Archives for posts with tag: father

There are few people in our experience who have as powerful presence in our lives as family. So foundational, so basic to who we are. Most often people, like our parents, serve to show us something incredibly important about ourselves. Most often, though, we often view our parents with a mixture of love, frustration, joy, and hurt…and we pull away when we see the negative aspects in them, and us, coming. Parents, though, can show you right where your own fractures are. You just need to know how to see them. Most often, when things go bad, we focus only on the wounds that we feel, as some form of victimization in some way or another. We didn’t get enough of something, or got too much of something else. Lying behind our shadowed experiences with family lies a rich bed of truth, and only when you are brave enough to suspend your own personal misgivings about them, can you reach into this truth about yourself. 

Hurt or feeling a victim is itself a snake swallowing it’s tail; it continues until you choose to step out of this feeling, this self-chosen definition of who you think you are. This is not easy since feelings associated with childhood go so far back. It’s a hard habit to break. But it’s possible to step out of the vortex of your own pain or hurt in order to know these deeper truths. There is little else that heals as quickly your own issues which are often called the mother and father wound.

Many years ago, in 2009, I was assisted by a brilliant intuitive in what was a guided imagery exercise deep into my early feelings when I was a child. That experience was one of awareness about my own investment in a feeling as an infant that led me to seeing the root of the problem I had instead of just seeing or feeling the symptoms, the surface, of that old wound within myself. 
So often, we hold our own emotions at a distance so that we never really examine them or understand them all that well. What I was guided to do was to reach into my memory of feeling during my first year of life. This was so early a memory I did not experience any identifiable memories, but instead the memory of a feeling.
With a father dying from cancer, my mother was suddenly facing being alone with 4 children to care for. I was just over a year old at the time. Just a baby, really.  I didn’t get what I knew that I needed. It formed the core of a wound that followed me every day of my life. As a baby, all I knew was that I wasn’t getting what my inner compass told me that I needed. It was out of this mismatch that my wound emerged. Was it because I wasn’t loveable?

The guided imagery, which expertly took me deep within myself, allowed me a level of comprehension that I had l lacked up until the session began. I had always assumed that the core of my feelings were just too buried in memory and they weren’t accessible. No matter how early these things occur, we all have the information within us. Instead of conscious memory, my guide took me deep into feeling, a path whose comprehension is as fresh as can be.

This experience showed me that behind the tangle of upset lay deeper feelings I hadn’t fully examined. The first stage in the healing was in simply understanding how I felt. No more arm’s length. There was more there that I had hurriedly hidden away within myself that kept a fuller understanding at bay. It was brilliant because as soon as I did this, I was then able to see things as they were, or more so where my Mother and I were concerned. I saw my Mother in a way I had never seen her before. This enabled me to forgive not just her, but myself for having clung to this old feeling for so long. I felt foolish for making her responsible for my own misgivings. I was not aware nor in harmony with the flow of events. I suffered as a result….for years.

The result of this work was that it cleared an old karma of mine and also of my Mother’s. She felt guilt because she knew I had been at odds with her, and I had felt anger towards her for something I didn’t get. This was a self-reinforcing problem until I snipped the loop of the snake. The change was instantaneous.

This changed our relationship for the better. I saw her differently and felt differently, too. It was a liberating experience. I was able to see beyond my own mess and her load was lightened from then on. It was one of the biggest reliefs I had felt in my life. It’s hard to realize how these feelings weigh us down and shutters our awareness.

Healing these wounds are critically important to substantive spiritual growth and gets at fundamental issues about ourselves that are less about the victim and more about seeing things as they are. When you can do this, feelings can be changed forever. Until you do this work, you are in truth only running from yourself. It’s about you, and less about them. It’s more about your reaction, and less about what they did. Divine forgiveness sweeps through your entire being and completely erases the trauma or hurt that you had stored there. A new chapter can then be written in your life that changes everything based on the healing of the hurt for all time. It never returns when healed in this way.
While there might be other issues floating in the ether, these become easier to heal and let go. You can reach a point of bold curiosity and desire to do more of this work. To do it, you often must forget what you think you know.

