Father’s day can bring up a wide range of emotions.  You might be full of gratitude for your dad.  You remember the lessons he taught you about life and leadership, and how he helped you grow into the person you are today.  You find yourself trying to be like him and live up to the example he showed you each day.

It could also be a day of pain and bad memories.  You remember how harsh your dad was or how he set his expectations so high that you couldn’t meet them regardless of how hard you tried.  You lived in constant fear of him and you couldn’t wait to get out of the house and start a life of your own.

Or maybe you didn’t really have a dad.  He died when you were young or he left you and you have no relationship with him today.  And yet, you still find yourself longing to please him.

Here’s the good news.  Regardless of your current relationship with your dad, you are able to change it.

It’s taken me many years to realize this but your relationship with your dad is up to you.  You can decide to love your dad whether he loves you back or not.  You can decide to forgive your dad whether he is living or no longer with you.  You can choose to think about your dad however you want to, because your past only resides in your mind.  How freeing is that? You actually have the option to choose how you want to think about your past with your dad.  You may be thinking, this can’t be true.  But, my friend, it is.

Here are 3 keys to changing your relationship with your dad.

  1. Decide what you want your relationship to be.
  2. Act on those thoughts. Everyday put into practice the type of relationship you want to have.  You want to forgive him? Begin practicing forgiving thoughts.  Want to change the story of your past? Focus on how you want to show up in the relationship.  Maybe he was mean, maybe he was tough.  Perhaps he was doing the best he could, given how he grew up.  Think on that.  Your anger will begin to ease.
  3. Repeat your thoughts daily. If you want true change you have to consistently think the thoughts you want to think.  When negative thoughts come up, replace them with positive ones.  Dwell on how you really want the relationship to be.

You can change your relationship with your dad by your thoughts about him and your thoughts about you.