ASK COLETTE: An Absentee Father Wants to Make Amends
Looking for intuitive guidance about love, finding a new purpose, managing stress or connecting with your own sense of spirituality — or maybe you just want to be a tad naughty and chat about sex? Zoomer guru Colette Baron-Reid invites you bring your deepest heartfelt questions to Ask Colette.
Here, Colette tells an absentee father how to make amends with his children.
Q: I was an absentee father and am trying to make amends, but my children won’t meet me halfway. What is the best approach?
A: First of all, congratulations on recognizing the impact your absence has had on your children. It takes courage, especially at this stage of your life, to begin again and to allow yourself to be vulnerable to rejection, a difficult but necessary process if you’re to succeed. Your children are likely reticent to begin a new relationship with you because they are protecting themselves. They may not trust you and, by being unavailable to you, they are shutting you out. They may unconsciously have a stake in identifying themselves as victims of your having abandoned them when they were younger. Remember if you change, then their resentments and pain have no more place in their lives, and it would mean they, too, would have to change. Reconciliation requires not just willingness to forgive but courage to change.
That said, if you can remain compassionate, patient and consistent in your current behavior, willing to talk about how things were and reaching out whether or not they respond, eventually you will see the change you’re hoping for. The most important part is that you act with love and no expectations. All you can do is invite them to experience who you have become, discuss the past, demonstrate a willingness to change and stay consistent in order to gain their trust. Ghandi said to see change in the world you must first be that change. Don’t despair — someone also said that “love conquers all,” and I believe you’re well on your way to doing just that.
If you have a question for Colette, you can email her at [email protected].
Colette Baron-Reid is an internationally respected intuitive counsellor, motivational speaker and author.