In my last post, I told you Dad has supernatural gifts (see My Father’s Story is the Root Narrative of Humanity). Well, it turns out that I do, too, as do you. Being his daughter has been my initiation into understanding who and what I am. So let’s pick up the story where I last left off.
I’ve always known my father loves me. He’s a calm refuge (along with my mother) in the stormy seas of my life. What I’m about to say has nothing to do with parental fault or excuse. It simply speaks to the universal dance of life through my personal encounter with the one who has fathered me.
I was loved and protected as his daughter, but I couldn’t quite connect with Dad in the ways I wanted as a young girl. My conversations would only go so far with him and then he’d withdraw. Sometimes it made me feel as though I were too much. I talked too much, wanted too much, needed too much, asked too many questions. He never failed to meet me where I was but he would go no further. He’d walk away, stop listening, turn his focus to something else. My patriarchal daughter — how I was conditioned in patriarchy — internalized his response to mean I’m not good enough.
As a child, I learned to do more than my share of loving in an effort to make things right for my father because I could sense his pain and disconnection (remember Dad’s birth story, the calf who couldn’t get to his mother). Unconsciously, I sensed his mother wound for I was born with a healer in me. The I’m not good enough experience initiated me into the shadow of the healer that I call the overextended caregiver.
The overextended caregiver is born out of necessity. We live in a world where people are hurting and need care. We are each called in our own ways to remember the gifts we have within that will bring healing when expressed for someone who requires what we have to give. For our gifts don’t belong to us, they belong to humanity. It’s the beauty of divine orchestration. Energy will always flow to where it is needed whether or not we comprehend that we are the vessel through which it flows. It’s an impersonal process.
So I became masterful at giving what was needed and learned to overlook my own requirements. This was safe in my family home because I was loved and nobody ever wanted to do me harm. But when I found myself out in the world beyond my family home, I was at risk and unprepared for what some would gladly take from me.
Sometimes before we realize the truth of our own power, we experience it as shadow. I’m not good enough is the shadow to I’m a mighty daughter of the divine. The overextended caregiver in me quite naturally tended to the wound in my father even while I was having the experience of being not good enough.
Wounds are places in us that call for love-light to enter. I am my father’s daughter. It is my mission to bring the light of my being to his pain. This is what children do by virtue of being — they bring love-light. But my light as a child felt like it was much too bright for the father who needed me. As a consequence, in the moments of not being able to reach Dad, I felt rejected and unlovable. I started to dim my light for fear of overwhelming or disappointing him. And I projected all the aspects of myself that I couldn’t yet develop and integrate into my own self-knowledge: in my eyes he became the ultimate provider, safe haven, and wise counsel. The father projection refracted into reflections of my husbands until I learned to claim these qualities as and for myself.
My father never intended to reject me or send me out into the world unprepared. He just never felt safe enough to let my love-light touch him fully. And this constellated a pattern of relationship in me that I have encountered with the men I’ve married. Each and every husband — there were four — was a wounded boy needing an overextended caregiver. Our wounds fell in love with each other.
I projected onto my husbands an unconscious expectation that I wouldn’t get what I needed and the universe being as elastic as it is, always gave me what I expected. It’s how life repeats and replays patterns in the human psyche until they are re-known and recalibrated. I was overextending to care for my husbands at great cost to my own life. My true potential was being denied. Not by them, by me.
Here’s where it starts to get really fascinating: my soul’s journey was written before I was even born! In other words, I chose this father and he agreed to play the part that would allow me to grow into the knowledge that I now share here with you. My soul has called me through a passage so I might claim the light of the healer and bring the power of it to bear upon humanity’s mother wound. Nothing has ever gone wrong!
There is perfection in the orchestration at work here and my job (yours, too) is to learn the truth of my own power. I agreed to incarnate in order to live the storyline of the wounded boy and the overextended caregiver so I might re-articulate the pattern and return it to the divine light of love. For the mother wound runs deep and broad in the human story and there is much work to be done. If you’re reading this, chances are that you have a wounded boy or an overextended caregiver in you, too. Your story will play out differently than mine, but once you can identify the pattern, you’ve empowered yourself to greater understanding of your own lived experience and your soul’s curriculum.
As I said at the beginning of this post, Dad has supernatural gifts, one of which is moving dirt with his backhoe. Well, it seems both my father and I are excavators: he of earth, me of soul. We dig to reveal and rebuild life. For humanity needs to be a liveable home for all beings.
Know the story that is living you and you know the power of your life.
This post is republished on Medium.