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Like Father, Like Son: A Healthy Dose Of Vulnerability

Coach Ignas Genys by Ignas Genys
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On the seventh of June this year it so happened that I decided to watch a film. The evening was quiet and I didn’t want anything too intellectually stimulating. My thinking mind had an urgent need for rest.

I decided to watch “I Can Only Imagine” - a relatively new film from US about a father and son relation - a topic that’s been active at the top of my mind for years now.

And I started watching... And in the midst of the film I remember thinking this must be another Holywood kind of money-making film and I was just about to get disappointed by the lack of depth.. When something completely unexpected happened.

Another 15 minutes into the film there was a stage of reunion between the father and the son. I heard just a few sentences of deep acceptance from the father... And I cried. I simply couldn’t stop.

I seemed to have reached a place inside of me where I never go. A place where there’s emptiness and a constant lack. I don’t believe I have ever cried like this in my life. Almost two hours... and I kept asking myself what is happening. Why doesn’t my father support me? And if he does, why doesn’t he tell me that?

I realised I had always felt an immense lack of support from my father. I got to sense that emptiness inside me where pain would never stop flowing from. It felt I’d got in touch with what prevents me from feeling true emotions in life, and what prevents me from being open to life and to people around me. I realised - and it was unexpected - that all my life I had wanted my father to be proud of me. I wanted him to accept what I’m doing in life and support me. I became like him so that he would be proud of me, so that I could be closer to him. It felt like there’s an invisible wall between us - a mysterious and completely unclimbable one.

This was a powerful experience. It made me get in touch with the emptiness I get to live with. It was a shocking experience and a strong incentive to create. To start doing something about it. And I did. I wrote to my father that same evening and shared what was on my mind. We had a phone call later with a conversation that opened our hearts a ninth of an inch wider. Even though the wall is still there I feel at least I have a deeper understanding of what’s taking place within.

That evening I felt deep compassion towards all the men out there who are similarly stuck inside. I felt like sharing my experience to encourage them develop their own emotional intelligence and start undoing those knots.


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