Little Boy's Deepest Needs

Dave Korba

“As a man amongst men, I create a joyful world, by being aware, accepting, loving and playful.” That is my mission of service – uncovered at the age of 43 during an initiation into the sacred masculine on a New Warrior Training Adventure weekend. 

The genesis of a man’s mission is found in his little boy’s deepest needs, that if left unhealed or untransformed, will be transmitted to future generations – according to Richard Rohr, as conveyed in Chris Bruno’s article in this month’s Inspiration department.

It’s been three years and three months since my dad passed, just shy of his 87th birthday. Only recently has the numbness begun to fade and the grief been distilled into some tangible personal insight. Even though I’m grateful for my father, I still grieve his absence. I miss the comfort his physical presence provided. I also realize that at the bottom of the grief is an even deeper longing for a connection I did not experience with him while he was alive – a longing carried since childhood, which was a formidable, silent rudder as I navigated through life, as well as a significant influence on my sense of self-worth, or lack thereof – a pain so deep and primal that if not faced head on and transformed, would still be silently guiding me.

Through much personal work over time, and with the support and interaction of emotionally literate men sharing similar journeys, I have accepted my dad and myself for who we were and where we were in our own lives while discovering the lessons of self-love and self-acceptance along the way.

We enjoyed each other’s company, especially in his last few years, during which I prodded, probed and pushed gently, searching for a magic portal into his archetypal king energy to perhaps miraculously and finally fulfill the void of my little boy’s deepest needs. I received a few small, but sweet, nuggets from him in his last few years for which I am grateful. Yet the responsibility remains mine to know and transform my own pain.

The clarion call is raised for all men to dive inward and claim responsibility for healing and transforming their own inner child – and for all fathers to heal and love themselves first, and then share the strength of that love with their children. My Father’s Day invitation to fathers everywhere is that you visit to learn about and consider confronting and healing the wounds of your little boy by doing the deep, personal work necessary while remembering to feel good, live simply and laugh more along the way.

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