So now having finally found him, what was next?
The Dad that I envisioned when I was small scared me. He was watching me – looking for me to mess up.
I learned such songs as “Be careful little eyes what you see… Be careful little hands what you do… Be careful little feet where you go… Be careful little mouth what you say… for the Father up above is looking down in….. love?” It didn’t feel like love to me. What I took from it all was that if you don’t meet his standards the consequences were dire.
I think it was meant to impress upon me as a child the importance of “being good.” It did that alright. I tried so hard but not nearly hard enough it seemed to me. And I felt afraid. Say you are deeply sorry and ask for forgiveness. Oh, I did that. It just didn’t feel like “enough.”
Do my good deeds outweigh my bad? I was never quite sure. And I suspected that I didn’t quite make it.
So I imagined my Dad with that scowl on his face, mean and angry. He was looking for every opportunity to punish me. And I tried to get away – to hide.
Oh, I also heard that he loved me. But I could never reconcile the two images. I believed that he was always disappointed. So, of the many choices available, perform for him, ignore him, appease him, seek him, deny him, etc., I chose to try to perform, to try to be good enough. It was what I knew to do at the time.
Maybe I can make up for everything. And, as I told you earlier, try as hard as I could, it was never enough. I just couldn’t make up for it all.
And I just couldn’t accept that my brother made up for it either. It just didn’t fit my beliefs around what my Dad expected of me. It was all empty.
When I heard my Dad say that he loved me – that changed everything. And it finally felt true. It wasn’t someone telling me about him and how he felt. It was him telling me how he felt about me. I felt it deeply. And with that I had the courage to ask…
Who is he really? What else does he think of me? What does he really want from me? What else have I believed that was not true?
And my new life begins…