Why I have changed the way I talk to my daughters

My name is Luca Grasso, I am 44 years old and I fail in romantic relationships. So do most of you. High five buddies! Welcome to the most lonely yet crowded club I have ever known. Let’s hold each other like a football team before penalties on a World Cup Final. As we play against our past, and the past always kicks our asses with the surgical precision of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Maybe it’s just me ok? But I only (but not only) hear ‘encouraging’ stories of honourable relationship careers mostly speaking words of regretful pain, unresolved guilt, devouring anger. Beautiful stuff, right? Not really.
This accounts for this topic to constantly navigate on the surface of my rough waters, like a raft left to its fatal inexorable destiny (I am such a poor poet). But then the radar activates, together with the incontrollable need of exploring what the fuck is wrong with the equation love-pain.
It is when I am in this receptive state of mind that the universe hooks me up and comes with answers. And they are normally wrong 🙂
So why is that? Why do keep failing in establishing everlasting, healthy, non-toxic, mature relationships? I frankly don’t know. And that’s a big lie. In fact I know quite well but I do not have the psycho-sociological academic credentials to be taken for serious in these matters. In fact please never take me for serious in anything!
So I will not mention the lack of love education, the crack of the inherited relationship models or the need to revisit the definition of love more in line with our present times. I won’t mention this, so just pretend I did not, deal?
Of one thing I am sure though. And it’s going to keep you hostage F O R E V A!: the reason why we fail in love…it’s…YOU (and me). More precisely, this reason resides in that far corner of your forgiven past. And even more precisely in that early developmental stage of your “little-me” where you started experiencing love. Let’s simplify: all that attachment, fear of abandonment and rejection, inadequacy syndromes, guilt and ‘please-complete-the-list-with-your-own-crap‘ generates from your primordial loving relationship: Family. I am quoting science btw, but you know this already.
Just don’t pretent this does not apply to you. The same universe above mentioned, had knocked at my door for decades. I didn’t open. So I know buddies. You better accept this.
But then one day, like everyday, I looked at my daughters. And I candidly exclaimed: SHIT! It was so loud, they must have with all likelihood heard the sound that thought made while landing.
This though was: does it mean that the way they will relate in the future depends on me? Will they find someone like me? Will they behave like me? Will they go through all of that?
I stared at my watch (I actually don’t wear a watch) and counted the time I had left to fix the fixable. With an almost imperceptible ‘en passant’ whistle, I realised I was only about 11-13 years late. I said: “Uhm, it’s doable”. I also realised that it’s not only me in this game. Which helps! But one way or the other, I started…to shift…a bit.
It’s always funny (actually not funny at all) to realise that what you give attention to, eventually grows. And I started giving attention on a number of things that as a father I could have done more in the past, like acknowledging them more, congratulate them more, celebrate more their successes, encourage them more. And avoid unnecessary resentments, nasty looks, use of inappropriate tones. With just one idea in my head: tomorrow is just a future today.
As usual, learning new ways often means unlearning the old ones. So damn difficult. But hey, the stakes here are high and have a name (‘self’) and surname (‘esteem’), aka all that complex systemic combination of love, confidence, acceptance, appreciation, respect digging inwards, in time, in progress.
This is not going to save them from failing in relationships. Neither is going to help them in not hurting or get hurt. It’s not going to make them have the perfect life and it’s not going to prevent them from making a stunning amount of ‘wrong’ choices. Otherwise they would not be my daughters, right? Actually I have no idea this is going to help them at all.
In the best case scenario, they would have gathered enough tools to deal with the complexity life has got in store for them and stay open to gather more tools to deal with more complexity.
But then again, I have no idea. They’ll be soon navigate full sail ahead and I’ll be watching them from the raft on the surface of my rough waters left to its fatal destiny (because I am such a poor poet).

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