“Back in the days when I was young I’m not a kid anymore
But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again
Back in the days when I was young I’m not a kid anymore
But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again (and everybody say) (I remember way back when)” [1.]
Can you remember way back when?! As time goes by, I do ponder and reminisce on what really shaped me as a youth. The more I do look back, there is a feeling of wistfulness that seeps through my bones. I know this can be an adherence to living in the presence of life.
Believe me, to much of this reminiscing can be unfruitful and unhealthy. What I’m trying to do here is put forth more of a “live and learn” platform to help all of us in our growth as human beings. With that said, what the hell did happen back in the day? Good times and great oldies? Dark times of surviving the nightmare? A little bit of both, if I’m being transparent.
Now granted, I come from a white middle class family. With that environment, you are placed right smack in the middle of the “have and have not’s” [2.]. Why I think this is important to mention is due to the fact that you come with a non-dualistic position when it comes to our western culture. It still helps me today to keep things all in perspective (just throwing out there). On the other hand, it did blind me to privileges that I thought were a given. [3.]
My Pops always provided financially while my Mom did everything else (haha j/k). They were AND are amazing parents. They brought structure, security and joy throughout my childhood. Forever will be grateful. Now they weren’t perfect by any means (no parents are, hello).
What I am going to discuss here is just an experience I had, not a critique on my folks parenting techniques. What effected me most, I think, is my parents religious belief. For better or worse, it still shapes my worldview today. I will discuss one experience that fashioned my youth into where my adulthood stands today. It’s just one example among many. This experience is definitely one that helped formed my spiritual existence with God.
Chicken pox hit me like a bionic plague apocalypse (exaggeration but still). I was about 7 or 8-years old. It was insanely painful and uncomfortable. My fever wasn’t going down. My parents decided to perform a “Fathers blessing” before taking the next step in taking me to the ER.
Now, a little background regarding my parents religious tradition. They are members of the L.D.S. church. In regards to fathers blessings, it came down to the patriarchal order (and in this case, a father’s love). Women are not allowed to perform blessings with the proper results due to not having the “Priesthood” [4.].
Now, did this even enter my mind when my pops was about to lay his hands on me and start to pray? Nope, not at all (I was 7 yrs old, mind you). In fact, it felt like it was the real “authoritative” deal. So much so, that immediately after the blessing was over, the anguish was gone. I felt I had a burst of energy and was ready to take on the world. The pain that was so brutal subsidized to a very minor scale. It was very powerful and real…even to this day.
There are many complex and non-binary factors going on here. I’ll do my best to digest the nuances that come into play. First, lets back go the patriarchal stance of the father’s blessing. Throughout my childhood and to this day I do resonate with patriarchal order. I mean I live in a country who has never had a woman president. It is imbedded in our culture.
Now I don’t want to be “macro” and say all patriarchal hierarchy order is wrong. It does have its benefits. As in a fathers love for his wife and child, being there to protect ones family against harm, etc. A good father and husband shows the world that masculinity does have its benefits in society. In other words, good leadership NOT authoritative control, can bring about a good social construct.
The other side of the coin is in regards to the damaging side of patriarchal order. In the simplest breakdown, it silences the marginalized and brings about harm to a diverse range of community existence. In most examples, a way of an egalitarian driven society brings about more healing and holistic living within diversity.
Many things have been done in the name patriarchal hierarchy that have been adherence to our social progression. With that being said, even with their differences (patriarch vs egalitarianism or matriarchy) , both social structures can work together for the good of the community. [5.][6.]
Ok, so we got that stuff out-of-the-way, what about the crazy voodoo religious charismatic laying on of hands crap?! This is superstitious mumbo jumbo that has no barring in reality. It was most likely the placebo effect if it was anything at all! These claims are valid to the point where they have caused real damage with people’s well being. For me personally, it does not negate the fact that this was a very real experience for me (among many others). I am grateful for it and what it still does for my consciousness to this day.
If we can experience God through a healing, why not have that be our vantage point for all aspects of transcendence? Apparently that is what my most vibrant expression of God is: the Abba through which Jesus came to show is all about making wounds into remedies.
The nostalgic pathway that still shapes me from my youth is manifested in the man hung on the cross saying father forgive them they know not what they do. It’s not retributive punishment but redemptive forgiveness. That’s speaking truth to power which in turn, heals the whole world. It certainly has healed me. Not in the since of a physical illness but a spiritual awareness (Ephesians 5:14).
I have come to believe some of that came from the “father’s blessing” I experienced, even with its issues (like everything in life)…
“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” [7.]