June 5th 2004
My time has come again, literally My Time. Time I need to reflect once in a while, to go inside and cleanse my body and mind. You know, sometimes you are kind of forced to come to your senses starting from your feelings, going through Silence and Separation and coming to yourSelf. When that time has come, I also draw my Boundaries. Then I politely tell my family and friends: 'thanks for this offer, but now I take time for myself.' By being on your own, you listen to what happens around you and you listen with the whole of your heart. You set your mind straight, something you often don't get around to, because of busy weekdays. You get in-sights in all kinds of growing processes that are going on.
I haven't heard nothing or nobody yet today, except for the Voice of Silence. A Voice that makes clear so much without using any words. I walk along the dike, sit down on the beach and enjoy the wind, which seems to take everything away that doesn't belong to Me at the moment. I watch the children play on the beach, the boats that pass and I realize that Saturday is not a day off for everyone. I sense Gratefulness for this moment.
After my long hike I've grown pretty hungry and promise myself a nice portion of French fries in the sun. As I go into the restaurant - where I come very often because of my love for French fries, I am greeted joyfully. When the owner asks me how my children are, I tell her all is well and ask how hers are.' Oh, they're getting tall'. 'Glad they are' I answer, and she looks startled at me. 'Don't you like it to see them grow from small to tall?', I ask her. 'Well, no, actually, not, because the taller they get, the less they are inclined to listen to me'.
To my left there is a man in his thirties, rather drunk, who starts to interfere with this conversation. 'Children have no respect these days and when you want respect, you need to tap it into them!' Ugh, a deep sigh comes out of me, ‘cause I'd like to Speak for all those children who are being brought up this way, but I know there won't be anyone Listening. I see him, hear him, but realize that he in the state he is in, doesn't want to listen to anyone disagreeing with him. I see that the owner isn't feeling too well. She tells me that she was afraid to give her opinion at home, even as a grown-up. 'That is something you don't do or you get in trouble.' This man apparently reminds her of her experiences. The man is talking in a persuasive way, believes in what he says when tells us he still gets beaten when he doesn't show respect toward his parents, even though he is a grown-up. He thinks there is nothing wrong with that and his children get the same when they don't show respect. And others who don't, whether they're my children or not, can get it too!'
I see that the woman to my right looks annoyed. The way she glances betrays her feelings about this man. I understand her thoughts. Again I feel the urge to open my mouth, but realize that this doesn't make any sense at this spot. If you can't improve the atmosphere here by opening your mouth, it's best to keep it shut. My heart is bleeding. For all children, for all hurt children, amongst whom this man.
When I'm sitting in the sun I think about the meaning of Respect in my life. What does it mean to me, how do I regard it? As 'awoken' person my opinion is that beating is Never allowed. Respect is something that is earned in two-way traffic and never will be acquired by Power.
When I look at the way I was raised I just Know that I had an enormous craving for approval as a child. Father who was super severe and his will was Always Law! You never argued, even though you knew you were right and you kept your mouth shut. Because it wasn't showing respect to go against His Opinion. So you didn't. No, there were no beatings, but 'back in the old days' it was often like this in large families as the one I grew up in. I thought it was normal and saw this in the whole neighborhood (all large families) where I lived.
Did this feel good? Jesus, No! It hurt, it hurt so much! You got the feeling nobody hears you or understands you and don't we all want to be heard? You want to be loved and know that what you do is good, that you're loved. When that feeling is not present, you'll start to doubt whether or not you’re worthy. As a small child this hurt me very bad and as a big and sensitive child I noticed quickly that my father loved his children very much and that his family was Holy.
He'd never say: 'I love you', but I learned fast that he had other ways to show this. Good for me I could see through this, bad for my brothers and sisters, who couldn't. I Knew. He could not and didn't know how to react differently.
When I look back Now at: 'did I respect my dad back than?', I very honestly say: ‘No’. I loved him, looked up at him, certainly. Respect has grown through the years. I learned to See my father, learned to know him. Not without a true fight, a war in which I as a Human, as a Child, as Woman and Mother learned to stand up for myself against this strong man.
In the meantime I had become a grown-up woman and when he once again was giving it to me because I didn't live up to His Expectations, I had it with him. At that moment it was too much and I wouldn't take it anymore, whatever the consequences. Never again he would speak to me like that. I was good, I did what I could, with all that was in me and when that wasn't enough that was His Problem. I reacted. In and with Respect I gave him my opinion, stayed polite, but said exactly what I thought and felt, what his words did to me deep inside. With all consequences that followed, because his little princess wouldn't do that. Wasn’t she always lovable and didn’t she always do as he told her to?
I was thrown out and had to give up my keys. The door to his heart was closed. Although it touched me to the bone, it gave me the feeling our souls were torn apart, the day had come I came up for My Opinion with all respect. I was ready to win by loosing.
The following three months were hell. I missed my father terribly and was very concerned about him. I had gotten so used to visiting him daily, talking with him for hours, to be there for him. But if I loved him and myself, I'd have to maintain this painful situation. This time I wouldn't say sorry, just to make someone else happy. Wasn’t I supposed to Respect myself as well.
It was December 19, 1997, two days before my parents' wedding anniversary. A day that I have kept celebrating with my dad after my mother had passed away. Midwinter, a time of letting go of old stuff. It had been enough; I had to go talk with him. The situation just had to be solved. I decided: I am letting go of this 'war' and step into his house with a cake, just like the other years and celebrate this day. December 20, the phone rings at night. It scares the hell out of me…'Daddy?’.
'Child, I have to tell you something. I have been wrong. All those years you have been there for me. You have listened to me time and again. You have accepted all my frustrations that I aimed at you. You have been courageous to give your opinion, terribly courageous. I treated you unworthy and apologize sincerely for that. I am sorry.'
I was flabbergasted, my father, then 76, was using the word Sorry for the first time. 'It's all right daddy, for real, I'm coming over to your place'. I grabbed my children by the hand and went to his house as fast as I could. And let that great strong man weep out in my arms. Together we cried and… forgave each other.
Neither of us was Humble to the other.
Finally we were completely at the same level. As Equals and from then
on I had an enormous respect for my father.