One morning last week, after a rough, sleepless night with a teething baby, I was stumbling around the kitchen in a stupor and trying to psyche myself up for the day ahead. Like a vision of my fantasies, my husband appeared with his arms outstretched to take the baby and said, “Go get some rest.” People. I can not begin to tell you how attractive and beautiful that man was to me in that moment. And don’t even get me started on when I see him playing with the children. There’s just nothing like a man who is present and engaged in his role as a father.

Yogi Bhajan taught that we have four primary teachers in life that shape our foundation of who we are as human beings: mother, father, relatives/friends, and the spiritual teacher. He said that fathers, with their steadiness and male presence, give children the “courage and security to confront life.” The father is the role model for a son and the standard to which a daughter will measure every man against. Men who fulfill this role with consciousness and presence infuse their children with a strength that will serve them their whole lives and even affect generations to come. It is no easy task. But it is blessed.

My own father was one of the first to teach me how to relate to God and live in gratitude. He was my earliest dance partner, my favorite checkers opponent, and, most importantly, he taught me how to move through the challenges of life with trust in a Higher Power and an attitude of thanks in my heart. His own personal journey with getting sober, re-awakening, and living as a spiritual man has always served as a powerful example for me. He has used his challenges to uplift others and himself and that approach to life has become a core, basic thread of my own being.

So here we are approaching Father’s Day. It may feel like it has become just another seemingly superficial, card-giving day. But I want it to be more. I want to honor the men who show up for this job, who live the responsibility, who share their strength and their humanity. Because it all is a gift. It all teaches and it all shows our children the way. I want to look you fathers in the eye, look right down deep into your soul that chose this path of service and personal growth, and I want to thank you.

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