During a transformation program I did in 1999, I was dealing with ‘negative’ emotions for countless stuff that happened and didn’t happen in my childhood, including things I wished for which I didn’t have because my parents could not provide them for me. I felt anger, pain, disappointment, disownment and other feelings in this line. Most of these feelings were towards my mother for not being the mother ‘I wanted her to be’. I didn’t even think about my biological father whom I did not grow up with. Although I knew about him he just didn’t exist for me and I had no memory of him.
I had never experienced a program like this before. It was intense. I experienced straight talk in a way I never experienced before, and this raised so many emotions.
As part of the program we were given opportunities to share what was going on for us in relation to the content of the program. At one and many of the opportunities I shared my thoughts, views and emotions. I saw myself as the person who ‘did it all without my parents’ input’. My view was that ‘they had done what they did, which was not good enough for me’. I had this view for many years and during the program. At a point the program leader highlighted that I was suffering and was willing to be suffering. As far as I was concerned, she did not know what she was talking about because she did not know me, and certainly did not know my ‘looser’ parents. I even told her to go to hell. Well… this did not go down good, because as ‘much’ as I knew – and believe me I am a know it all, I did not know how to be with her COMMITMENT and RUTHLESS STAND FOR ME. She was there for me in a way I had never experienced anyone being there for me. She coached ‘my ass off’. At some point I sensed the 256 people in the room ‘coming to my rescue’, which would have left me in my hole, but oh boy, she pushed, and pushed, and pushed. I was at ‘vocal and emotional loggerheads’ with her. I was choking. I do not swear, but phsew…! I was close.
By the end of the second day of this interaction, I noticed the amount of suffering in people, which by the way I had not noticed in me. As people were sharing, the program leader’s words and their responses were replaying in my head, and as this was going on I started to have a feeling of calmness. The room started to feel lighter, I felt like I was not recognising myself. I began to speak softer, the choke was gone. I began to see things in a way I never saw them before.
I went to bed that night still feeling like I was still in the program. The following day I woke up with a feeling of gratitude towards my parents. I remembered things my mother did for me for my schooling. As a youngster I found these things embarrassing. I began to acknowledge my parents for doing and providing me with what they could. I called them and shared this with them, and I asked them why they didn’t treat me the way I wanted them to treat me, and why they didn’t do for me what I wanted them to do for me? Their reply was simple – ‘We did what we knew’. And that was it. This was a shock to them, and knowing how rightious I am, they called my ‘then husband’ and asked him if I was ok.
In the years following, my parents and I grew closer, so much that sometimes my mother asks for my input and coaching on life. I never saw this possible all those years before.
My father who raised me has been the father that I know. I have last seen my biological father when I was 4 years old, so he was non existent for me. In this transformation program, one of the things the program leaders say is that, our relationship with our parents is the source of how our relationships with people are. It took a while for me to see this. My coach told me numerous times that ‘I had it in’ for men. I had no clue what he was talking about. One of my male friends told me ‘I had to acknowledge my biological father in order to have my romantic relationships work in a way I wanted’ – which is receiving and giving love, respect and honour, instead of relating to men as people who are out to take advantage of me, hurt me and leave me. But my first thought was ‘how the hell was I supposed to acknowledge a man I had no link to, knowledge about, a sense of, or what ever aspect, to begin to say something about him?’ I didn’t think or talk about him because there were other people I grew up with that I had something to talk about. The times I had mentioned him were if I was asked about my origin, and that was it.
Well, I really consider myself blessed to have the opportunities to enquire into areas of my life that are not working, or working as well as I would love them to. As my committment to having a relationship that works, I started enquiring into my relationship with my biological father. I must say that sometimes I hate the coaching, but damn it works, and the liberation I experience is worth my life.
Simply put without ‘my story’ – THE MAN GAVE ME LIFE. Yes he was not part of my upbringing. If he was, I probably would have made him wrong for so many things, and perhaps I would have a lot to be appreciative about. He has passed on, but I really thank MY FATHER for giving me life, and providing what he could and what he couldn’t. I still don’t know the man, but I know ME, who is a part of HIM.
To my friend Gertrude, thank you for doing this transformation program and getting me to do it. By the way she said that she was nervous that I was going to leave the program on the first day.
To my 1999 transformation program leader, I got it now – I owe my parents for giving me life. I AM COMPLETE AND ENOUGH. My experience of me is peace and comfort.
HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT MEN NOW…? Well… I know that THE CHARACTERISTICS THAT WE RESENT ABOUT OUR PARENTS ARE EXACTLY WHAT WE BE – this probably does not resonate with you. My invitation to you both men and women is to take a look at the things you do. You may find that there are things that you do that are similar to those your parents did. Some of these things you may be doing to yourself, your partner or your children, or you may be living a life ‘you wished’ your parents lived or living a similar life. NOTE: That life is a script which is not yours, there is another writer of that movie (your life) and you are the main character in it – “words used in one of the TRANSFORMATION seminars”. Another input from me is that, you’ve had years of training, you have a string of behavioural inheritance from your parents, your grand parents through your parents, and their parents’ parents and so it goes on. You want to be a great person…? We all do…It takes something, moment by moment by moment. Start by forgiving yourself. If you ‘have it in’ for your parents, forgive them over and over, and over, and over again. They did what they know. Just like you, they survived the moments the way they knew how.
As women we complain about men’s behaviours towards us – and OMG…. I am a big complainant. I came to realise that before dealing with the men in my circle, I am dealing with something they have inherited. This does not excuse what is going on and certainly does not excuse their behaviour, but it provides ME with an open mind and compassion for them, and it allows me to be able to be with them without making them wrong, and that frees me from suffering. The moment I experience suffering – which is now not as often as before, I know there’s some righteous judgement I’M bringing into the space. When I let go of it, then I am able to be with the person, and I’m able to see the character in the movie, and in time perhaps have ‘the person’ show up. When YOU can show up, and provide this space, you can enjoy you. REAAAAAALLY…
THE SEARCH TAKES SOMETHING