My dad used to hang air fresheners with pinups on them in his car when I was growing up. When the sun hit them, their clothes would disappear and the women would be naked. Clearly he thought sexy women were good. But when it came to two of my female teenage cousins dressing provocatively, my dad thought that was bad. Talk about a double standard! What kind of message was I taking from that as I grew up?
He moved out of our house and abandoned me when I was 15 and left me to live with my severely bipolar mom. He did at least make sure I had money, food and clothing. He never showed me any affection, yet somehow I knew he loved me.
We often hear about the mother wound, but seldom the father wound. I know from my experience I definitely have grappled with wounds from my father, and I know countless others have had to deal with these wounds as well. It makes sense considering the patriarchy has been so toxic for both women and men for generations upon generations.
These father wounds show up in our lives in various forms. How has it shown up for you? The father represents the divine masculine principles within us. Ideally, the divine masculine is there to support the divine feminine. Have you been able to trust the men in your life? Have you had dysfunctional relationships with men? Have you beaten yourself up for not “achieving” enough? These are just some of the ways these wounds can show up.
It’s important to work to heal these wounds in order to have our inner (and outer) masculine support our inner feminine in a healthy way. It’s easy to ignore doing internal work, but we’ll never grow without it. If we don’t heal ourselves and allow ourselves to blossom, the planet won’t heal either. We and the planet are all connected.
When we’re in circle, we get to bring these kinds of issues to the surface, explore them and begin to work them out. Each time we meet in circle, we get stronger, heal, and expand our potentials. And even if you’ve already done a lot of work, there’s usually a few more layers to the onion that can be peeled back.
I’ve done a lot of internal work around the Father Wound, but recently had another breakthrough at the last circle I attended. I used to be very unhappy about the fact that my dad never showed me any affection. Through one of our circle exercises, I came to realize that he didn’t get any affection from his parents, either! He was just loving me the only way he knew how. Realizing this allowed me to forgive him more deeply.
What will be your next epiphany? Come to circle and find your own healing and expansion! Heal yourself, help heal each other and help heal the world!