moment that has yet to come is A TIME TO KILL those negative thoughts and emotions. I choose to look at it through another lens instead of mine. My lens will have me cursing his name and urinating on his grave. I choose to kill that version of me that holds negative thoughts. I choose to kill that version of me that wants to blame. I choose to kill that version of me that won't allow me to love my biological father.
I will make daily choice to end destructive behaviors and minimize desires that do not support the positive vision for your life. Go back and watch a Time to Kill. This time when the Defense asks you to close your eyes. . .. envision your dream job, house, relationship. Think about making putting your best effort forth with those you want to be right with. Think about creating a circle of friends that are empowering and inspiring. Think about financial freedom. Imagine these things! When you open your eyes believe you will have these things. Give yourself permission to kill the thoughts that undermine your intentions and robs you of The Promise. Kill the old version of yourself daily by recognizing your next Time to Kill! Assuming you are trying to be the best version of yourself; would your end game start with killing yourself? . . . . . It absolutely should! We are wired to respond emotionally, judge and execute with precision in order to bring forth exactly what we believe!