Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our Fathers, Our Mothers, Our Lives

All of us said Carl Jung have a mother and father in us. We live our lives in one or the other, but the soul speaks to both. If we are rule bound and respectful of authority (the father) the soul will call us to be compassionate. If we dismiss pain and struggle as o.k. (I’m ok you’re ok, the mother), the father side of our soul calls us to admit we have fallen. The motherly side says “be careful you might fall”, the fatherly side says “go for it”. Recognize that your soul speaks to you out of your discomfort.

While the mother side of our soul gives us our depth, the father side of our soul gives us our breadth. Perhaps that is why it is so fitting to start summer with father’s day, a fitting time to wander, to explore, to be on a journey, an adventure with the soul. I often bless our family’s meal with the phrase, “We give thanks to mother earth and father sky” Like the sky, and the father within us encourages us to use our freedom, the first cycle of the soul. This fatherly dimension is the true meaning to the ancient understanding of destiny That following, that wandering, like the rest of summer before us, is the father of our soul. We will be good at what we love to do. And love has both a motherly and fatherly dimension. Motherly loves us no matter what, in spite of our failures, fatherly love wants to see some results from your wanderings. What did you learn? What would you have done differently? The rest of summer is the time to learn and grow, and try the new. The motherly is more likely Christmas, a time to come home, the fatherly the time to go out.

Sometimes these live in tension. Should I risk a secure livelihood to become an artist? The motherly side would say, “yes, there might be risks, you might fail, you might get hurt, be careful here” while the fatherly side might say, “go, on, give it a try, how will you know, if you don’t try?” Remember the little cartoons with the devil on what shoulder and the angel on the other debating with the character in the center trying to figure it out? Replace the angel and devil with a mother and father to your soul. That tension is at the heart of who we are. What the Taoists call the Ying and the Yang of all life. One needs the other to be in balance.

With Grace and Grit,   Rev. John