Sunday, June 18, 2017

Meeting Dad in the mystery


May we hold all Fathers in our hearts today, in recognition of the gift of life they have given. Some of us are close with Dad, some are not. Some have very fond memories of him and some do not. Some of us never really got to know that person we call(ed) “Dad,” what moved and inspired him, what triggered fear in him or what brought him joy, what was really going on in his heart, or what he truly wanted from this life.

But the one thing we do know is that, just like us, Dad only ever wanted to be happy, to be free from suffering, and in his own way longed to enter into the mystery, to live a meaningful life, to respond skillfully to suffering and heartbreak, to know for even a moment the truth that love is alive here.

Also, just like us, Dad is/ was only able to use the tools he had been given to take the journey that was his. It is not likely Dad was raised by enlightened parents, learned about mindfulness, empathic attunement, or practiced yoga. Or grew up in an environment which fully held and mirrored the unfolding majesty that he was at the deepest levels. Just like us, Dad has acted out of his own pain, in ways that have caused suffering for him, for us, and for those around us. Just like we have.

We may never understand the nature of Dad’s journey, why he acts as he does, what scares him, touches his heart, or how he is making meaning of a crazy world; what his deepest fears and longings are (or were), what keeps him up at night, or what causes him to fall to the ground in awe. We may never be able to make sense of it. But perhaps today is not a day of answers or understanding, or even of healing, forgiving, or accepting. Perhaps today is a day of just one moment of sacred pause, heart-connection, shared presence, and remembrance. And meeting Dad in the core of the mystery.

Whether Dad is still on this earth or love has sent him elsewhere, it is possible to connect with him right here and right now, for he is alive inside every cell. For some unknown reason, love has placed him into the strands of your DNA, and in many (but not all) cases he has done his best to love you, given his own limited abilities and influences, developmental and karmic. Perhaps he has succeeded, perhaps he has failed. Or perhaps it has been mixed, as our love has been for him.

No matter what has happened in the past, or the nature of your relationship with this one we call “Dad,” he has provided the gift of life, a precious human body, and the opportunity to take this rare human journey, to explore the mysteries of love in form. While some of us may not be able to meet and connect with Dad in this way, if our time with him was just too painful or too destructive (we can honor this truth and need not shame or attack ourselves for it), we can hold this aspiration in our hearts, if (and only if) we are so called, and allow the seeds of love and healing to flower in their own way, in their own time.

May we honor Father on this day in all of his emanations and in all of his forms – personal, collective, transpersonal, and beyond – and may we be guided by the wisdom qualities that have come down through Father everywhere, since beginningless time.

May we embody these qualities and make use of these blessings to help others, to do what we can to reduce suffering in this world, and to never forget the inherent goodness in the erupting human heart.


My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now (we're about 85% sold out as of June 1)

3 comments:

  1. It was only after my father died 31 years ago (at the age of 61) that I began to understand his brokenness, his fragility and vulnerability and how he struggled with life and the effects of war/trauma on his psyche. Things a child can't possibly understand. Now, at 67, I understand that he did the best he could with what he had to work with (as you said), because I have had the chance to live more of life myself, and come to terms with my own brokenness, fears and frailties... Instead of the pain of not being "fathered"/parented in a way that was nurturing, there is now an acceptance and respect for what he must have felt himself trying to be a provider and parent within the framework of his own sense of deep inner suffering that was not his fault... These realizations only bring compassion now - compassion for the wounds he endured himself, as we all do...

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    1. This is really beautiful, thank you for sharing my friend, and for the courage, the curiosity, and fiery relentlessness of heart that this journey requires... lots of love.

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    2. thank you so much to both Matt Licata & to Mystic Meandering....I endured much criticism as a child & have some incredible wounds from my blessed father who I have no doubt was an "Adult Child of an Alcoholic". It was only via attending 12-Step for many years that I was able to being to understand him & heal myself.....

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