Listen: Relationship expert and neuropsychotherapist, Joanne Wilson shares how to navigate Father's Day sans an earthly father figure.
Relationship expert and neuropsychotherapist Joanne Wilson explores how to navigate Father’s Day sans an earthly father figure. Many people are having a wonderful celebration tomorrow, and it is so great to edify and celebrate a strong mentor in our lives who help.
But for many people, they are experiencing a void or a huge disappointment with their earthly father figure, or maybe their father figure has passed away.
“A wonderful thing, that we can all appreciate in a great dad is someone who is healed and whole, they’re imperfect and they admit it, but without hiding, excusing, shaming, or blaming. A wonderful dad is someone who is humble and willing to say that they’re sorry and make amends. And dads who intentionally express love every day, I love those dads who counted a privilege and a responsibility to help build a bridge to God as a father for their kids.”
“Not every person can enjoy the joy of someone, doesn’t necessarily be a father, but someone in their life who can actually do that. That’s certainly a pursuit of Christ-likeness.”
“So what do you do when you are suffering a void or the pain of not having a father in your life?
You feel it when you don’t feel you can’t heal.
1. Start acknowledging those real emotions about your dad
Whether they’re passed away or alive and know that that imprint can stay alive forever. So we need to make sure that we don’t ignore those uncomfortable and negative feelings.
2. Write it down
“Such a common practice in counseling is that I always request that we externalize it using those whole neural pathways and using your hand to write it all out or punch it out on the keyboard and make sure that you name those emotions so that in order that we can do something about it.
3. Tell it
“Yes. Share it with someone in a confidential space. You don’t have to think of it as airing my dirty laundry, or it’s a family secret, but it’s actually a real thing that you might be experiencing. You don’t need to minimize what is going on for you. I think it’s really helpful to share and reach out to somebody to help you make sense of what’s going on in there.
4. Release it.
“Yes, its a challenging step is to embrace those father wounds or voids, and maybe you need to start the process of forgiveness. It doesn’t have to be reconciliation, but it’s not a single event. It’s a process, and it’s not tolerating inexcusable behavior. It’s not forgetting or justifying events or actions. It’s a gift that you give to yourself to be free instead of in toxic stress response where your health is compromised when you’re holding onto this.
“Start that process if you are struggling in this area. A lot of what I was just sharing was inspired by Dr. Michelle Watson, another Christian counselor. So definitely look her up… and yes, I do hope that you can find some joy in your Father’s Day tomorrow.
Listen to the full conversation in the player above.
For more from Joanne Wilson tune in each Saturday from 12pm or find more from The Relationship Rejuvenator online.