MANIFESTING SINCE FEBRUARY 27 AT 1:38 P.M.
Today, I had to speak to my father, which I generally dread because his way of holding a conversation is generally to yell and scream at each other. But in this conversation, I got to see how far I had come in really relating to him and how who he is impacts me.
Generally, I have always left the conversations, feeling less than powerful and blaming him for not ‘allowing me’ to be or do something. But since we haven’t talked in 9 months, I was surprised and pleased with how I dealt with the situation. I saw how much I grown in how much I had allowed his words to have power over me.
When you live overseas, you are not in your comfort zone. All your issues with yourself and others do come to the forefront because you have no where to ‘hide’. Of course, you can isolate yourself in the foreign community, drink a shit load of beer, or go to work and then come home. But eventually your ‘stuff’ will be there magnified waiting for you to deal with. Each time abroad, I have had the opportunity to transform myself into becoming something more than I thought I could be. The experience itself requires you to up the level of being, but the opportunities to integrate lessons learned into this new self are optional.
These opportunities have enabled me to bring closure to a painful past, particularly with my father. We have had a very tense relationship, and for years I believed as he would say that I was the source of that tension. When I moved back in to his house last summer, I saw that none of that was true.
Living in Kaoshiung, I was living next door to a neighbor who mirrored my father in attitude and behavior, verbally and emotionally abusive. Couple that with the fact that I was working on resolving my anger issues it wasn’t the greatest 10 months of my life. To reach the peace in my life that I wanted, I knew that I had to give up my anger, yet was not truly aware of it. I had many New Age and self help books to tell me how to do it. I even had an astrologer on hand to help me thru. Yet, I wasn’t getting thru.
Living everyday in a culture where you can’t read or speak the language is strenuous. The level of stress is higher because you the one that will make it or not make it “happen”.
So, add this to the weight of the anger I had toward myself, the world and in all my relationships, I was a wreck. I began a meditation called “Planetary Meditation for Peace” suggested to me by the astrologer. After a month of trying, I began to be able to quiet my mind. In the meditation which uses the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, I heard the line “where there is hatred, so let me so love.” My mind stopped and in that moment I became aware that I held the hatred in me. In that moment, anger ceased to have power over me. I became aware of the impact that all my anger had had in my life and was free.
When you have moments of clarity like that you will be tested. When I realized how much in control of my emotions I could be, I could begin “to control’” the situations that triggered the anger, I no longer was at its mercy. A new day had arrived.
My biggest test would come when I would have to move back in with my father for the summer. During that summer, I realized that I was involved in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship once I stopped responding and allowing myself to be triggered by his anger and words. Armed with that knowledge and realization that I was not the source of his anger as I believed so for many years, I found myself more compassionate toward him, because I know he isn’t aware of the impact of his actions. I began to really see that my father is struggling with his own issues stemming from a harsh childhood. I also began to embark on the realization that I wasn’t as weak and powerless in my life as I thought I was.
Each time abroad, I have had some sort of assistance. But this time it was all on me, the financial part, and the part as to where to live and what to do. During these 9 months of not talking to him and doing it on my own, I have been able to see where in myself I have been still “tied” to him in child/parent relating. I realized that I had to just approve of myself and come to trust myself in what I did for my life. Up until that moment I had second guessed what I did based on what I thought he would say or think. This showed up in all my other relationships as well here. I begin to realize that the approval and support I was seeking was within and once I took that jump, I have found that a lot of my demons have been laid to rest.
At some point of adulthood, one has to just see mom and dad as Jane and John. Come to realize that they have the same fallacies as we do and allow them to be. I think in America we idealize parenthood way too much. We need to stop blaming our parents after 20,30,40 years of what they did, and didn’t do and come to realize that – not that they did the best the could- but that they are very very much like us, struggling with their own demons, losses, and hopes in their own world. It pains me not to be able to see my father grow beyond behaviors that are detrimental, yet they serve a purpose for him and in true love and forgiveness, I have to allow him to be who he is, for he is perfect.