SELF ESTEEM SAMPLER
Jane Myers Drew, Ph.D. Asks
“Where Were You When I Needed You Dad?”
By Kay Walburger
Jane Myers Drew, Ph.D. is the author of “Where Were You When I Needed You Dad?” A Guide for Healing Your Father Wound. Growing up as a child, Jane did not realize the impact that her absent father was having in her young life. Jane remembers, “When I was a baby of fourteen months my father died. It was just out of my consciousness that I had a problem with my father!”
“In my early thirties I was married and going back to school to get my Ph.D. in Psychology. This included therapy sessions with a counselor. I was talking about my relationships and my counselor asked if this ‘could be about my father?’ I was emphatic that it was about my mother. I told about how demanding, critical, and unforgiving she was and had no inkling my father was any part of my problem!”
“My first marriage was to an older man because I was unconscious of my need for a father figure to love me. I was even jealous of his children because I had no clue of this suppressed desire to get my needs met.”
“It was a surprise to me that my father had such a profound impact on my life when he wasn’t even there. It was really enlightening to make this breakthrough, the first big clue there was a problem and how it affected me. I had to take very small steps and go through stages.
One stage included a lot of grieving. This meant I had to get in touch with inner feelings. Who wants to get in touch with those? I compare it to a beach ball that you are trying to hold under water. You can’t get far away from it. As I allowed myself to have submerged feelings come up to the surface, like the ball now on top of the water, I was able to move away from it and free up the energy it was taking to keep it submerged.”
“The childhood relationship with parents sets a template or blueprint for many of our future relationships,” explains Jane. “We are not totally stuck with that blueprint for life, however to change that early imprinting, we have to become ‘Aware.’ Some people are aware of the type of abuse they may have received in childhood, but many like me whose father was absent or distant did not realize the impact it was having till later.
“Enlightenment is a difficult and wonderful experience! I have learned to be gentle and patient with myself. I discovered that we are all trying to get our needs met. We are always operating with the best knowledge we have at that time! It is not necessarily the best way, but the best that we know!”
“I actually think we operate on two levels. One is the personality level and one is the soul level. The soul reminds me that this was all meant to be anyway and of course the personality says, “Why would I have chosen that father? Why did I have to go through that?” “The impetus for writing this book was how unaware I was for most of my life, of my Father’s impact on me. I felt there were others like myself who had no clue about their ‘Father Wound’. I offer some self-esteeming ways to review their childhood influences and make peace with their fathers.”
A Guide for Healing Your Father Wound
“Father-wound,” “father-loss,” and “inadequate fathering” are interchangeable terms that describe the damaging childhood experiences you had with your dad. Recovering from their effects will give you greater self-esteem. You will feel more satisfied at work and improve your capacity for intimacy. As you delve deeper inside yourself, you will even discover the positive elements in your father-loss. For it is in the painful process of grappling with adversity, discovering your true inner nature, and giving yourself permission to grow, that you experience the most aliveness!
There are seven steps you can take to heal from your father-wound and recreate your relationship with your father. Here are active exercises you can do to process these pent up feelings and release the understanding that will help you move forward in your life.
First step: Increasing your awareness of dad’s impact helps define what you missed….and get clear on your feeling.
Second step: Mourning and letting go of your pain, getting in touch with feelings of hurt and pain. Expressing your feelings is essential to healing!
Third step: Reappraising your father begins with seeing him as a human being in his own right. Saying goodbye to the dad of your youth helps you emotionally release any remaining expectations you have for him.
Fourth step: Healing the child within encourages you to reconnect and honor the child within.
Fifth step: Becoming your own good father will help you with a new perspective on your ‘heavenly father’ and the life of spirit.
Sixth step: Acknowledging the wisdom of the father-wound helps you accept the direction your life has taken.
Seventh step: Reconnecting with your dad completes the circle of recovery. Expect to experience satisfying, positive changes in your life personally and professionally. You will have a new attitude about how to get your needs met and positive changes in your intimate relationships, creating bonds based on confidence and self-love.
WE NEED EXCITEMENT IN OUR LIFE!
“We need to get excited about ‘things’ in our lives to bring up our vibrations so we can actually attract them to ourselves and express our gratefulness. I am excited about my facilitating ‘Jungian Dating Practice Groups.’ People get together on Friday so it is fun! We take situations that come up in dating and play them out using what I call “Win-Win Communications”. The principals of ‘Win-Win Communications’ are coming from the heart and speaking your truth in a way that other people can hear you and have empathy for you. So it’s fun! The people who are showing up for this group range in age from thirties through fifties.”
“In my practice I help families learn to listen and to speak their truth so they can be heard in what I call a ‘No Fault’ way. Here you explain what your needs are and ask the other person if they are interested and willing to help meet your needs. I also teach them if that person won’t, there are other ways to get your needs met. Now that may mean you don’t get every need met and that’s ok.”
“I can remember so clearly when I learned the difference between a ‘demand’ and a ‘request’! In a request we are willing to take a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. In a ‘demand,’ if you don’t get what you want, you withdraw, you punish, and you attack the other person. That moment of realization was a great shift in my life because I stopped, for the most part, making demands and started making requests.”
“The best part of the ‘Win-Win communication’ is the No-Fault way you learn to treat yourself. As it turns out the most important relationship is with yourself and when you are gentle, understanding and forgiving with yourself, it’s much easier to be gentle with others, and all your relationships improve!”
Jane Myers Drew, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who has over 25 years of experience as a therapist and workshop presenter. She specializes in relationships and communication, and has a private practice in Newport Beach. Jane has trained over 3,000 psychotherapists all over the country as a faculty member of the American Healthcare Institute. She can be reached at (949) 645-5907, or you may e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Also check out her website at: www.janedrew.com
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