How you live your Spirituality is, to a great extent, determined by how you relate to your parents.
The relationship between finite human being and infinite mystery is very much like the child-parent relationship, where the finite human depends for guidance, protection, sustenance and purpose on the great Divine.
Spirituality can be experienced in a third person perspective, ‘it’, or God the Object: God ( the infinite, eternal wisdom, love and power) has become everything, and appears as what I see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Spirituality in first person is the experience of being at one with the All; "I Am at one with Spirit, or Emptiness”. God in second person perspective is the beloved that you relate to with devotion.
When I started my Integral Spirituality practice, the 3-2-1of God, I had no problem seeing God as the object in all which emerges moment by moment; and I learned how to experience God in first person perspective through inquiry.
When it came to God in second person perspective, ‘thou’, I noticed a knot forming in my throat, and tears behind my eyes. No matter what, I was not able to relate to God as a beloved Other.
Our childhood experiences with our parents or care-takers shape our relationships later in life, as we unconsciously project our expectations and unresolved emotions upon the ones in front of us; this is wide spread knowledge within the world of psychotherapy; experts in couple relationships therapy encourage and support us in resolving childhood pain so we can move on with our current connections.
One could look at the Divine as supreme parents, the Divine Father representing the masculine aspects of Wisdom, Love and Power: guidance, protection, provider, discipline – and the Divine Mother representing the feminine aspects of Wisdom, Love and Power: supporting, nourishing, healing, sustaining. How we regard and what we expect from our worldly father becomes how we regard and what we unconsciously expect from the masculine aspects of God; and how we regard and what we expect from our worldly mother becomes how we regard and what we unconsciously expect from the Divine Mother.
If as a child you received more criticism than praise from your father, you will expect the Divine Father to keep a thorough record of your mistakes and to ignore your accomplishments. Or if your mother’s affection was scarce, and you haven’t received all the hugs and kisses you wanted, you might see Divine Mother as cold, distant and unavailable. Your expectation to have prayers fulfilled will be impacted, and your spiritual life will never be complete until you have addressed, resolved and transformed your relationships with your parents.
Where to start?
1. First, recognize that the Divine Parents are one and the same with the Infinite, Eternal Love, Wisdom and Power, and as such, it is impossible that the Divine doesn’t care for you (because Love cares about all), the likelihood that your prayers are heard is 100% because God is omnipresent, or everywhere, including on the lips that utter the prayer (the one who prays and the one who grants are not two); and there is no prayer too big or too small, because God is omnipotent, and at one with the realm of all possibility. This recognition will help you become aware of your projections, thus freeing you from being stuck in preconceived perceptions and expectations.
2. Second, make amends with your parents, if they are still alive, regardless of how they showed up for you. Through your personal growth work and spiritual practice, you have abilities – wisdom, knowledge and skills – that they don’t, and ability calls for responsibility. It is your responsibility to reach out and open your heart to Mother and Father for no other reason that ‘because you can’.
3. Third: consider the help of a good, wise, skilled and compassionate therapist, who can guide you through approaches that lift up the emotional burdens of unresolved childhood painful incidents and trauma. Even if you practice self-therapy with EFT and other methods, nothing can replace the focused attention of another on you, because when something went wrong within the psyche, it went wrong within a relationship with another; and it can only be amended within a relationship with another, which is what therapy primarily offers, within a safe and compassionate space.