What Fatherhood Has Taught Me About Fathering Growth In The Psyche

Birth dreams can be some of the most emotionally powerful dreams we have. Most of my own are so full of beauty that seldom do I escape the dream without a deep, soul-redeeming cry sesh. Profound birth dreams bear us witness to the depth of beauty that is ushering itself into our psyche and life. Since becoming a father, it’s given me a piercing look at the level of care and work it takes to raise a child well – all of which translates closely to the level of care and dedication it takes to properly father and nurture aspects of ourselves birthing in the psyche.

Claire from “Lost” entered (Anima). She had just given birth and brought her child to me for the first time. She put him in my arms and I bawled so hard! I mean like harder than I’ve cried in a long time. It was super emotional for me. It was like I knew the dad, Charlie, and he had died (her boyfriend in the show and he did die in the show) and it broke my heart for him, but was such a beautiful blessing of its own. The baby had hair patterns that looked like Charlie’s and that made me continue to bawl. Then I stood the baby up and rock music played and the baby danced to it! I thought that was so sweet, since Charlie was a Rockstar (musician archetype). Then I stopped crying finally, wiped my eyes and said “alright, let me really take a good look at you.” He was so beautiful! His eyes were so deep and he stared into me quite powerfully!

Claire, Charlie, and baby

The month before this dream, I had one of my most prized lucid dreams where I full on met my Anima in all her glory and she appeared to me as Claire. The way this dream above overlaps her story, from the show, over my life is pure dream genius. In the show, she’s pregnant and gives birth and while it’s not Charlie’s kid, they do form a relationship for a stint and he fills in as the father initially. He was also a musician in the show and died – sorry for the spoiler.

The musician archetype within me at the time of this dream (2016) was, in a way, dead (the allusion to dead musician, Charlie), but I was actively trying to recapture it. This is a powerful dream of that process very much in motion. My anima, the feminine aspect of the soul, the source of creativity, is giving birth to a child of a “dead musician” – me. This child is an act of the psyche re-birthing the potential and beauty that is latent within the musician within me. Holding this child in the dream is so powerful to me because this child is so wildly redemptive.

This dream is a most potent concoction of vivid grief over dead Charlie, who felt like one of my closest friends – which archetypally is very symbolic of how much that part of me means to myself and how devastated I am within that I could have let it basically die. As well as feeling the deep-soul-explosion of redemption that fills my heart through the image of this beautiful baby boy. He is a pure act of creation, a new chance to nurture and grow that potential within me once again.

Becoming a father myself that year, I now know (sort of, ha!) what it takes to truly care for and raise a child and that same kind of dedication is required to raise the children born within our psyche. A duty I have failed to arise to my whole life.

These birthed aspects within us require that we tend to them, that we show up for them, that we protect them, that we nurture and love them, that we are patient, reliable, capable, strong, and, arguably most important, selfless enough to let them grow into their own.

Only the deep Self knows what this newly birthed aspect has the potential of becoming and it is our fatherly duty to surrender our ego to the greater wisdom of the deep Self. This theme of pure selflessness within the Father archetype began to appear in my dreams earlier this year as that archetype went through quite the transformation.

I had two separate dreams about fathers the same night. The first, Eminem (lyricist-father archetype) is a hockey coach to his kid. He’s amazingly graceful on the ice and there’s a touching scene where he’s heading towards the goal and even though he could easily shoot, he wants to pass it to his son and give him the shot. The gesture feels so selfless and loving towards his son. Like he is actively relinquishing his need for acknowledgment/honor/victory and is trying to raise up his son, even if it costs them the point. He doesn’t care about score/miss win/lose, all he selflessly cares about is his son discovering his own capacity/potential. Then the DS melts seamlessly into a basketball scene where I watch a black father playing on a team that his young son was playing on, too. They were throwing it in from the sidelines, the boy being out of bounds. Before he tells the boy to throw it in, he tells him to just take it easy, breathe, and focus. Felt like maybe the pressure was building and/or the time was running out and it was again such a sweet gesture. The father calmly giving the child permission to ease up and approach the situation calmly and level headed. The father wasn’t concerned about the outcome. He just wanted his son to do his best and recognize a greater capacity within himself to meet the moment with. He was so strong, but gentle in that moment, it was touching!

Over the last two years I have rediscovered the musician within me in a greater capacity than I ever allowed for before. It has taken me having to face all the ways and reasons and excuses that caused it to die before. And still am every step of the way. It’s always been a matter of being a better father to my creations. A willingness to do the hard work of a creative life and not allowing the fragile state of this child to be broken by let down, criticism, and failure, let alone left to feel daunted and crippled by the level of vulnerability that is required to show up in the world so truthfully. To constantly affirm to “him” his worth and beauty and never allow him to give up against the tide of adversity that surely comes with living authentically.

And most importantly, to be selfless in “his” development. To remove my ego from the equation. To recognize that the deep Self birthed this beautiful potential within me, I can continue to surrender and trust the process, allowing it to unfold and blossom within me in a way that is beyond me. As father’s, we’d do well to honor our waking children in the same capacity. Allowing them to grow and blossom into the person they are meant to become, not the person we think they should.

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