My father died just over a year ago and I was very thankful at the time to have some weeks to be with him just before his death.
I remember asking Jesus what I really needed to do to be present just for him and was there any unresolved issues that I needed to look at?
It was a shock for me to realize that I still had needs relating to him and which were getting in the way of being present for him.
I became aware that in little but significant ways I still depended on him for support, recognition and acknowledgement. Some of the needs were a carry over from not experiencing his closeness as a child but some were ongoing and present.
At first I felt guilty for having needs relating to my elderly father and I judged myself as being a selfish little child. Obviously the guilt came from my inner decision to look at my needs with the ego’s criticism and not the non judgement presence of Jesus.
The initial reading of a rather colourful passage from the Psychotherapy supplement did not seem to help:
“So it is with God’s healers…. If they believe they need anything from a brother, they will recognize him as a brother no longer. And if they do this, a light goes out even in Heaven.” P-3.III.5:5,9-10
But eventually I was able to join with Jesus and look at the pain associated with the barrier of neediness that I had put between myself and my father. That was all that was required to dissolve the barrier. I didn’t have to go to my dying father and ask him to do something so that I could get my needs for his recognition or support fulfilled.
I was free from the judgements or evaluations that separated me from my father when I did not want them any more. My motivation was strong because I knew that my father had only weeks to live but this experience reminded me of what is possible with any relationship if I truly choose and want it.
I had the gift of experiencing the peace of being with my father without a cloud of neediness obscuring our joining.
And when I don’t experience joining with others then I continue to do the importance work of joining with Jesus to looking at the choice for separation that I am actively making.
“You do not realize how much you have misused your brothers by seeing them as sources of ego support.” T-15.II.4.
“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgement.” T-3.VI.3.
“How can you love people when you need people? You can only use them.”
Anthony de Mello, Awareness.