This Is Us

How I Finally Healed My Relationship With My Father

When you forgive, you grow

Don Johnson
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readApr 29, 2021

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Photo: David Wall / Getty Images

My father was a high-achieving, sharp-looking, charismatic, entertaining guy. He provided well for our family, and I learned a lot from him. He taught me the importance of hard work, paying attention to details, asking for what you want, anticipating what can happen, being a good conversationalist, and being friendly to and respectful of others.

He could also be a short-tempered, controlling, overbearing, critical, and perfectionistic pain in the ass. Like with anyone, overused strengths can become weaknesses. But it didn’t stop there — I heard many racist and misogynist remarks from him throughout my life. He was far from perfect, but he was my father.

After the Korean War, he left the military and applied for a sales job at a pharmaceutical company in New York, saying he would work for no pay until he proved himself. They took him, and he went on to have a highly successful, 30-year sales career, retiring from an executive position.

As I grew up, I don’t remember my father being around much between his job responsibilities and his love for golf. If I went to the golf course with him, things usually ended in a meltdown as he tried to overinstruct me. Eventually, the sport made me miserable…

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Don Johnson
Human Parts

Author | Meditation Teacher | Advocate for Kindness, Respect & Freedom | Human Potential Coach | Connect with me here: www.bemoreconscious.com