When the witch told me I should develop my feminine nature, I was astonished at how negative my reaction was. My parentsí homophobia still influenced me to a surprising degree. When Theresa, a Wiccan, pointed out that I could develop my feminine nature and celebrate Wiccan practices, I felt myself flush, thinking, "I can just hear what my father would say!" I was afraid I would appear "unmanly."
Trying to avoid appearing "unmanly" had led me to a lopsided expression of only one part of my nature. When I was growing up, any exhibition of feminine qualities would likely have gotten me teased or beaten up. I had not realized the degree to which I had internalized these values. In my adult roles as father and husband I sought to fulfill the image of masculinity which I had learned from my family and from my culture. I tried to fulfill my need for femininity through other people, by getting married.
My sonís mother and I divorced when my son, Hunter, was about seven. I became a single parent. Not long after the divorce, Hunter told me "I want you to find me a mamma." It never occurred to either of us that I might fill the role of a mother for him. So I got married again. (Thatís not the only reason I married again, but it was an important one.) Need I say that that marriage resulted in another divorce? I could not find in another person what was missing in myself, either for me or for my son.
When Theresa said to me that I could develop my feminine nature, it recalled to my mind another problem that I had been working on for a while. In the church I attend, Unity, we address our prayers to "Father Mother God." I had questioned the Biblical basis for saying that and had tried to understand what the significance of the phrase was for me. When I read the justification for using that phrase, it was like a light bulb turned on for me.
"So what?" you may ask. What difference has this realization made in my life and in the life of my son?
I no longer must pattern my behavior on what I have observed of others. In the past I would rely on the memory of how my father had behaved, or how television fathers had behaved. Nor is it only that I can now include those behaviors of my mother or other mothers I have observed. I was created in the image of God; male and female was I created. Outward appearance no longer distracts me from the essential truth of my Oneness.
And that has made a difference in how I parent, in how I rear my son. I am more accepting, less demanding, more gentle. I am less influenced by testosterone, more influenced by love. There is more harmony in this home that I can ever remember having in my life, in any of the homes Iíve ever lived in. I even heard my (teenaged) son tell someone on the phone "My dad is cool." We not only love each other, we like one another.
Thank you God!