Well I’m a 40 year old, grown ass man who has accomplished every goal I have ever set, and I’m not yet free. And I understand why.
When we are an infant, we are truly in the garden of Eden. Our mother nestles us in her breast, feeding us warm milk. We lie on the chest of our dad, listening to the steady cavernous heartbeat that lulls us to sleep. If we are uncomfortable, we wail, and someone comes to solve the problem. Now granted, not all of us had an idyllic infancy but you get the idea.
Then our ego begins to form right around 2 years old. We become self aware and independent enough to walk where we want to walk, and say “no” to our parents. This is our first act of separation from the Godhead.
But the Superego (what many of us call the judge, and I call the coach) is heavily influenced by other people in its development. How are we supposed to know if what we are doing is good or bad, unless someone tells us? That someone who tells us is the “father” of our psyche. This “father” is often an amalgamation of our actual paternal father, the rest of our family, our peer group and our teachers. If we do something good, the father makes us feel good about ourselves. If we do something bad, the father makes us feel bad about ourselves.
Eventually we outgrow the attachment to the father being any specific person, as we have fully internalized the father into our superego. But every once in a while, there is someone in our life that still remains as the father in externalization. A real person whom we give the power to inform us whether we are being a good boy, or a bad girl. A lot of times, this person is actually our dad.
But it doesn’t have to be. When my dad suffered his mental illness a decade ago, I found new external father figures. Because the thing is, there is something comforting about having someone else validate my worth, outside of myself. It feels more real in some way.
There are three main problems with this strategy.
- No earthly father actually knows near enough about you to make any kind of reasonable judgment at all. They don’t have access to the privacy of your head and heart, and that’s the only thing that matters.
- Whoever is playing the role of father for you, has their own shit to deal with, and their own father they have to appease. Unless of course you have found someone who has internalized the radical unconditional love of the divine father. Which is what Ram Dass found in his guru, and what subsequent people found in Ram Dass.
- People are fickle and fallible. And if you are deriving your self worth based upon somebody else, you are going to get burned.
Well, as the universe would have it, for one reason or another the last of my externalized father figures are gone. Over the past few years, this has led to me feeling lost on more than one occasion. Now, today, I have finally accepted this reality with gratitude. Because now I am left solely to deal with the father I have created in my own mind. That father has typically been harsh, and subservient--Extremely critical, and always giving fealty to some externalized father. But in the absence of any more externalized fathers, I now have the opportunity to shape this internal father to be how I want him to be. This is the process I call ‘training the coach’. And I want my coach to be a little bit Pete Carroll, a little bit Bruce Willis, and a little bit Jesus Christ.
This is part of the art of ‘reparenting’, and ultimately how we escape from the shadow of the father we created in our childhood. It works the same, even if your external father figures are still alive. They are just people, it’s you who gives them the power to be your ‘father’. And to be free, we have to take our power back. So in your own mind, thank your earthly fathers for getting you to where you are now, give them a middle finger if you have to, and create your own father.
This week’s podcast is with Rabbi Mordecai Finley. And despite growing up with Jewish ancestry, I never understood why anyone would want to ‘talk to their rabbi’. But after meeting Rabbi Finley, I want to talk to him about everything. He’s a jiu jitsu blackbelt, ex-marine, PhD and one of the wisest spiritual teachers I have ever encountered. We break down some of the core tenants of the Jewish mystical faith, called the Kabbalah. This is one of the 10 best podcasts I have ever recorded.
I love you guys,
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