Monday, September 15, 2008
My mother and father have been hovering close by in recent weeks, especially in recent days. Both of them died before I turned thirty, a devastating thing at the time and for years afterwards, but also paradoxically a relief since my relationship with both of them was completely horrible.
Since they departed this plane, though, my relationship with them has improved by leaps and bounds. Part of how that happened was through psychotherapy, a process that helped me see them as three dimensional beings, and come to understand why it was so hard for me to grow up in their household. At age 35, I built an altar to them, made offerings, wrote them long letters about everything. I've maintained the altar ever since. Every year I gain more of an understanding of who they were, and feel more love for them than at any time when they were alive. Go figure.
What my mother is whispering in my ear these days echoes something the Sufi acupuncturist told me, which is that the things I know about myself - my age, income, spirituality, level of fitness, health, astrological chart, etc. can be helpful, but can also create a mental lockdown in which I begin to believe I can't change anything about my life. Let these things be definitive but not limiting, says the Sufi acupuncturist. My mother enthusiastically agrees.
My father was a bowling coach for awhile when we were growing up. Needless to say all of my sibs and I were required to learn to bowl, never my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning, let me tell you. I can "hear" him these days, shouting Follow through! just as he did when he was coaching us. He meant, keep your arm moving, point to the place where you want the ball to go, even after you've released the ball. Stay focused.
Good advice from them both, yes?
As if to assure me that these whisperings are worth contemplation, clouds that looked exactly like angel wings skidded across the sky Saturday at the very moment I was thinking about the advice. It's such a wonderful thing to be well loved by ancestors with whom I struggled so vehemently once upon a time.
Thanks mama and papa! I'm listening.