You can’t forgive with your head and expect healing to come.This must come from all parts of you. It is what healing these things that makes healing so huge for you. Everything else is just trimming weeds. The process I went through was unconditional and took me to the core, to the hidden root of the problem.

My daughter and I clowning for the camera recently


Years later I was able to see how during a divorce, my children were being polarized into anger over how her mother was acting. Yes, she had been emotionally abusive. The mother of my children began to engage in inappropriate behavior by indulging in what is called in psychiatric circles as mobbing behavior. Mobbing happens when someone decides they hate another person and tries to turn other people against the targeted person through a campaign of criticism and denigration. Healthy people will know better than to let their own upset get the better of them, especially in a divorce where children are involved. But in cases of mental instability or abusive tendencies, a parent can engage in a campaign of seeking to alienate the target just to get back at them, to try to destroy what they hold most dear; their children and the relationship they have with them.
In the case of one of my children, she found that what her mother was saying was untrue due in part to because she chose to retain her own sense of self and willingness to be objective. Because she was willing to spend time with me, she was able to very quickly  see how what her mother was saying just didn’t hold up. This is where this type of campaign can backfire on the parent who is engaging in the denigration of the other parent, resulting in a child who sees through the deception with a broken sense of trust, with resentment that often follows.
 
Yes, she could have wound up hating her Mom. Had I been like her Mother, I could have taken this and run with it. I knew though that the future of my child’s coping skills hinged on her having a good relationship with her mother and myself.  I urged her to forgive, and the amazing thing is, she did. She forgave and she forgot.

This is how this work goes. To be free, you have to release all negative feeling in order to be able to move on with greater happiness. It’s the holding on that causes us to suffer and keeps us not fully healed. It transforms how you see the person who hurt you and it’s instantaneous.
The difference between my one child who took the bait his Mother was feeding him and my daughter who was more willing to find out the other side of the story is like night and day. It’s hard as a parent to know how you are setting up a child for failure in their life when you succeed in getting a child to believe falsehoods about the other parent that serve to make a normal relationship impossible for the child. This child now has the classic symptoms of parental alienation which include depression, anxiety, anger management issues, and difficulty holding down jobs or completing long-scale tasks like graduating from high school, or completing a college program. Children of alienation are unable to form lasting relationships and tend to move around a lot, from relationships every few years, as well as changing jobs every few years. It is always the problem of the school, the boss, or significant other. 
While you should never stay in a bad situation with toxic people, the people so abused do not have healthy coping skills, which is the legacy that this type of abuse nails to the hearts and minds of children like this. I can tell you just how tragic it is to have not just a spouse engage in this denigration against you, but to have a once-loving child swept up in this terrible outcome. So you can see how important it was for me to make sure that my child could have the benefit of the love and support she so badly needs in order to grow up more whole and healthy as an adult.

When I began the session with my intuitive, I had no idea where we’d wind up. Neither did she; she was being led in large part by her own gift, and this is how her work often is. It also is what makes her so incredibly successful in her intuitive work with people. It helped to transform my relationship with my own Mother, and has led to a happier and more joyful life. This rising tide will lift all boats. 

I encourage you to do this work because it’s so basic and foundational, and can have the power to change so much  within you that has been a problem or stumbling block  for years. With help like this, difficult problems can be changed in an instant when you are ready and have excellent guidance from a gifted person like I had.

Family is so important to us and for us. Being able to transform the nature of something difficult into something positive is a truly beautiful thing. It touches on your and their lives as well as your siblings, if you have them.

For anyone who would like to explore this work more in-depth, I am happy to share her contact information. Just drop me a line or request it to find out more.
P.

