What I Wish I Knew Four Years Ago About Fatherhood

Lexi_2011I’m told that 2010-2013 were often awful. I wouldn’t know for sure because I have ZERO memory. It’s amazing. Aside from the photos, the early years of my kids are gone.

My wife carries emotional trauma from these years and will flashback when something triggers her. She tells me it’s a really unpleasant sensation.

The memory I have is wondering why I couldn’t transcend my daughter. I used to carry around the difficulties of parenthood. Even when I was away from her, I would hold the difficulties in my mind.

My wife’s the same way – both with her 2010-2013 experience of our daughter as well as with her own childhood memories.

I suspect we’re all prone to carrying around the past.

This might help.

The first step in letting go of an image isn’t letting go, snapping out of it, or moving on…

…my mind doesn’t work that way.

Lexi_CuteWhether you’re coping with an unpleasant emotion, an addiction or a compulsion…

…far better to give your mind something to grab on to.

Lexi_surfDecide on a series of images that you can feel in your body. The feeling you’re looking for is one that mimics joy and love – in my case the sensation in an opening of my heart.

Lexi_FlowerI walk in the forest and contemplate my favorite images.

When I started, I struggled to generate the feelings with the images of my daughter. I kept coming back to the pain image at the top of the page.

Ax_HippoSo I would start with images of my son and transfer the feelings over to my daughter.

It didn’t work well at first but I stuck with it.

I also spent a lot of time with the source of my discomfort.


…and my daughter grew up

…and I got better at it


…and I realized that what I was doing was training my mind to be able to conjure up a sensation, a feeling, an emotion

…that was different to my prior habits of anger and frustration


The difficult moments remained challenging but I was no longer carrying them around with me.

It was a form of freedom.

I found myself laughing more often and I had a bit more patience, which can be VERY useful when dealing with a cranky three-year old!

Anyhow, if you find seeking dominance to be an ineffective strategy then I hope you remember this post.

Replace your suffering by thinking about things that make you smile.

Bonus points for making the effort while walking in nature!