The Living Years

The Living Years, Mike and the Mechanics

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid thats all weve got

You say you just dont see it
He says its perfect sense
You just cant get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defence

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we dont see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts

So don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be o.k.

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
Its too late when we die
To admit we dont see eye to eye

I wasnt there that morning
When my father passed away
I didnt get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my babys new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
Its too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

Mike and The Mechanics, from The Living Years album (1988)


I was estranged from my Dad for ten years. I fought the battles between the present and the past. I sacrificed the future for the pain of the past. I blamed the generation before.

Being present in the ManKind Project and my Integration Group (iGroup) gave me the space to sort what was mine to own and my Dad's to leave for him. It took two years to sort this stuff out. Such is the depth of a Dad's influence on his son.

A couple years back, I asked my Dad to sit in my igroup. He willingly sat with me and the other men, not knowing what was to come. I asked him to stand with me in the circle. I told him I loved him and wanted to know him, for I did not. I told him that I needed to know him. We cried and held each other. We had a place to start from again.

I worked the issues that were mine. That was my task to take on. To do so makes me a better Dad and husband. I am clearer where I come from and where I can go from here. I am clear that I am not the boy I was and he is not just a Dad, but a man with all his hopes and fears. I am clear that I have changed. My Dad may struggle to understand the differences between me as a boy and me as a man. But, that is his journey, not mine.

This work heals wounds and hearts. Are you willing to heal so that you can be here now and not be a prisoner to the past?

I love you, Dad!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf


The Four Agreements

From the book "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.


This seems simple enough...four steps to a better life, right?

I have been reading this little book with great interest. I see it parallels my work in the ManKind Project in many ways.

Will change occur when you step into a place of responsibility and integrity? You bet your ass it can?

The question is do you want to change or stay in a place of "victim" or "I can't because...." or "I am too small to make a difference"?

Walk with me and the other men in the ManKind Project and see what it looks like to be in a place of responsibility and integrity.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf