A CHILDHOOD DO-OVER
If you grew up in a loving supportive home connected to a healthy faith community that was a part of a strong spiritual tradition, I’m genuinely happy for you. Such was not the case for me.
Not that my home was horrible – there was no physical abuse, no incest, no addictions. Conversely, the natural world, social justice, classical music, and the importance of the arts and sciences were valued.
There was also, however, an emotional cold wind that blew through the family system. As a child, I was always alone, often frightened, and never good enough.
Nor was there any viable faith connection. God was believed in. Prayers were said. Death was denied. Churches were superfluous.
I, like many, am in need of reparenting.
Reparenting is the lengthy process of imaginatively reliving every significant childhood memory and inserting kind, wise, loving parents in place of the real ones. It’s particularly hard to do when the words “father,” and “mother,” bring negative images to mind.
There’s only one perfect parent – our creator. Language fails us. It’s difficult to call God “Father,” or “Mother,” or even Him/Her for several reasons. We instinctively understand that God is neither female nor male, but we naturally equate our images of God with the significant adults from our childhoods. And imagining God as a force doesn’t quite work either. A force is impersonal. How do we get our heads around a personal being not confined to a body who can be everywhere at once? How can I comprehend a God whose universal love in no way diminishes God’s personal love for me?
Is it possible that the core, the heart, the center, the essence of the universe is an almighty and omnibenevolent Being? Is it conceivable that Perfect, eternal, unconditional, self-sacrificial, all-forgiving Love brought us into being? Even more outrageous is the Christian insistence that Love not only created us, but also redeems and sustains us.
It feels too good to be true. The idea seems nullified by racism, war, poverty, famine, sickness, suffering, and death.
But what if it is true?
What if we were to begin by imagining it to be true? What if we were to purposely insert a being of divine love into our childhood memories and by so doing rewrite the internal script?
And what if, being reparented by Perfect Love we were to discover our true identity as Beloved?