Father's Day: Learning to Heal and Honor the Role My Dad Played in My Life

by candy barone Jun 16, 2024

Father’s Day celebrates the unbreakable bond between a father and his children, honoring the guiding presence and unwavering support of a paternal figure.

However, for some, including myself, this day is heavy with complex emotions, reminding us more of absence than presence, and of relationships fractured or lost.

For me, Father’s Day has long been a bittersweet occasion, a time to reflect on the tumultuous dynamic with my own father and the profound impact it had on shaping my life’s journey.

Looking back on my relationship with my dad

It’s was 14 years ago this weekend that my dad passed away. 

I hadn’t spoken to him for 15 years prior, having cut him off completely at the age of 22. Add my high school and early college years and it’s been a total of 35 years that my dad has not been a part of my life, 

With the exception of my grandmother’s funeral (his mom) when I was 24, I had no interaction since I cut him off my junior year of college. 

As I approach my 51st birthday next month, I realize once again that my dad was absent far more in my life than he was present. 

A combined total of 16 years was the extent of our relationship. 

Our relationship was the epitome of dysfunctional before that. My dad was extremely abusive, physically, even more so emotionally and mentally. 

As Father’s Day is here once again, I find myself reflecting again on our difficult relationship, or more the lack of any real relationship. 

I used to think it’s was the Universe’s ultimate joke that my dad passed on Father’s Day weekend in 2000. I mean, talk about ironic!

So, today is always a weird day for me. And, it doesn’t always hit me the same way. As I reflect on our strained and volatile relationship, I am at more peace than ever. I can truly feel the healing I’ve done over the years. 

Studying my dad’s Human Design

I have been studying Human Design and integrating it into my work with clients over the past six years. Currently, I am working towards being certified as a Level 4 Quantum Human Design Specialist. 

Human Design is a system, a tool really, that outlines the individual wiring and operating plan for each of us. It maps out how we operate best in different situations, in our work, and in our interactions. 

Human Design illuminates how we work, rest, and play best, and more importantly, what true alignment looks and feels like in our bodies. 

Over the past six years, I’ve spent countless hours researching, exploring, and contemplating the nuances and aspects that live within one’s chart. 

So, in an effort to better understand the intricate dynamics of our strained relationship, I began to explore and study my dad’s Human Design. 

Through this lens, I’ve gained valuable insights into the underlying forces that shaped my father’s persona and our interactions.

As a result, there’s a lot about our relationship that began to make sense. 

For starters, he was a 2/4 Splenic Projector with a defined Ego. 

A Projector, I might add, who definitely did not follow his Strategy and Authority. He did not wait for an invitation and created endless waves of friction and resistance around him.

In addition, his Head, Ajna, Spleen, and Root also were defined. He had a lot of ”fixed” energy in his Mind (a big source of frustration between us), and a undefined Throat and Identity Center. 

Gate 45 was defined for him, while I have Gate 21 in my chart. This is one place where tremendous tension built between us. Along with his very defined Head and Anja compared to my completely wide open Head and Ajna, this was another really big source of conflict. 

That would have made our relationship challenging enough, let alone my defined Solar Plexus, Gate 19 and 35–36 Channel, making me extremely sensitive and willing to plow head first into conflict. 

Had he been a healthy Splenic Projector, it would have been a challenging relationships with potential to be quite powerful. 

However, my dad was mentally stable. 

He was hypertensive, and a social alcoholic. He didn’t know how to operate in the world without coping strategies. When he was enlisted, the Air Force even diagnosed him as clinically narcissistic.

He lived in the not-self or false self side of his defined 26–44 Channel, as he was stuck in an egoist energy with excessive pride, where he used his energy to manipulate and abuse others. 

A charmer, my dad was quite “gifted” at the art of pulling one over on people. A con artist on some level, and very much out of integrity. He had over-exaggerated perceptions about who he was and what he deserved. 

It also makes perfect sense with his wide open Sacral why he never seemed to work. For that was most definitely not his jam. 

In studying his energetic blueprint, especially in connection to my own, I have been able to confirm things I knew about my dad growing up that were hard to language and often weren’t logical. 

It actually validated my experiences and emotions from back then. 

In addition, I found myself stepping into a deeper level of sensitivity and compassion, as I realized my dad’s Soul Curriculum was one where he chose to suffer, and was never settled within his own mind and body. 

The gift of forgiveness

While I forgave him years ago, reclaimed both my peace and personal power, and never once regretted the decision on I made so many years ago, I find myself opening up to a greater sense of gratitude for all of it.

One of the toughest parts of my own healing process was in grieving the loss his potential as his presence had very little impact otherwise. 

Aside from the ripples he created in my family, there was little said when he passed. His obituary was one of the bleakest I’d ever read. It was a few basic facts, about a human who lived for almost 62 years on this earth. I didn’t know then how much that would ultimately affect me.