It is that time of year again when we agree there is a day when we honor our fathers.  Honestly, I always felt it was kind of hokey to have days like this.  Not for mothers.  But for me, yes.  For me because it has been the single most important experience of my life being a father.  I always felt it funny to honor me for something that was really an honor to ME for being able to step into these shoes.  Huge.  But, I have turned Father’s Day into a day where I think about just how important it was to me to be able to be a Dad.

I have learned so much about us as humans by being a father.  I have learned a second and third time about innocence and innocence lost, about strength, about weakness, and about being human.  I have learned that just as I seek to instill confidence in my children, I have also seen the opposite happen.  It would be great if we could just see parenting in black and white, but it is rarely that.  But that doesn’t mean that it is bad.  It means that it is real.  All of it. The humor, wonder, awe, sleepiness, sleeplessness, joy, sadness, elation, depression, anger and grace…..on all sides and at different times.  And the hardest lesson was knowing when my ability to help my children stopped.  For years you are the very source of life for helpless human beings, and there comes a day when they just don’t need you like they needed you in the past.  And for me?  Sometimes hard, sometimes, but even when they were small I told myself, “They will grow up and will have their own lives…get ready for that exciting moment filled with a sudden shift away from having them in your life….”  It teaches you that as you help a person to develop their lives organically in front of you over a period of almost two decades, it also teaches you that you had better have a life of your own or else there will be a vacuum that will leave you the way it leave some parents….empty.  But the curious thing about being empty is that it leaves a big space that can be filled again.  Our children do not completely leave us….ever.  As a father I feel the deep tie that I feel with my children daily.  There is no way that I can ever really have a life completely without them.  And this is why these kinds of familial connections are so powerful, potent.  When things go great, its over the moon, and when they don’t go great, they can be an incredible catalyst for looking at yourself and your foibles, or what needs to be improved or looked at.  And mostly, it is a call to honesty.  And compassion.  And strength.  And sensitivity.  And love.  And more than just that, too!  Much more.  Thousands of days filled with getting them there so they can get on with their own lives.  Arrows shot from your bow, but arrows that the moment they leave the quiver, are in a way, no longer yours in the way that Gibran referred to in his book the Prophet. Even when it is hard, it is the best because of how real it is.  And I say that even in the depths of illusion and distraction and feelings of loss on both sides, these relationships are the most powerful because they have the power to draw out the best of us as well as the worst of us. For me, it is an opportunity to just see it.  And learn from it.

So for as hard as it can be, for as wonderful as it will get, I wish all fathers the very best Father’s Day, and I hope that this glimmer of gold stretches out into your life as you are reminded why you came here for.  At least, it is one big reason why I came here.  For all of it.

The father looms over each of us in this archetypal way.  For so long we wedded our deity with this….an ultimate, perhaps way too much for one being not to be more balanced….and so father’s loom large.  That we can learn to humanize that image more and make him less unbending and more sensitive and breakable might be a great way to remake him back into our honest image. And if we do, we will have done all of ourselves a great big favor.  Fathers, Mothers, and their children.  We will have allowed ourselves to be more honest.  And happy.

We are asked to be strong to not show our feelings, to suck it up and to move on.  We are asked to be rocks and the world seems surprised when we become that.  But even more disbelieving when we show that we are soft inside.  Its not easy being a man because of all of this training we have done to ourselves.  All of us.  Women want a man who is strong, and yet a man’s true strength cannot be known until he allows himself to break and become vulnerable.  We want that steady force beside us to make us feel confident when in truth we need to learn to be confident within our own selves.  When we ask for it from without, trouble surely is waiting, for all things genuine begin first within, not without. We know a thing deeply within ourselves first before we can speak of it or teach it or become it.

Today I will not spend any part of this day with my children.  I cannot tell you how much this pains me, how much it hurts.  The day is a reminder of the hurt that the other who is also a parent to my children wishes to exact on me.  My children have been told an untruth that is in the words of Anais Nin the way we see the world less as it is but more as how we are.  It is not easy when you were the provider for your family putting in long hours to give them a good life only to be ridiculed, criticized, destroyed before your children and behind your back.  I know it sounds like I am belly aching, but in truth contained within this is a great big question.  Its not obvious as first.

