…..Abandoned by his parents at a young age, The Young Pope daydreamed about the perfection of that first love, of a particular day in Colorado by a lake when life was all good and he basked in the love of his parents for him and for each other. The unmet expectation of this everlasting love from a child’s point of view ultimately broke his heart. His parents dropped him at an Orphanage telling him they had to go to Venice. They never came back.
As a young adult, Lenny was filled with anger, shame and despair. He prayed to and sometimes yelled at a God he was not sure existed or heard him. He was able to perform unexplained miracles for others when he could not mend the pain of his own aching heart. He lived his life through the eyes of that pain.
As he gave his first public speech, and perhaps his last, he caught a glimpse of his parents turning their backs on him once more and disappearing into the crowd. This unhealed pain, still living within his heart took him to his knees……
As Christians we are told from a very young age that God is love. But God, the unsolved mystery, is not a concept we can possibly fully grasp. The Young Pope movie gave me pause to think a little more about how God’s love is so often experienced and refracted through the lens of love we are shown, (or not shown) by the people who raised us initially, our first Gods. As children we could feel love if love was present; but few of us can claim to understand love, especially unconditional love, any more than we understand what God is, where he is or “who God is”.
Lenny was like so many of us who have perceived abandonment, in some way or another, during some point in our lives. But, for Lenny or kids who are adopted, it’s an entirely understandable and blatant form of abandonment. The only thing a child can “think” or intuit is that they are not worthy of love. Ironically, we were taught conditional love by others and then we grew up to love ourselves just as conditionally as did our parents. Until we can choose differently, going forward, we will bring others into our lives who rarely are capable of loving us more than we are able to love ourselves. And, we are unable to love ourselves until we first accept the light and shadow sides of our existence; until we can integrate our subconscious and conscious minds.
Infants presumably have been imprinted with the love vibration of God but must feel the jolt of being thrust into this altered dimensional reality. Ultimately, they will be bombarded and impacted by the introduction of a plethora of lower frequencies during their infancy. Few of us, as parents realized that we were imprinting in our children our own emotional neuropathways (and baggage) just as our mother had imprinted her’s while we were invetro. With emotion our first and only language, we felt the emotions of others as if they were our own.
While we may have been too young to process the things that happened to us in our first seven years, egocentrically we knew it had everything to do with us. The love we experience as a human being is conditional, sometimes more in some cases then others. I can’t imagine that there is one among us that has not felt the sting of abandonment at some time in our life. Most times these feelings of abandonment are perceived by a young mind, too immature to process what is really happening. Because emotion is our first and only language during our first few years, we were incapable of profound or mature rationalization. This is why Lenny, a grown man, was reduced to a flood of tears not unlike that of a child when he was rejected once more by his parents. This is why when emotions become raw, many times we respond from the perspective of our injured child, throwing an irrational tantrum.
You were probably told somewhere along the way that you were bad. You may have felt that you were not the perfect child or that your sibling was loved more than you. Maybe you felt stupid or clumsy or ugly. Maybe you coped by soliciting trouble, whining or complaining in order to get attention from your parents, teachers, or peers. Even though, ashamed, you knew it didn’t make others want to be around you, at least you got some form of attention. I’m guessing that unworthiness undermines love, to some degree, in every experience of being human.
As we grow older, we play out these same imprinted underlying beliefs over and over; attracting different situations and people into our lives that will provide us yet another opportunity to see that we are worthy of acceptance and love after all. The only one that we ever needed to prove it to all along was ourselves.
While we may not even remember most of the circumstances that undermined our beliefs about love and ourselves growing up, rest assured, they are indelibly recorded, every word and every image. We are like puppets on a string being played by a master puppeteer who knows things about our lives that we may not even know exist because they were so deeply suppressed. That puppeteer is our subconscious self.
Perhaps we came to this incarnation to experience the exhilaration of being rich, madly in love, powerful and/or famous. Even though I doubt we stood before God on the other side and said, I want to go to Earth to experience being a Pedophile in the Catholic Church, or to feel shame and helpless against addiction, anything is possible. As intrepid Spirits who wanted to learn the fast way, perhaps this is exactly what our higher self needed to experience. These difficult experiences may be just the catalyst necessary in order to truly know and love ourselves inside our human experiences.
In the movie, Juana, a young blessed saint told the children, “God does not allow himself to be seen, God does not shout, God does not whisper, God does not write, God does not hear, God does not comfort us”. Although we may want to believe that God exists, loves us, hears us and will save us; in reality all we really have is our faith. So perhaps, the answer to “who is God?” as given by Juana is as good as any, “God smiles.” Maybe that is as close as we ever come to God …. the feeling that we get when we smile through the eyes of our soul.