Fast forward to two years after my dad passed when I sat at the bedside of my uncle, who I was extremely close to, in the ICU for 11 days, often 15–18 hours a day, as I watched him transition to death. 

That experience was the first significant crack in the emotional walls I had built around heart to protect myself. 

It’s actually quite a beautiful things to witness the journey from life to death. There is a sweet peace and tranquility to it.

As hard as it was, it walls was one of the biggest gifts I could have received. 

Talk about putting LIFE into perspective. 

My uncle at the time was almost 65.

That initial crack was like the breaking of dawn. So much poured out of me. I had grieved the loss of my father years before he passed. In fact, I went through a process as if he had passed back when I was 22 and cut him off.

This was a different type of grief. 

It was about the man, the soul of who he truly was on the spiritual plane. 

Through this journey in navigating through my grief, I found the light.

I can’t remember how or exactly when, but the fog lifted.

I had a profound sense of clarity I’d never experienced before … a fire started to burn inside of me. I had one of those life-changing defining moments that you never can go back from …

I found my truth!

In that awakening, I realize something … not only was I to create a living legacy for who I am, I also was to create a legacy on behalf of my dad and generations through my family.

I was to bring a level of love to the forefront and the way I lead. I was to be a catalyst for healing, for change, and for connection.

And, then this happened …

A few years ago, just before we moved my mom down to Austin from Illinois, I had another major epiphany happen. 

I was sitting at my work table, the afternoon sunlight filtering through the window and casting a warm glow on the scattered papers before me.

Suddenly, an overwhelming surge of emotion washed over me, as if a tidal wave had crashed through the walls I had so carefully constructed. 

The tears came swiftly, hot and unrelenting, each drop carrying a weight I hadn’t realized I still bore. I started to cry and the tears wouldn’t stop. 

It took me a few minutes, but I then realized that the feelings channeling through me weren’t actually mine. 

All of the sudden I felt all of the grief, the pain, and the torment that must have consumed my father’s soul.

I cried and cried, allowing myself to release all he never got to express. 

And, a deep, peaceful compassion and grace washed over me. 

I started to talk to my dad then. 

He’s even gone on walks with me. The embodiment of who he could have been, if he would have been able to heal his soul during his time on earth. 

Celebrating a different kind of Father’s Day

There are days when I need to remind myself of my why.

When I do, I always come back to a deep desire that drives me to want to eradicate a cycle of fear that continues to be handed down as generational legacies, and to build stronger bonds between fathers and their daughters. 

Ultimately I want to honor my father, and those in my family lineage, who never knew how to honor themselves, love themselves.

I believe to my core and often share this with clients that, 

“God gave me my childhood so that one day I would step into my purpose.”

I thank my father for activating a portion of my purpose. 

It’s no accident that he was part of my Soul Curriculum. 

For he showed me the other side of love, compassion, kindness and grace. And, I am aware that his presence in my life in one of the biggest blessings I have received as he helped shape the way I show up now. 

I look just like my dad, and I have many of his characteristics and traits. Something that used to stop me in my tracks and cause an internal war within me when I was younger, and before I did my own work. 

I just simply choose to use those same traits for good (as my mom always use to tell me). For everything we do is a ultimately a choice.

Leadership is a choice. 

It’s a function of how we choose to show up, how we choose to serve others, and how we choose to take personal responsibility inside those two spaces. 

So, I thank my dad for helping me make my choice, as he modeled the opposite of who I choose to be. That has been the biggest blessing and gift in my life, and gives me my compelling why to lead my living legacy. 

For me, today is a different kind of celebration.

It’s one where I honor my moments of truth, the work I have been asked to do, the trials tribulations, the struggles and the challenges that got me here.

I feel an ever deeper closeness to my mom, my sister and my brother today (the Core Four), as a result. It’s opened up pathways for more meaningful transparency, connection, and understanding. 

It’s healed a lot of our lineage. 

I especially honor my mom, who sacrificed so much and gave us all the love my father couldn’t, today. I also celebrate my brother and the man he chose to become, one who is a wonderful, loving and kind father. 

I love watching him live out his dreams of being a dad!

To all the amazing dads, stepdads, and single moms who have stepped into the role of father, I honor and celebrate you. Your love, protection, and dedication exemplify the true spirit of fatherhood.

Thank you for loving your kids, for protecting them, for cherishing them.

Thank you for showing us what fatherhood is all about. 

I honor you all. Happy Father’s Day!

My journey into Human Design has provided profound insights that allowed me to reframe my relationship with my father and find healing. 

If you are seeking to understand yourself and your relationships through this lens, I offer Human Design readings.

Schedule yours here: Foundational Human Design Reading with Candy


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