The beautiful relationship between a father and daughter is a unique one. Yet it is one that many of us struggle to understand. Fatherhood often comes suddenly and during youthful years when a man may still feel like he is trying to find his way in the world. Men are not alone in this space, as it is something that far too often causes great confusion in the progression of men and women alike.
To get to the bottom of it, to enable better understanding is incredibly important. A practical place to start is by stepping back in time to discover the power that we hold within our ancestors of all cultures and all belief systems. The secrets locked in our ancestral roots can tell us a lot about our fathers, their fathers before them and so on. This is the magnificent power of the daughter to invoke the guardian within her father.
Whether you are a man or a woman this could hold a significant key to unlocking great understanding in your life.
I am myself a daughter. My father had two daughters, of which I am the youngest. My sister was the firstborn child, and she most certainly unlocked guardianship within my father. She was his favourite. Now as an adult, I completely understand why. She held the key to his guardianship.
A key you say? Yes, a key indeed!
When a man sees his firstborn daughter for the very first time, like magic, a key unlocks his heart to guardianship, and without him knowing it, he shall never be the same again. This occurs subconsciously, without consideration, leaving most men with no idea of what just happened. However, once it happens in a man’s life, he becomes the automatic and potent guardian of all women, applied alongside the conditioning of his upbringing. Both of which have been handed down from generation to generation, from father to daughter time and time again.
It was difficult as a child to not understand this. My father felt tougher on me than my elder sister, and it left a deep scar on me as a child. However, when I reconciled this as an adult, I realised that I had simply felt unloved as a child. Then to make matters worse, as a teenager I rebelled against my father’s strong discipline because it felt very much like control.
Here lies the second major imprint from my relationship with my father. As a young adult, I was in a mode of constantly striving to gain the adoration of my father to what I thought was to no avail. In an attempt to fill the void I was feeling, my mother beautifully tried to fill it with her love. My mother reminded me every time I achieved something that my father was proud of me and loved me, even though he never once said it to me in life.
It is reasonable I did not understand as a child, that my father loved me in his own way. Far too many of us get this wrong. We have no control over how our parents will love us. It is a great failing of humanity to not be taught acceptance of unconditional love. This is where I began to learn the tough lesson myself of unconditional love, a valuable lesson that took more than 20 years to unfold. One of which I am incredibly grateful for experiencing.
My father’s discipline, which appeared as a control mechanism to me, was likely simply his desire to protect me. Masculine protection can often look like control and vice versa. To a stubborn teenager without any worldly experience, it’s not unusual for it to look like control.
Have you experienced this as a daughter or as a father? These kinds of confusing experiences, which are then lavishly overlaid with the stories we tell ourselves, are much more familiar than you might realise. However, there is always a way to overcome them, even if it is after the death of a loved one.
It is important at this point, to not overlay conditioning as to what we expect guardianship to look like. It can look very different for each man. Considering the impact of his very own ancestral social & cultural conditioning, on top of what he has experienced in life to date. Therefore guardianship plays out in men’s lives very differently.
Take my father for example. He was a prison officer, a job where he saw criminals day in and day out in his job. It is no wonder he had a strong desire to control my environment to protect me from the criminals he knew existed.
I asked my father a question one day as a teenager that I will never forget his answer to. I asked him if there were innocent people in prison. He said ‘there are both innocent people in prison and guilty people in society’. As a teenager, this alarmed me. I imagine that was likely my father’s intention.
To understand this beautiful concept of a man’s feminine guardianship, we need to look back to the placement of women in our ancestral trees. This includes sisters, aunts, grandmothers and daughters in our families history. These women hold magical keys that have unlocked qualities in men that turn them into the guardians of all women, one generation at a time.
Now let’s take this a step further by understanding genetics within a man. Science now has brought us the clear understanding that man holds the gene that determines the sex of a child. Then couple this with the social & cultural conditioning of carrying on the gene pool to carry on the family name. It is quite possible that subconsciously a man can choose the path of guardianship or not. The picture can begin to look a whole lot different when you consider what is possible.
Now even if you don’t believe you might have the ability to choose. I bet if you are the father of a daughter, your heart potentially knows exactly at what point you became a guardian of women. You may have felt a softening or even a complete crumbling of your heart in your baby daughters presence. Thus, creating a strong sense that you would protect her with your life. This is the beautiful masculine manifestation of guardianship.
As a father, the unlocked manifestation of guardianship not only impacts your relationship with your daughters but with all women in your life. This can confuse both you, as a man, and the other women in your life. Be kind to yourself as you work your way through what this means for you.
The question is, how can we better understand and support guardianship in the men in our lives from a human perspective?
It is a beautiful thing to discover the intertwinement of the masculine and feminine through the father/daughter relationship. Not just for fathers and daughters but all men and women.
The concept of feminine guardianship is one I began to understand and study in my life in my forties, as I unpacked my own life through a desire for personal and spiritual growth. By this time my father had already passed away. It helped me to understand my relationship with my father as a second daughter and my relationships with all men in all parts of my life, including my partner.
You see, I discovered something quite life-changing. I had in my life become a strong feminist. It would appear I had confused feminine guardianship from men, with the concept of control. When I learned to tell the two apart, I discovered the masculine power of true feminine guardianship. The day the final piece fell into place for me was like an official ceremony of the unlocking my heart to the magnificent power of the inter-play potential between the Devine masculine and feminine.
Have you confused guardianship with control or vice versa?
Take some time in your life, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, no matter your circumstances, and you might be pleasantly surprised at where confusion may have occurred for you. If you are a woman like me and have the joy to have a partner who is the father of a daughter, you just might discover something beautiful that you misinterpreted as control.
Although my lesson to uncover guardianship and unconditional love was long, I am incredibly grateful to have experienced it. I am also grateful to my father for starting the process with me. There are lessons in all that occurs in our life both easy and difficult. Embrace them all, for in suffering lies the seed of the solution.
Life is like a meandering path, sometimes we are lost in the darkness and sometimes the sun lights the way. As long as you keep moving along the path you will likely experience a mix of both. Just remember to not stop for too long in the darkness because the sunshine ahead awaits you.
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