“I am a Rock, I am an Island”
My father died when I was 13 years old. He was a very strong man, with firm principles and a high standard of integrity. He thought me to live by the principle that if something has to be done, it has to be done, and you better do it yourself. (Cause no one else will do it for you)
For me was indeed like a rock.
I am not sure but I guess that I am not the only man who would take his father as a example or role model in life. Either as an example on how to live or as an example how not to live.
So for many, many years I wanted to be like him and I guess in many ways I did… I became like a rock and an Island. It felt never good enough though. I always felt less then my father.
I do not know when or how but at one point I realized two things. First; That my father was probably not how I pictured him. And second; A man is no rock and he is no Island.
But after so many years as a rock I just need to remind myself that I am not. And this little quote, from a song by Paul Simon, reminds me of that.
Thank you for writing about this.
Just reading last night about Bert Hellinger’s work with the energy field of the”family soul.” In awareness of my old need for certainty following my father’s suicide, this resonated. Hellinger suggested that we “unconsciously aspire to equal our parents in suffering.”
Good to break the pattern.
Thank you for your reaction.
I can only speak for myself off course. I recognize the part where I like or not like to be as my parents. I do not recognize the suggestion about suffering however. I would even suggest to opposite.
When I see the suffering that my mother has as a result of certain believes and when I look at certain patterns of behavior within the family the idea that also I might be or become like this scares me.
Hellinger’s observations were often controversial, I read.
I think it is less the observations – there is a truth to this – but the implementation and the inflexibility regarding the interpretation. Our parent’s suffering is in us – that is karmic and we work in this life time to resolve what they could not. Hellinger had a few brilliant ideas but got somewhat corrupted along the way. It is really important that we become very open and clear sighted regarding the suffering – and choices of our parents. If they could not let go of them – this is our job…see it every day in my practice.
It was only the sense of a family soul that resonated. In my healing it is a dark corner which requires illumination. Coming via parents (long dead) to my current relationship with my older sister as she approaches the end of her life.
I’ve tried writing about it at: http://martinadale.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/family-soul/
I have heard of the Family Constellations that Hellinger wrote about but I have no knowledge or experience with it. In the Netherlands I believe it is quite popular however.
I am not sure about the suggestion that it is our job to resolve suffering of our parents. From one point of view I see how parents live in their children, so also their suffering might continue in them as well. From an other point I believe that a man can only really resolve his own suffering. Then again… ET did say that it is nothing personal… It’s the human conditioning.
Then… Is there anything personal in suffering ?
Well, think about it…you grow up taking on belief systems and other influences that are transmitted to us by our parents, who got it from theirs etc. Everything really happens simultaneously as we are connected to our parents on more than one level. While be separate from them when we mature, we still are connected to them on the level of spirit. Your father appeared to be a strong man – and you felt not adequate – until you discovered your own strength – and by that the “weakness” of your father.