How Ray Lewis Overcame Five Generations of Abandonment


The real Super Bowl is experienced off the field through conquering past painful issues.

The healing power of a hug.

The self-confidence the words, “I’m so proud of you” bring to a child from a parent.

A nurturing parent is vital to a person’s ability to handle life. However, many people such as Baltimore Raven’s linebacker, Ray Lewis can point to the huge, empty void of being abandoned by his father in his formative years as the driver behind his success in the NFL.

In interviews, Lewis describes the heartbreaking image of sitting on the front porch of his home, waiting for a father who never shows up. He is absent from Ray’s life, visiting only occasionally. When Lewis hits his professional stride, his father appears only to ask for money. Even as an adult, Ray sought that approval, hoping that the next visit would result in the exchange of words of support and pride.

Unresolved abandonment issues always run over into personal relationships and affect the relationship choices you make in love. Pretending away the pain is not the solution, nor is an immersion into a busy life the key. The longing in your heart must be met head on because until your heart is right, you will be driven by that lack.

In high school, Ray stated that he was given a copy of his father’s yearbook which listed all his football accomplishments. Lewis did not know his father was a star athlete and that information became fuel to his fire. He set out to break all the records his father held to wipe out his legacy.  Bitterness had taken root in his heart and it drove him to achieve excellence on the field. No matter how many number one records Ray surpassed over his father, he could never erase the pain and craving for a loving father-son relationship, no matter how hopeless is appeared to be.

How did he overcome abandonment?

A spark of hope. Lewis states that he kept reaching out to his father for connection. A small glimmer of what might be was present in his actions as he extended himself, being vulnerable to a man who never reached back to him in love.

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