The Father Wound—missing the Divine Masculine

I didn’t really know how profoundly I am affected by the separation from the Divine Father until this past Father’s Day. My children had come home to celebrate.  Jarys flew in from San Francisco. A newly credentialed teacher, my 25 year old son took the time from searching for a teaching job to spend with his father.  It was a joyous weekend. On Sunday morning, Kyra asked Steve if he missed his father. 

“No, baby, I never really had a father.” 

Our daughter began to cry, “I’m so sad for you. I can’t imagine not having you as my Dad.” 

We all teared up. For how sad is it that so many of us do not have amazing fathers? I see so much of this pain in my practice. Middle aged men still suffering the wounds of not having a father who supported them. Young men who struggle with fathers who do not believe in them and worse, young men without fathers in their lives trying to make their own way unguided. Women young and old still suffering from the lack of paternal approval or worse being violated by the one who should be protecting them.  My husband, a police officer for the past 27 years, says that, in his opinion, the increase in crime, especially gang related crime, is in direct relationship to missing fathers. And the young women in abusive relationships, even teen pregnancies, are a reflection of poor fathering. 

As the father wound began to fester, I began to have a profound pain in my neck. No amount of heat, ice, stretching, massage, natural anti-inflammatory therapy or conventional non-steroidal meds helped. My chiropractor asked what I was so stressed about. He thought it was Steve’s recent back injury. True, it is not easy living with a wounded warrior. Taking away his uniform and putting him on light duty brought up questions of self worth and struggles with aging. And yes, I have had a lot on my plate related to incredibly challenging patients. And true, I had spent last fall and this past winter dealing with aging parents on both sides. Yet this felt like something deeper. 

The last time a chiropractor asked me this same question, I was suffering from sciatica. I knew then it was related to birthing my son into the world. It began the moment I finished helping him fill out college applications and did not let up until I took him to the University of San Francisco for a tour of the campus five months later. Once I felt the energy of the place…that USF was where he was meant to be…my sciatica disappeared.   

So in prayerful meditation I asked, What was I being so stiffed neck about?  

And that day a person from our past surfaced bringing up such waves of sorrow that I had to explore the source. Steve and I discussed my profound reaction that evening. And again I heard Kyra’s voice praising Steve’s paternal skills. Steve’s father, an abusive alcoholic, abandoned the family when he was only six. He had no father figures in his life, yet he has become the most awesome Dad. How was this possible? 

“It’s because of you.” Steve answered my query. “My partnership with you allowed me to learn from my father’s mistakes and glean the good from fathers all around me.” 

I began to cry…partly in joy for the Divine Father my husband has become and partly in sorrow for not having such a father myself. And the pain in my neck intensified. In my fervor to create an abundant present, I had not been looking back at the past. I know we should live in the moment. It is our mantra for 2010—Be in the Moment. And I’ve tried, truly I have, yet people from my past keep surfacing—some in need, some to remind me of something I’ve forgotten, some to unveil the face of my fear. In spite of my awakening, I cannot manifest joyously until I clean house. This house, the temple of my body which houses my soul. My mind has been busy convincing me to move along my path to enlightenment, but it is my body that reminds me to do my deepest work. 

So the reason, this person from our past whose presence brought up so much emotion surfaced at this time is because Steve had been doing the same thing…cleaning house. It’s a little eerie how we ride tandem on our journey. He had decided to clean out his proverbial closets. If he hadn’t worn it in at least two years, out it went. The same with people in his life. If he hadn’t heard from them in spite of his efforts to connect in the past two years, he gave them one more chance, then either connect or move on. 

The pain in my neck throbbed as Steve shared his “house-cleaning”. Time to look back. Gingerly I turned back and saw the roots of my feminine woes…(it’s the left side of my neck that’s been in spasm…the left side of the body represents the feminine, the right—the masculine) and I remembered the Red Cord. 

So I’ve been researching fetal imprinting. What happens at the cellular level to the prenate…the infant in the womb. Well, she feels everything her mother feels. So if Mom felt unsupported, unloved, abandoned by Dad…the baby grows up with this cellular imprinting. Hmmm! So back to the womb, I went. And lo and behold…I discovered my “Not Good Enough” imprint. My mother’s perception of my father…his treatment of her and her reaction…well, that imprinted me as a fetus in her womb. And my childhood spent trying to get Daddy to notice me by being the “best” student, “best” athlete, “best” daughter…well, that helped cement the fetal imprinting such that even today, nearly 50 years later (that’s how long ago I was in my mother’s womb) as accomplished as I am, as wonderful the relationships I have with my beloved husband and children are, as amazing my connection to my patients, my community, the earth herself is…still I feel “Not Good Enough.” 

My parents have played their part beautifully. Even down to Dad suffering from spinal cord impingement so severe that I had to use all my connections to get him treated by a neurosurgeon….Now THAT was a pain in the neck…his neck and mine…Reminding me that no matter how grown up you become, not matter how much education, expertise and influence you hold, fathers (at least mine) do not believe that you know so much. It took a prominent male surgeon to make Dad listen. I did not want to become involved, yet my sisters begged me to help…so I did. Dad had his surgery but he’s back to his old hard-headed ways and I must let him go.  And now I’m back to no paternal guidance…no wise old man in my life. 

So I took my aching neck and my heavy heart out to the Medicine Wheel. Steve and I built a sacred circle in the back of our property. In the northern power point, where wisdom flows. It just so happens to be where the horses are…but the Native Americans believe horse represents power and my horses do treat the circle of huge rocks as a sacred space. So there, sitting upon the eastern stone, I communed with the Divine Mother. And through the Earth I felt her. She showed me how beautiful our relationship was, how deep and enduring, but she also revealed how rarely I looked up to the heavens. How long had it been since I communed with the Divine Father. Looking up hurt my neck something fierce. Gazing at the gray summer sky…June gloom here on the Pacific coast was in full force…I felt an embrace…of light. 

It’s been a long time since I connected to the Divine Father. Not since my formal religious days have I referred to the Divine as Father. Somehow I felt judged by the patriarchal in my life…the authorities, the medical community, the church leaders…so the patriarchal energy of the Divine was not so welcoming. In the past 13 years, I have come to know the Feminine face of the Divine. And since LoveDance, I have come to fully embody the Sacred Feminine so now the Divine Masculine now reveals his handsome face to me on a daily basis. 

Of course, I see Him in Steve. But also in others. Just last week, I saw Him in the trash man. We forgot to put out our barrels thinking that July 5th had been a holiday when I heard the trash truck lumbering down our street. So I ran out in my heels dragging the recycling barrel. The dear trash man, not only came back for my recycling but got out of his truck to help me take our three other barrels to the street. I thanked him profusely. And in his smile, I saw the Divine Masculine. He’s around…we, women, just have to look for him. And he shows up when we embrace our Divine Feminine selves…He’s in the gentleman who opens the door for us, the bagboy who helps us carry our groceries to the car, the male driver who lets us park in the closer spot with a kind wave.  Our job is to recognize Him with joyous gratitude.

I shared this story with my women’s circle last week. It was a tough sharing time for many of the women that night. The masculine in their lives was so distorted…the shadow side of men. I believe, those of us who are awake, especially us women, we must nurture the Divine Masculine. Like precious seeds of potential planted in the garden of life, our loving gratitude, our joy, our being our Divine Feminine truth is the water and the light necessary to grow a fine crop of men fully embodying the Divine Masculine. Then there will be no more fatherless children…for the Divine Father will come forth in those men. And perhaps someday the father wound will become an ancestral memory.

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