Pancakes have been my comfort food. They remind me of Dad, but it wasn’t until 2008 when I became aware of such a connection.
I was newly dating a man, and he was preparing our late evening snack in his kitchen. I was sitting at the dining table, watching him joyously prepare his concoction. I, too, was enjoying myself watching him.
Then, déjà vu! Bam! It hit me! A familiar scenery.
My father used to make pancakes for me and my siblings.
I would sit at our dining table excitedly awaiting our afternoon snack. The aroma of frying butter and the smell of searing batter filled the room. I couldn’t wait to be served these soft and fluffy round cakes cooked to a lovely brown color. It was a thrill to watch the butter melting on top and sweet syrup slowly trickling down the crusty brown edges.
Was it simply a little girl’s hunger for food or was it a yearning for something more, something much deeper that’s wanting to be satisfied and fulfilled?
And now, this all too familiar scene.
No, the man I was dating wasn’t making pancakes, but everything else was the exact scenario.
Him — joyously cooking up something in the kitchen. Me — joyously waiting at the dining table while watching him.
Him — my father. Him — the man I was dating.
Me — the little Nadine. Me — the adult Nadine. (Was it the adult Nadine, or was it the little Nadine, still, joyously waiting to be served a meal, as a testament of his love? And whose love? Dad’s or of the man I was dating?)
And it was only at that moment that I suddenly realized that the man I was dating looked so much like my father!
The prominent nose. Oval shaped-face. Dark skin tone. Soulful eyes. A most endearing smile that left many a women and young girls ogling and giggling — my classmates and schoolmates most particularly!
“Oh, I’ll take that as a compliment,” was this man’s proud response when I shared with him my realization of the similarity in their facial features. His soft, thin lips quickly turned up into the most charming smile. It was a smile that easily and quickly swept me off my feet — quite literally — the first time we met at a salsa club a couple of months prior.
That fateful cool August evening in 2008 would prove to be one of the most pivotal moments in my journey of healing my father wounds.
I didn’t even realize and recognize the similarity in my father’s and this man’s physical looks when I first met him — until that evening. Then, I quickly became aware of the dynamics between us, why the familiar energies and why I attracted him into my life. The days and weeks that followed were a most powerful time of peeling yet another layer and addressing my father-related issues.
Turns out, this man had a severely wounded and deeply hurting inner little boy. What I had found attractive and admirable, something as simple — yet a rarity — as escorting me back to my seat and a gently spoken “Gracias” after each dance, was apparently a ploy to endear women to him.
Sure, I was charmed — by his looks and his ways. Not to mention, the attention.
Thankfully, I had, by then, already undertaken an extensive amount of self-healing. I had become more aware of my unhealthy patterns — falling for the abusive and the unavailable being one of them!
Through my graduate studies at JFKU, I realized that I had met my imago! (“Imago” is Latin for “image,”and refers to the “unconscious image of familiar love.” Click here to learn more.)
It also didn’t take long for me to decide later to stop seeing him — especially after having discovered how much rage was inside of him. Lesson learned — among the many — when you tell an angry person that he is filled with rage, you bet it is sure to trigger and anger him and turn him into a raging bull! 🙂
Tumultuous as it was, my involvement with this man marked a period in my life when I was able to empower myself and stop getting entangled in all the drama and insanity. It was one of the many opportunities that I would be given to practice saying, “No” — to being a basket case of other people’s toxicity and unresolved issues and inner turmoil.
It was also going to be my last romantic involvement just before my father passed on.
Six months after I called it quits with this man, news of my father’s passing was delivered to me by my mother.
Why am I suddenly remembering and recalling all of these now?
Because it is my father’s birthday today, and he would have turned 81.
However, rather than reach out for pancakes to comfort me, I am partaking of them to celebrate! And I am celebrating not only my father’s birthday. I am celebrating me!
I am celebrating how far I have come in my journey.
I am celebrating how much of my father’s wounds I have healed.
I am celebrating the love of my father — a man who has been and probably still is being detested by those who, quite understandably, only see and remember him as a most abusive father, husband, employer, etc.
I am celebrating having learned to see beyond my experience of abuse from my father. I am celebrating that I’m able to view it instead as a fulfillment of our soul contract. My soul agreed to my pre-birth plan in order to grow and evolve — to learn to love and value myself, to assert myself and my rights, to define boundaries and ensure that they are honored by others.
[Last year, I went through my most pivotal Chiron Return astrological phase. It was a year of intense clearing and transmuting, particularly with regard to my family of origin and father wounds which I blogged about extensively.]
So, yes, I am having pancakes — still — on the occasion of my father’s 81st birthday and in days to come.
From now on though, pancakes will no longer simply give me comfort. From now on, pancakes give me joy!
Each time I have pancakes, I no longer simply feel comforted. I’m no longer filling in a void, a hunger or a craving; I am instead joyously celebrating!
I am celebrating the love that I shared (and still share) with my father.
I am celebrating how loved I am.
I am celebrating the Love that I AM!
Happy birthday Dad! Thank you for the love — and all the pancakes! 🙂
Anyone care to celebrate with me at my pancakes party? Steaming chocolate chip pancakes oozing with melted butter, an extra serving of maple or chocolate syrup, and a scoop (or maybe two) of chocolate ice cream as topping….Yum! Anyone?
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