Advice Corner

lambers

Lambers B. Fisher, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, was the consulting therapist on set. Lambers was born on the south side of Chicago and was raised in a single-parent home. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, he went on to receive two master’s degrees         (an M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy, as well as a Master  of Divinity) from Fuller Theological Seminary.  As a therapist, Lambers has spent the past seven years providing low-cost counseling services to individuals, couples and families in Pasadena, California. He is committed to strengthening couple and family relationships as well as increasing the overall well being of the community.

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Knowing where you came from

By Lambers B. Fisher Jr.
Marriage & Family Therapist
December 2008

In many homes today, the significance of having a father in one’s life is often overlooked.  For no matter how well single mothers, or sometimes even grandmothers, do in raising young men to be the best men that they can be, there often remains a sense of the unknown.  These men ask themselves questions such as, “Is the man I am trying to be anything like the man my father was?”  “What things do we have in common that I would like to do more of?”  “What weaknesses did he have that we may share and that I may want to avoid?”  “Would he be proud of the man that I am trying to become?”

With these questions in mind, there are two truths that remain.  First, whether or not you have the opportunity to find out the answers, you still have the potential to decide your own future.  You have the ability to choose to make every effort to be the best man that you can be.  Second, if you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to find out the answers to these questions, as well as your own personal questions, in most cases you’re better off taking that chance.  For some it would mean making efforts to reconnect with a long-lost absent father; for others it will mean initiating a new relationship with a father who though present, you could stand to have a better relationship with.

When my father returned to my life, after missing a significant portion of my formative years, I had to decide whether I even wanted to give him a chance to be a part of my life.  After all, I have always appreciated my mother giving her all for me, and helping me to be confident in who I am as I was growing into the man I am today.  When I decided to give a new relationship with him a try, it was not because I felt I was lacking or insufficient; rather, I didn’t want to regret passing up the chance to get to know him.  To my surprise, not only did I begin what would become a lasting relationship, getting to know him better, but I also began to know myself better.  Despite not having spent years together, I realized that many of the mannerisms, behavior, and personality characteristics that I have come to consider crucial to who I am, we share.  Although there were admittedly things about his life and past that I would never want to emulate, I began to want to learn more about how he lived because I realized that because we had and have so much in common, learning from his achievements and struggles, could save me from having to repeat them.  Eventually, we gained a mutual respect for each other and we are now a part of each other’s lives.  Sure, things will never be the same as if he’d never left, but I’m glad I took the chance to get to know him.  In doing so, I got to know myself better as well.

I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with your father.  Whether you have always had him in your life, or whether there is some distance between you that you’d prefer not be as far.  If it is within your power to do so, take advantage of the opportunity to get to you your father better.  No matter what you discover, whether good or bad, knowing where and who you came from can help you be a better you.  Anything more than that, like a renewed relationship that could last a lifetime, is bonus.