I don’t know of a single adult who feels they had a father who really deeply and functionally loved them. Well, ok, I know of one… but not personally.
I dissociated most of my childhood. My brothers have so many more memories than I. My first memory of my father was riding in my mother’s car when I was five, with my three baby brothers buckled in the back seat. It was dark and I was afraid. My mother didn’t know where my father was, and we were driving from bar to bar to see if his car was in the parking lot.
I never thought much about my father’s love until I was quite into my adult years. It was then I began to look at my relationship with my father, because I didn’t seem to be able to have functional adult relationships with men. I would over give, over care and over control. I attracted men who were steeped in shame and couldn’t receive what I had to give because of their own feelings of being flawed.
And then I began looking at my dad. He was a man’s man. He didn’t have the first clue about how to father a girl, let alone his three sons. He wouldn’t hit me like he would my brothers – that was a big distinguishing factor. And he couldn’t talk about tools or fishing or cars with me, although God knows I tried.
He did teach me some things… how to crochet, how to knit and how to use the sewing machine. He taught my mom how to cook. He grew up on a farm during the Great Depression and sustaining the family was all he knew. My mother spent her formative years in what she referred to as ‘garbage alley.’ The daughter of an alcoholic and absentee father, her mother finally had enough of the ‘problems’ and put her and her siblings in an orphanage to spend their teenage years.
Once I knew how to knit and crochet, and mastered the sewing machine, my relationship with my father faltered. It seemed he wasn’t interested in moving beyond the basics. I finally figured out another way to connect with my Dad – mathematics. I would bring home math problems and we would see who could get the answer first. That connection, sadly, ended when a problem stumped him yet I could figure it out. Apparently he only wanted to play that game if he could win.
I set out to heal that child, so disappointed that she wasn’t receiving the love and attention she craved. Through years of introspection, discovery and healing, I finally have succeeded, I believe, in that phenomenal quest.
You see, if your child-self isn’t happy, loved, shame-free and safe, it is unlikely you will be able to create the magnificent dream life you came here to live. He/she will hold you back, afraid and undeserving. The good news is it is healable. It is changeable.
Part of the changing and healing for me (and I suggest for all), was to give my child (in meditation) a home that was safe, and parents who loved her – deeply, truly, wholly, from a spiritual adult perspective. Now the parents I gave my child were not my actual parents. I could not imagine that no matter how hard I tried. The parents I gave her are my male and female counselors. They all live in a beautiful gingerbread Victorian house on the water. There are art supplies and easels, room after room of dolls and toys, tons of friends to play with, and creativity and love abounds.
Lately I have been feeling something shifting – the result of my hard work on healing this paying off. The first sign was a book I read recently (The Middle Place, byKelly Corrigan) about a woman who was battling cancer at the same time as her father, whom she loved deeply. As I read about how incredibly loved by her father she felt for her entire life, I thought how wonderful that would be.
And this morning, I went to check in on that child-self of mine (meditatively). Miraculously, something has shifted – something incredibly amazing. She feels absolutely, totally 100% loved by her father!! As I walked to her home she ran into my arms, giggling and smiling. She told me about her latest doll and then her father joined us. He beamed with pride. He spoke to me of how brilliant and creative she is. Tears rolled down my checks (and they do as I write this) as I let in that finally, finally, she is loved by her dad. I am so happy for her (and for me – for this is big).
And as I sat in meditation, reveling in this new knowledge and resonance, I remembered something. A few weeks ago, I bought a gift basket for a newborn. When I received it, I saw one of the teeny tiny little pink shirts had “Daddy Loves Me” embroidered across the front. I took it out of the basket, because in this situation it would not be appropriate to give this baby that shirt. And I put it in my cupboard at work, where it is now.
It dawned on me that there was a reason I ordered this shirt without knowing. The shirt wasn’t for my newborn friend, it was for me. It was for my newborn self. The one who is now free… free to have functional relationships with men. Free to believe in herself and her dreams. Free to love and be loved in return.
Working with our child self is one of the most important aspects of creating a delicious life. I know it seems counterintuitive to go back in order to move forward, but it works. I urge you to sit quietly and imagine the place your child lived when you were 5 or 6 years old. Go to where your child self went to be alone. And sit with them. They exist. They are real.
Just sit with them and let them talk to you, if they like, about their life. Just listen. Just love them. And when they are done, let them know of your magical powers. Let them know you can imagine and then give to them a safe, loving, delicious life. And do it. Whatever they want, give it to them. See them there – feel them loving it. And let them know from here on out, you will be in charge of your adult life and they must stay in their world. You will feel your world shift and change, as they become happier in theirs.
And then write me, and let me know what happens in your reality!
In joyous creation,