So I take this as a sign that I must look deeply within.  Touch the Spirit that lies in the center of all of this, that lies in the center of all things to draw from it the inspiration that I need to see things rightly instead of wrongly.  For just as wrongly has the mother of my children seen me and expressed to them how she thinks I am, I too have seen her wrongly.  I have not seen the world rightly and this has been the source of my troubles……very hard troubles they are.

So today I embrace the mystery, I embrace the love that I am.  I radiate with it and while I may not have the answers I can keep embracing the mystery and asking what it is I am to learn, to open myself completely before it all and not be afraid.  For it is there that the Source of all things resides and it is in that presence that all things are possible. It is our own divine inspiration.  Literally.

Today is still Fathers Day.  My children will be aware of it.  One will be thinking of it dourly and angrily, seeing only what he felt he did not get from life and from me while another will be feeling guilty that she has not stood up to speak truth to power (or madness).  In both cases, though, I will shower them with my love even as one has vowed the meanest hardest things.  But nothing rational will explain any of this and the only way through this is to take the stone I have been asked to become and render it into fluid moving molten magma.  The greatest strength is in our ability to be gentle and kind and compassionate. Even when we are alone.  Even when we are reviled or hated.  Even moreso then.

Being a father IS about being strong, but its not the kind of strong that you might think.  Sometimes it asks of you to be way stronger than you ever thought you could be.  Such is the calling and the discipline required. With the day being unusually cool I am going to be blowing glass and thinking of my children and wishing them all great things in their lives even if it means not being with me.

If these people are dreams that will fade right along with the nightmares of my life, then so be it.  If they persist and transform, even better.  If they move out of my life then I suppose this is how it must be for them, but I will not pause in telling them that I love them, have always loved them, and will always love them without expectation of anything in return.  Surely the mystery of All lies in the center of me radiating love even if it does not itself receive anything back from me.  True love is like this I suppose and its less something that you learn as you become.  The love I feel can no longer belong to the Soul of dysfunction.  There MUST be a better way.  While it is not my fault that a spouse has said and done the things she has to my children in an effort to brainwash and propagandize, I most certainly was drawn to this person who contained all of these potentials within her since before I had even met her (and it was all there for me to see if I had been willing to do so—I saw and ignored them).  I think we think as parents that we are supposed to be perfect, but we aren’t.  We are human. We become parents not knowing how to change a diaper let alone how to care for another human being in such an intimate and involved way.  We are all rookies driven by love and the desire to become and be and learn and grow.   If we can manage to stay one step ahead of accidents or disasters of one kind or another, we consider ourselves lucky that we didn’t burn down the house because we left the stove on while sleeping exhausted after being up all night with a fussy baby, or that we haven’t lost our temper because we have just had to deal with a baby for the ninth night in a row who can’t seem to sleep for longer than two hours at a time.  We grow through these things, we learn what we are made of and we marshal the resources needed when we feel as though we are somehow falling short on one end of it or another.

Nope.  None of us are perfect.  Fathers are not solid rocks of granite and women are not oozing worlds of wondrous sensual beauty.  Sometimes we fail and cry and wonder and fear and fall apart. And this makes us perhaps all the more beautiful because of that.  Will our  children accept that as good enough? One does and one does not, so it is a lesson to me that if I am to take anything from this it will not be because another has chosen to go a different way or that my way is somehow off, but that my way is golden and I know it and must follow it no matter what, even when others say otherwise (crazy others at that!). Trying to make it all make sense is like grasping the wind. Instead of that, being able to feel it when it comes instead of wrapping our minds around it is the greatest service.  Not all things lead to wisdom by being known.  For now, I embrace the mystery and wish all fathers a wonderful Fathers Day.

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