Monday, September 15, 2008

Ancestral Advice



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.

19 comments:

Washington Cube said...

That rug really pulled the room together.

tut-tut said...

Recently, I dreamed my mother was in bed next to me . . . Parents are around a lot, I've found. It's good you are able to find a way to repair your relationships. So many carry so much anger and resentment around for the rest of their own lives.

lacochran said...

Even with your difficult early relationships, how nice that they watch over you. So loved.

deborah said...

me 2
listening
loving
loving you

Steve said...

Regarding your mother's whispers: Buddhists often talk about the "emptiness" of all things, and what they mean is not that things are empty in the physical sense, but that they have no fixed characteristics. They are changing all the time, from moment to moment. So yes, when we describe our own attributes, we can get locked into the "idea" of who and what we are -- when in reality who we are now is not who we'll be in the next moment. Nothing is fixed! And there's such freedom in that!

Val said...

its wonderful that you can continue to grow and learn from someone long after their physical body has gone...what is left is the love.
this is a beautiful post. thankyou :-)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Beautiful post, Reya - it's so great to be able to learn from those who've gone elsewhere - and especially to mend the relationships that weren't so great on this plane. I have the same with my father.

d. chedwick said...

I feel so happy you can feel close to your parents now, they appreciate it, I really feel they do. I was so close to my parents (nerds often are I guess) and lost one at 15 and the other at 17. What followed was a long period of being lost at sea during which I kept myself busy with school as they would have wished. But I missed them every day and for many years couldn't speak about them without starting to cry. I envied others who had parents attend their graduations and weddings, but then, I thought of those who grow up in orphanages --how lucky we were to have a real home with parents inside of it.

d. chedwick said...

You know, parents do give good advice!

Chimera said...

Thank you for this lovely post Reya. I have been thinking a lot about a freind who was a brother to me. he died last October in a car crash...I am still astounded. Your post refreshes me. reminds me to be constant.
T xx

dennis said...

Dennis loves you.

Dennis is curious about the rug. where is the rug in this post?

Lynne said...

How fortunate you are to be able to commune with your parents. I keep hoping, but as yet my mom has not said one word. She is in my dreams (but not in a good way) all the time, but no contact yet. My dad who was very physic in real life has maybe made one visit to me. Very disheartening. I keep hoping!

xx

willow said...

I could very much relate to this post, Reya!

Coffee, tea, "A" or "B"...and here I am! :^)

IntangibleArts said...

Good stuff, boss.

And if intelligent identities remain intact after departing this "life", I'd wager it's quite the leaning experience for THEM as well. Growth on both sides of the veil seems reasonable, yes?

Still catching up from 10 days away; the bloggo-verse has marched ahead profoundly without me!

fab sky pix, as always...

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if the decades pass, you feel their presence and you know that they did care very deeply for you.

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, you can change your life, part of which you have admitted to yourself and your readers. Find your North Node and go from there. It's waiting for you, and I am quite certain you will suceed.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thank you, Barbara. Yes I've been headed directly towards my north node, in my 7th house right by my sun and moon, my whole life. I'll keep at it, I promise!

lettuce said...

i can't find anything to say that expresses how i feel after reading this - but lots of feeling

xx

The W.O.W. factor said...

HI! found you on the "Black Box"...this is a wonderful post about your folks! How you 'see' them now.
And I love your pix too!