Many of us spend our life searching for a “father” figure – searching for someone to offer the mentorship and guidance in understanding our place in the world and how to navigate it. Entrepreneur Jesse van der Velde intimately shares his own personal quest for a Father figure and how sacred plant medicines guided that journey.
- Why are you searching for a father figure?
- What are you living in anticipation of?
- What is your relationship with God and spirituality?
Despite the love I have for my father, I had always felt that there was a kind of guidance and nurturing that I desperately wanted – a kind of father figure outside of my own father. After searching for this in various mentors, I eventually learned that the father figure I was seeking had been and always will be there this entire time, and it is a father figure that we all share together.
For many years, I searched for a strong father figure. I treasure the relationship with my father. He’s a beautiful man who lives with a simple joy in life, spending his time with his cows and horses outside and being a loving, active grandfather.
We all have our strong elements, as does my own father, however looking at myself, I needed something else. My father can also be distant in some way – not taking his son by the hand and saying, “Son, this is the world and this is your position in it. This is who YOU are.” Showing my role in this world.
He didn’t prepare me for being ready in this world.
This, combined with a childhood of being bullied, left me questioning:
- Who am I? What is my role in this world? What have I come here to do?
- How do I live? How do I hold myself that Earth is? What is living?
In search of a father figure, I found myself heavily leaning into self-development, even finding tremendous inspiration in Tony Robbins. But I felt a restlessness that couldn’t be consoled – even Tony Robbins wasn’t fulfilling the need I was feeling.
My search for a father figure then led me to my business mentor – which again, was a very important relationship in my life, but one that did not fulfill that which I was seeking.
In my constant search for a father figure, and in my constant pursuit of self-development, I had robbed myself of simply living in the moment. I was constantly stuck in the future, living in anticipation of a better version of myself and my life.
“I need to develop skills, habits, or way of thinking so that I can become this person so I can have all that I’m searching for.”
Sound familiar? This was my attitude for so long, as it is for so many people – maybe even for yourself.
This attitude creates a restlessness because it is the only thing to hold onto. It becomes a false sense of stability that never fulfills your needs.
While continuing to search and finding no results, I was one day surprised by the introduction to who would later become my shaman mentor.
While this shaman has been an extremely important guide and mentor to me, his presence wasn’t significant because it somehow filled the void of a “father figure” – it was because he guided me, with the help of sacred plant medicines, in discovering that I didn’t actually NEED a father figure.
The only reason why I thought I needed a strong father figure was because I couldn’t see myself fully. I couldn’t find my simple presence on this Earth and in being alone.
There’s so much truth found in simply being alone.
Spirituality Doesn’t Exist
To some degree, spirituality doesn’t exist.
Spirituality is not something that IS – it is something that we experience for ourselves.
It’s a state of being; it’s a state of surrender – it’s simply acknowledging our own existence on this planet: we descended down here on this Earth Ship – end of story. It’s for you to choose what you want to do here: which direction you wish to travel; what it is that you wish to experience; and how you want to spend your days.
Most of us make this experiment very difficult because we start living from a bunch of rules that someone has created and you’ve acknowledged those rules. You’ve then created them in yourself and you call these rules “Personal Development.” You call them “Growth” because you now have another rule.
You’ve developed another idea of “I need to wake up at a certain time; I need to get into the right mindset; I need to develop the discipline to do X…”
While this ambition is all valid in pursuing a particular goal that you have, it is still creating a kind of anticipation of a future that is not here yet.
Because it is an anticipation, you are not simply present with what is here and now – period. You are not sitting here – on the belly of Mother Earth – simply present with what is.
In my restless pursuit of a father figure, I had neglected to see that we all share a father – our Father in the Heavens. The sacred plant medicines opened my eyes to our dear Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Great beauty and wisdom can be found in the books that form the foundation of many religions. Yet regardless of religion, we all have a Heavenly Father, and we all have a direct line to speak with the Great Spirit.
The Q’ero Shamans call the father “Father Sky.” They say Mother Earth is the Mother that will always be there; the Mother you will always have. Father Sky is the Father you will always have. They are our true Father and our true Mother
And if we talk about the relationship with your Father, it begins with acknowledging your relationship with your Father Sky.
Whether you acknowledge a God as described in the Bible and old books, or the Great Spirit, the way the shamans call her or him, there is a universal intelligence connecting us all.
This connection will never go away; the simple fact that you exist means that the connection exists as well; it’s like air. And like air: you can’t escape from it – and you don’t have to. It is here to guide you – you have a direct line to your father in the heavens.
How is your relationship with your Father Sky?
Do you take the time to sit on your Mother – on her belly by the fire – to invite your true father in?
Do you take the time to close your eyes, find your breath, sit still – to say, “Father, I am here. Can you hear me? Can I hear you?”
In searching for a Father figure, I came to understand that I can find that inside of myself – I can find all of that – my direct conversation with God.
This body of yours – you’ve been walking, doing – you’re body has been in a fight-or-flight mode. You’ve been living all of those rules – you’ve been so busy developing that “mind” of you that you forgot to simply BE.
The door that is now open is for you to be here alone and plead surrender – to let go of everything. One of the core lessons in working with plant medicines is the practice of surrender – to just let everything BE, let everything happen. To become ONE with your body; with nature; with the fire, the wind, the water, and the Earth below you.
To become ONE with the present moment – where there is no time. Where everything – while it exists, does not exist – it’s just you, the planet, your breath, soul, light, and a Father above.
He’s been watching over us; he’s been talking to us. But we’ve not been listening. You’re here now – surrender. Now the door is open for you to have a conversation with your true Father.
To my shaman mentor and all the wise shamans around me: I love you. I thank you. I honor you.