My expectations
Embracing my father in continuity with my being and my children. Integrate it into our family dynamics, with more generosity than ever.
My reality
Discovering that my father is a stubborn man, with his own narrative. Having to learn to understand it, love it and protect it as far as it is humanly possible, but giving it all my love.
Plan Be
I was born in Mexico, just in case it is necessary to say it; Mexico is a country truly blessed where you see it, especially by its people. We Mexicans are all emotion and at full volume. In my experience we are so uplifted, we are love and celebration and hugs and laughter as much as we are problems and dramas and fights and chaos. Mexico has always been the most fun and complex context, a culture with deeply rooted dynamics of all kinds of definitions, of what everything means, including oneself. Beyond what I was taught, what I learned (I release all my teachers and elders from all responsibility and I apologize for any comment that seems to be a judgment), was that the woman depends on the strength of man. Without a man there is no security, moreover, there is no possibility of anything. I did not grow up very close to my father and under these definitions, I clearly found myself at a deep disadvantage that would have to be compensated in order to survive. If my dad was there he would walk us and we had epic adventures every time we saw him; It left a mark on my conscience, for good and for bad. My father is a nice man, wise, great and unforgettable.

Since I saw very little, I felt that I had to compensate for something I had done wrong, as if I were the guilty party. This is something that usually happens to us as children, and that adults do not necessarily take away from us. At an early age I considered myself "damaged goods", broken, incomplete and therefore I generated a long list of coping mechanisms, it took many experiences, love, pain and above all humility to begin to understand, forgive, integrate, and even update my own story.
When I was in his presence, I felt protected. I remember that the times he came to carry me on his shoulders, which were rather few, I felt loved and powerful, welcome on the planet; nothing and no one could reach me, much less hurt me. My father was the mast of a ship; his arms and legs as strong as the storm. His shoulders infected me with the firmness and security that was born somewhere dark and mysterious, deep in his chest. Even imagined that he was a powerful being if he wanted it could cause an earthquake, so try not to upset him, to protect him and everyone around him, his own anger. And so there were days that I imagined and imagined that he was there, showing everyone, that he was here to protect me.
A couple of years ago, my dad's leg was amputated; I do not presume to know why, but the trajectory of self-destructive habits remains clear to me. Now he moves in a wheelchair. This is a profound experience of life: letting go a bit of the body, as well as in slow motion, or parts of oneself that stop living; nor how to explain it having witnessed the process, that peculiar smell of what was and is not, what a powerful metaphor.

After a while, with my dad in the wheelchair, I found myself alone with my children having to transport him from a second floor to the ground floor without escalators, without a lift.

During this time, I did not feel that my father weighed. Actually, my body and my will were strong, I felt full of life as if I could sustain not only my father but my children at the same time. I was at the heart of life, full of impetus, of gratitude, of a non-physical force, but something especially stable and accurate that filled me completely. I felt I had the capacity to serve the beings I love most in life, I never had the slightest doubt that I would take it with good and that was a really great feeling, I felt giant inside of me, like a bear, like the bear What I imagined in my father, I had to not only imagine, but really be that force of love, in harmony and protected in all aspects by myself.

My heart was beating with joy and gratitude towards life, once again it was possible to turn things around thanks to the power of spontaneity and dedication to the here and now, thanks to the will and our small community.
My father does not love women, he does not want anything, sometimes his comments are joking, his whole approach to women; On the other hand, I am a woman, I love what she loves most, and for both of us it has been very complex to create a sustainable and broad enough relationship to accept who I am in all my expressions and how he is. For him life does not seem easy, my father laughs like no one and suffers like that, just like anyone else, says bright things and drinks, drinks and drinks. The latter has been a great challenge for me. Somehow I related alcohol with shame, guilt, and pain, I do not know what. There are always good pretexts to find where to accommodate such emotions and as I always saw my dad take, rather melancholic and sad, I've realized that even if I'm happy, when I drink, something of me is related to my dad, in all its phases and suddenly, from one moment to another, I find a deep and inexplicable pain, as if I had done something terrible, even worse, as if I were something terrible.

Mine was not the frequency and I dare to say that neither the amount, even if I took alone in social events, one of every three times I passed a little. The problem is rather that sediment of judgment, a dysfunctionality of having made links between painful behaviors and contexts.

Anyway, already at 43, and working at my job, living my life, it seemed totally out of place, it is very clear, not drinking, I love red wine, I felt misaligned that sediment of guilt and shame, as well I decided to stop drinking the wine of the dinner, the tequila and mezcal of the party, no way. Very inspired to give the best possible context to my children, it motivates me to love deeply and to heal everything that hurts me and that between party and party distracts me from working in depth, topics that remain in the "to love list", " to forgive list "," to integrate list ".
Famous quotes from my father: "do not eat everything they offer you, do not believe everything they tell you", "when it's your turn even if you take it off and when it does not touch you, even if you wear it", "the woman always chooses and You have two options to be the mom or be the bitch. " This last one has kept me very busy, I'm already a mom, can not I be the bitch anymore? I wish it was a joke for me, the truth has been hard, because I love my dad, and at the same time these things are very difficult to accommodate in my conscience.

My dad was always a physically big man, I kept it that way in my mind as I grew up, because in this way I could defend myself from the daily thrusts of life, nothing would happen to that powerful man, resistant despite the adversities in the that he placed himself. Over time his choices caused consequences that harmed his body. He began to suffer from illnesses and discomforts that he had not even imagined before. There came a point where I felt there was no way I could influence his life, I felt guilty, again, because I could not motivate him to participate in the world in a different, sustainable way, that he stopped taking, that more peaceful with himself and the people around him. When I saw my father I saw him beside himself, without harmony, angry.

Over the years I realized that the only thing I could do was love, respect and honor him. By then I was already a mother, I think that helped me understand it in a different way. I dealt with the need to educate my children to provide them with mental, emotional and physical health, in the presence of my father. I worked to the limit to generate a bond of gratitude between him and my children, without sacrificing their integrity and without trying to control the decisions and lives of my dad, my huge bear. There was a moment when I told her that I had to put a stop to the behaviors and habits that undermined her health-fearing that they would do the same to our relationship and that could influence my children to participate in our lives in a more generous way.

For a while he did his best to change his habits, he truly is a great man full of magic, inspiring and powerful. But it is difficult to stay on the road when we have no clear where we are going and I doubt my dad knows that there is much more than the roads he has traveled. He soon returned to his old habits and I thought that I had not done enough to convince him, I had failed him, he gave me such deep sadness and pain, and yet suddenly I realized that it was not me, that this was a challenge for me. my father and that it was not possible for him to choose me and that nothing had to do with me or the love he feels for me, with his choices and as a result of his life.  But one of those days when you wake up with lucidity, I understood that either I lost my father, or I learned to respect his position, knowing that, in the end, he was a man responsible for himself and that I could not do anything else to change it. By which I can do something and EVERYTHING is for me and with it be in time to do it for my children. I looked inside myself: the emotions and thoughts stirred in unison, like a whirlpool, around his figure; I had to learn to live with them, trying to align myself with the present. And simultaneously I had to guide my children, teach them to forgive, to improve as human beings, to protect them and show them the way to a more intense, vigorous humanity.

PlanBe, EnglishClaudia Flores