This weekend is Father’s Day, and I want to celebrate the love of fathers, and all the complexities, challenges, and joys of our relationships with our fathers. Dreaming was the final healing piece for me to transform the father/daughter wound, later in life, when I was 45, during a 5 day Esalen workshop with my now friend, Robert Moss. I came away from that week, after doing a menu of Active Dreaming processes facilitated by Robert, completely healed of the anger and sadness I had carried for a lifetime. This was truly a miracle for me, and I saw and felt my long-passed father in a brilliant new light, one of understanding and forgiveness.
My father was hardworking, creative and adventurous…he went to night school to earn his bachelor’s degree and then his master’s degree, while raising his family. He wrote a science fiction novel, was a skilled photographer and reporter, an amateur astrologer, and he loved to dance to Santana in his Bermuda shorts and black socks in our living room.... Every Friday he left a little bag of pistachio nuts in my dresser drawer, and when it was time for dessert in my family, my father would ceremoniously unlock the bedroom closet that held bags of all kinds of cookies and chocolates for my brothers and me to excitedly select from. He died in 1989, and never knew all the things in my life I wish I could have shared with him. A few years ago, I thought of him as I was driving my car one day, and I played the oracle game...I asked for a message from the universe…was my dad watching over me from the other side? I turned on the radio to see what the message might be, and there was his favorite Santana song playing. He was dancing in my imaginal world in that moment.
He was also tough, very tough, as a retired military man, who served in the navy during WWII as a teen, then went on to explore the army, eventually retired as a Master Sergeant from the Air Force, then worked for the Civil Service, for the Defense Department, a true believer in fighting for his country. We had different world views, and he was hard on me, very. But he loved and protected me the best he could in his way.
Seeing my father with love instead of anger changed so much for me! The weight I had carried my whole life was gone, miraculously replaced by a freedom to live differently, without anger. This was huge, and was a pivotal moment in my life, eventually inspiring my decision to study with Robert and to eventually return to school to earn my graduate degrees in Dreams, and Consciousness Studies…the healing power of dreamwork is real, and I wanted to learn more.
Now, when I think of my father, I laugh at the goofy things he did, and I’m delighted by the creative parts of me that I seem to have inherited from him, and I send love to the challenging memories of our time together. Sometimes he visits me in my dreams, and that is always a gift.