Orion On Myths In Parent-Child Relationships
As we consider relationship with our parents, let us begin again with Unity – the Interconnection of All things, the Oneness of being. And in that, we can think of ourselves in circles. We can then think of ourselves as not in hierarchy, structure, or polarity, as in strong and weak, smart and dumb, older and young. In most cultures, parent and child are perceived in a hierarchical relationship. Much of the struggle of the adult is to re-balance this inner model of Parent-Child. We may say we seek equality, but our inner struggle often reflects the pull to supersede the parent. The Circle of Relationships iis actually more like the Mobius strip – a circular loop which has no beginning and no end; no right side, no left side. If you follow it along, it turns. If you can hold that image when you look at the complexities of life and relationship, you have already given yourself permission to allow a very different view. Once you begin to allow the concept of looking differently, it brings such a vitality into living that you will not go back to being single-visioned.
And as we think on parents, let's expand our circle to include father and mother, aunt and uncle, grandmother and grandfather, step-parent, older sister and brother, and birth mother and adoptive mother — father and mother and older sister. All of the relationships that have an element of parenting: friend and teacher, nurse, pastor. And the circle moves, positions within the circle moves and begins to twist as the Mobius strip, reflecting infinity, Interconnection, Unity.
The first thing you must consider as you are moving through your idea of relationships is that your senses, knowingness, memories are distillations. They are infusions of experience that have been distilled into symbols and icons - the stories of your life. It does not mean that they are necessarily incorrect stories. But more often the quality within these symbols hold the meaning for you. The concrete fact may be that father hit you,. But the quality of your fear, of being overwhelmed and disconnected is the dominant energy you carry.
When we see our parents from polarity - from small and large, powerless and powerful, -these distillations are given added depth , density and weight. They become solid barriers; acting as weights upon you, hackles holding you. Because in polarity if you are think of yourself as a child, you are always going to be small, victim, powerless. Yet most people try to rebalance by taking these mental images and inverting them to become more powerful and stronger than the parent. But in truth, any of you who have experienced your parent becoming child-like, becoming sick or weak or the mind beginning to become fuzzy, find that it does not feel like victory. It does not feel like 'Aha, I am now in ascension. I am the adult.' It feels sad. It doesn't feel like you've won. It feels like loss.
Inverting hierarchy often has this hollowness, especially for those connected with the idea of the metamind world, metaknowledge, the metaphysical - that there is more than you are may perceive. You may want to take another role in the circle. But you don't need to make another be less. You want to have a moment where you are the leader, the speaker, the teacher; your knowledge and expertise heard. Yet you don't need to be more than or better than or dominating over. You would rather be acknowledged, honored and respected.
Each generation walks within the energy of its own myths. And thus, it is possible that your parents cannot understand being in a Circle of Being with you. We are focusing here on the myths of those born at the beginning of the 20th century – the parents of the mid-range adults today. Our idea is that in sharing some of their 'myth' you can come to understand their motivations and movements in a broader way. And this broader vision, can then serve you as a tool of awareness to support you letting your own sense of yourself to expand.
Your generation holds connection with potential. Potential has always felt present. It's almost been a kind of birthright of your generation, particularly here in the United States . Your parents may nott hold potential present as you do.. Your parents may not feel the world as an 'all possible' place.
Security is a large energy that drove that generation. But it is a security rooted in an element of disconnection - an element that to be, one must accept – an acceptance closely linked with capitulation. Many of you have had to struggle with learning supportive qualities of the acceptance of 'what is,' in part, because of your rejection of the way your parents lived acceptance. They lived acceptance as one of denial, in the fear of being cast out. Many of you have instead, taken on the role of being the one who goes off. 'Oh, you want to cast me out for my difference? Ha, I will leave. I will go off and start my own school, community, work, way of being. I will find my community of like-minded people and I shall live there and we have no need for this, the general core.' You, in fact, have had the cultural energy present supporting your right to be unique, to have a way of your own.
That cultural energy was not present for many of them. To simply go off to fulfill one's own potential was considered arrogant, foolhardy. Or seen as so eccentric that there have to be a very separate, extreme way of doing it. The old Hollywood became an expression of this energy, which did not yet have the cultural impetus to manifest. The 'stars', with their exotic life and the extremes even in the physical - the bleached white hair and the red, red lips - became a distillation of energy not generally available. People became comfortable saying, 'Well, you know, that's Hollywood life. We couldn't do that.' Even The true amount of people flocked to Hollywood to be movie stars in the 20's, 30's and 40's is minuscule. Today many people are associated with that industry and you don't have to be the extreme renegade to do so.
Your parents had acceptance of life as their guiding energy. There were dreams of potential but with fewer formats. Some of you are discovering that you have fit some of your own potentialities into formats that are more confined or closed than you had wanted. But your awareness of options and possibilities, allows you to go to your job at the bookstore and then open to an afternoon with such as us. Your personal realm has broader, more fluid boundaries.
Your parents did not share this broad sense of the personally possible, except maybe in the glorification of that time called 'retirement'. Rather, most understood that these were the formats they were given and available. And in fact, if you didn't take them and work with them, you may have nothing. You may be left out; alone without money, without a way to be. And so people went into professions, careers and jobs, that were given to them. The professions of their fathers and mothers, their teachers. The professions of their ethnic heritage, racial background, or regional place - the mill town, the mine. If you were to think of living in a coal mine town in Pennsylvania, you would readily think of moving. It doesn't occur that you should stay there. You'd think, "I'd get some money together and get on a bus, and go somewhere." It wasn't in their hearts to do that, except the radical one. And these are the people that became immortalized in art, stories and film as a beacon of possibility. But still, it was the one of all those who went into the mines; the one who was able to step out of time and culture and go on.
Interestingly, the one was held up as the exception, not as the possibility for everyone. You can see difference between films then and now. Sometimes the person encouraged everyone else, as in 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' But other times, they were the lone rebel and suffered greatly from the arrogance of being different. So your parents generation can acknowledge that the one could get out, but the rest needed to carry on .
In this energy of security, in this energy of 'as is', they did allow certain blossoming , compared to their own parents or compared to the past. In your lives, the myth of childhood was that your parents wanted all of you to be more than they — to have the opportunities they didn't have, to go where they did not go. Or if they did achieve and blossom, they wanted you to match their success-- to have the schools they went to and the careers they formed, etc.
Yet for many of you that myth is not accurate. That in fact when you have tried to go beyond, it has not always been well received. They caution you; worry about you; challenge you. They do not see you as an expansion of them, an extrapolation, the next step, but, in fact, have experienced you as negating their choices by your choices. And you find yourself saying, 'I don't understand. I'm getting to go around the world on this big trip, this great job across the country, and my parents are only afraid and worried.' Indeed, they simply may not be able to feel the excitement of the energy of potential. And as you understand that, you can give them grace and allow it to be.
Featured in Expansion - the Orion Wisdom newsletter July 2005