Aaron looked across the room at his wife, Iris, as she cuddled and cooed to the six month old baby boy that they had inherited due to a family tragedy. As he watched, he was confused, angry and resentful at this turn of events in his otherwise perfect life. He had never wanted children. Iris wanted children; she wanted a family. He had never told her that he didn’t want to be a father for fear that it would destroy their wonderful relationship. Iris was so much like his late beloved Mother who had been a kind, sweet, loving caring person. Parenthood with his father had all but destroyed her.
His Mother had loved and encouraged both of her sons. Despite her loving care, his childhood had been a miserable nightmare. His father had been a mean, cruel abusive man. He had demanded unquestioning obedience and living by his rules except that his rules changed so often and without warning that he and his brother were never certain if they were behaving according to his rules. Thus, they were subject to numerous disabling beatings and other cruel punishments. Their Mother had tried to step in and protect them, which resulted in her being beaten and receiving verbal abuse. As he had gotten older, he had tried to protect her and take his father’s abuse away from her and on to him.
He was ten and his brother, Adam was thirteen, when Adam began to emulate their father and began to bully him. Their father encouraged Adam’s bullying and physical abuse of him. Adam became their father’s favorite and a carbon copy of their father. He never wanted to be a parent if it meant being like his father. When he was fifteen, his father died in an unfortunate accident on his job. This freed his mother and gave her a lifetime income. He felt that he must have inherited some of his father’s ways, as he never mourned his father’s demise. That same year, Adam got into trouble and joined the military. He was happy to see him gone as well.
Meeting and marrying Iris had been the greatest blessing of his life. As a child, his mother had taken him to church, but he didn’t believe in the God that they talked about because their God hadn’t protected him or his mother. He had reluctantly gone to church with Iris and God was spoken of in a different way. He like the philosophy and began to study with them. Iris desperately wanted children, but he was afraid the somewhere deep within him he was like his father. He not only feared becoming his father, but such physical and verbal cruelty would cost him his beautiful wife. Iris was a strong, loving woman who would not accept such behavior in her life.
Now, through another family tragedy, he had become guardian to his brother’s son. Their church taught that there were no coincidences in life and this child had come into his life for a reason. There was a lesson here for him to learn. Through classes at his church he had been taught that he had the freedom to make choices in his life and those choices were driven by his personal beliefs. He accepted that his choices could make his life into exactly what he wanted it to be or prevent him from achieving his dreams. He had learned that he could identify those beliefs and keep those that served him well and release those that were detrimental to his well being.
Aaron realized that he was facing a crossroads in his life. Was this an old belief in his life that had come forward for him to examine and see its impact on the choices that he had been making? He observed his wife and the joy on her face as she held his nephew in her arms. He realized that in not wanting to be a parent, he had denied her the joy of motherhood. He believed that he wouldn’t be a good father; that he would be like his father and brother. But would he become like them? In the years since his father’s death, he had sought to resolve life’s difficulties without resorting to blaming others, unbridled anger and verbal and physical abuse of others. He had never treated his wife in the manner that has father had treated his mother. Even when he and Iris had disagreed, he hadn’t screamed vile epitaphs at her or ever raised his hand to hit her. Yet, the fear of being like his father had controlled a very important decision in his life.
He had long ago decided that he would never be like his father and brother. Yet, his belief that he might be like them had driven his decision to not become a parent. This decision had caused him to not to want to share the joy of parenthood with his wife. What a selfish decision and he had deprived Iris of making a decision regarding this very important part of their lives together. In a way, he had mentally and emotionally abused her. The thought made him cringe with inner pain. She deserved so much better from him. With clarity, he decided that he would no longer cheat himself and his wife of the joy of having a family. He would become a better husband and, yes, a better father than his father had been. His nephew was the beginning of their family and he would raise him with love, kindness, caring and patience. His nephew wouldn’t know the abuse that he and his father had been raised with. The curse of cruelty and abuse would end with him.
With a smile and a better understanding of how bad decisions could be driven by an unrecognized negative belief, he walked across the room to join his wife and admire his nephew. God had sent this tiny angel to reveal the mistaken belief that was affecting his life in a highly negative way. Now that it had been revealed to him, he could change and release it from his life. He was looking forward to a happier life and joyous future.