The journey continues through the visualization of experiences. I needed to see the humanity in my own father. We often forget the people who hurt us also have a story of their own hurt and disappointment. In order for me to visualize my conversation with my father, I had to first see his humanity. As I would journal, I would see my father as a little boy.  

I see a small boy about five years old laughing and playing on the bicycle with other children. I see he is wearing a blue and white stripped overall outfit with a white-collar shirt. She is such a cute and happy little boy. The other kids and him are playing on a nice sunny day with clear blue skies and laughter filling the atmosphere. I see the house he lives in with a white screen door.  His mother comes out and brings the boys some popsicles she made with the Tupperware molds. They each pick their favorite and sit on the grass as his mother gives each boy a hug and tells them to play nice. This picture of a happy and adorable little five-year-old boy is my visualization of my father. I see a young boy who enjoyed his life and had a mother who cared deeply for him. 

I see a teenage boy who is wearing glasses and jeans. This boy is the oldest of five siblings, three boys and two girls. Even though he is the oldest he is not respected by his younger siblings. He tries to help his mother who is now a single parent and works full time. His mother is dating a new man and this teenage boy fights for respect. Each day as his mother goes off to work, she leaves him in charge but he has no authority because his siblings do not respect him. This is where he learns that no one respects him. He begins to develop a desire to be respected because of the lack in his life. As he helps his mother with household chores, dinners being prepared, laundry and all the other needs he is doing he desires respect. He feels angry and does not know how to deal with this anger. He feels overworked and undervalued. This time in his life sets the stage for him closing off his emotions and becoming more of a drill sergeant to fill his needs of respect. If he cannot earn it, he will demand it through intimidation and fear. He continues to fight with his siblings and his mother’s boyfriend who will eventually become his new father. The fighting never seems to get better in fact he begins to separate himself and joins the Navy to escape. This boy never feels the love and carefree spirit of the five-year-old boy we first met. His hurt is never dealt with and only continues to grow and separate him from people he loves.  

What could you learn about the person who hurt you through visualizing? What would you imagine to allow humanity into your heart instead of judgement and anger?  How do you feel about this boy who grew into a man and never received what he needed to heal and be loved so he could also love?