In his 1994 inaugural speech, Nelson Mandela said:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

It’s a quote that serves both mums and dads, but especially our children. There is enough pain and sorrow in divorce or separation for everyone concerned, and the result is often that we are left with a feeling of being inadequate and of failure.

Our children are very often the ones who take on our pain and blame themselves for the failure of the relationship. For our children, it’s about reminding them that they still have wings on which to fly.

For DIDS, it’s about empowering dads to move forward while honouring the failures, the mistakes, the blunders as lessons learnt, and taking steps to ensure that the rest of their lives will not be as a result of their past.

I for one have many regrets from the past. I for one make mistakes every day, sometimes on an hourly basis. I have become quite proficient at it. The only way I get through is by asking the Good Lord to keep me out of trouble, even if it’s just for the next hour.

On the days when I just don’t want to face the world, when I just want to hide under the bed and wish the world would go away and leave me alone, a quick read of Mandela’s speech which I have pinned to the wall gets me to my feet. That and a few prayers.

[Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels]

About the Author: Tony Miller

Tony Miller was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the 2010 Queen's Birthday honors list 'For service to the community through the provision of support services for separated families'.

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