Continuing in our series on relationships, we discuss the father-child relationship and how that influences our life. We explore:
- What is Father Hunger?
- How Father Hunger shows up in relationships with love, success & money.
- Balancing masculine and feminine power in your life.
Watch the next Soul Session in this series on our YouTube Channel.
Debra Maldonado 00:01
Robert Maldonado 00:18
Debra Maldonado 00:26
Did your mother ruin your life? We answered that question. Today we’re going to talk about dear old dad, because it’s Father’s Day month. We had to deal with father hunger in relationships. I actually never heard this term before. We’re going to talk about father hunger, you had just mentioned it. I found it very intriguing. It connected a lot of dots in my past of my relationship with men and my father.
Robert Maldonado 00:55
In some literature, it is tied to eating disorders. But of course, we’re talking about this as coaches in a coaching model, and particularly, in a Jungian coaching models. So that gives us a perspective.
Debra Maldonado 01:17
When we talk about the father, we’re going to talk about the father archetype and how that influences us, not just the personal father. So the burning question is what is father hunger?
Robert Maldonado 01:30
It’s pretty self explanatory. There’s dissatisfaction, not getting enough fathering because of death, abandonment, emotional unavailability, addiction, depression, any of those things that prevent that connection, that bond between the father and the child.
Debra Maldonado 02:00
Also, a lot of fathers work a lot. They might not be emotionally there. They were there, but they weren’t really in the household enough. My father, I found out later on that he worked three jobs to keep my mom home with us. I never saw him when I was little, because he was trying to make everything work. That would be a creation of the hunger too. You miss that connection you don’t know. It’s unfamiliar.
Robert Maldonado 02:32
The way it plays out in long term relationships, of course, is really interesting. We’re going to discuss that and how we work with it. How do we approach it as coaches without pathologizing it because we look at family systems from the coaching perspective, we’re not necessarily thinking about the extremes where there is abuse or really harsh problems, but just the everyday, general things that happen in families.
Debra Maldonado 03:10
I’ve had people who had fathers that were overbearing, loved them too much. They got too much attention from their fathers, the father adored them too much. The child felt almost consumed by the love. It’s not only just bad, the father wasn’t intent to do any harm. But sometimes that dynamic makes a pattern in someone’s life. One of the things that really touched me, you were a child psychologist for many years and you were saying that the children were asking if you would love them. I just thought that this precious little child— we can get sense of what that hunger is.
Robert Maldonado 03:58
It’s a deep-rooted, innate instinct in us to want to connect to both parents and other people in the family. The nuclear family is really a new phenomena where you just have two parents and the kids growing up, all isolated in a home. For the longest time human beings were really raised in that village format, where you had access to a lot of adults, not only your parents. When I was working with families, it was in the context of the families that had been in trouble with the child protective services. The father was taken out of the family system, or absent, or there had been problems. The kids were really lost, especially the little ones. They felt like we don’t know what’s going on, we’re afraid. And so when they would sit down and I would sit down with the families and talk to the kids, I would talk to the kids just like I would to an adult, ask them “How do you feel about these things? What’s going on?” Because often parents wouldn’t do that to the kids. They want to protect them from these things. But that’s a mistake. Because you want to tell them what’s going on as much as possible. So I would ask them “How are you feeling? What’s going on?” And sometimes they would ask me “Are you here to love me, to take care of me?” Again, it’s a natural part of our human nature to want that connection.
Debra Maldonado 05:51
Even if we haven’t had that extreme experience, we all have had a taste of it in some way. It’s just showing this tendency for children to look to the parent as a source of comfort and safety and security. We always say that the projection of the father and mother archetype is very powerful, divine, the child sees the parent like a divine being. If you think about it, those of you who see God, they think, there’s something or someone overlooking for us, like our Father. We even call God the Father in Christianity. That idea that there’s someone overlooking my needs and someone that’s going to make everything okay — I think human beings have a tendency to want that. When we grow up and that person that was assigned to us lets us down from that, we tend to want to look in the world. As we grow up— maybe you could talk about men, but for women, I’ve worked with so many single women, thousands of women across the world, different cultures, different environments, and a lot of what happens is that their hunger for that one person is like to replace what the father didn’t give them, like “I can’t get it from you. So I need that hunger.” Then it can become very needy in a way. Then the women that don’t want to see themselves as needy have that ambivalence, they want that connection with the man, but then they also are afraid of it at the same time, because it has so much power. I was always projecting, the man is going to come save me, this guy is going to come save me on the white horse, I won’t be single anymore, everything will be perfect in my life. Putting that so much on another person. But then at the same time, when you give someone that much power, this idea of a person with so much power, you also feel a little hesitation of “If they’re going to rescue me, they’re going to control me.” There’s that kind of conflict. I see this a lot, especially with women who have their own careers and have basically set up themselves financially secure. Now it gets mixed into “I want this father hunger for the emotion” but not wanting to take away their power. There’s that conflict. It’s one foot in, one foot out. “Why isn’t anyone committing to me?” That’s why. Do you have anything to add about that or how would you say men react to the father hunger in relationships?
Robert Maldonado 08:34
We have to understand the unconscious content, or the unconscious element in all this. Often we might be unconscious of that hunger. We might think we’ve solved it or dealt with it because we’ve been successful in separating from the family and the parents. Or maybe we patched up our relationship as adults with our fathers and feel “I’m okay”. But a lot of the father hunger stays in the unconscious from our early experiences. Jung would say, if you don’t go back and open up the personal unconscious shadow, and really understand what were those early experiences that you experienced and what kind of message and imprint they leave in you, then they play out in relationships. We can think of it this way. If we are unconscious of that, if we leave it in the unconscious and never examine those early experiences, then there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to play out, and it will appear to us as if it’s bad luck or circumstances that I end up playing out these patterns.
Debra Maldonado 10:06
You don’t even recognize there’s a pattern, you just see there’s no men out there. There’s no one out there for me. There’s not enough good people left.
Robert Maldonado 10:15
And for many would be primarily that they don’t have a role model. Because what function does the father play? It’s really the law giver. They’re the ones that give you the sense of morality, of how do I act out there in the world. If you don’t have those role models, then you’re just trying to piece it all together with different father images that you might have in your life.
Debra Maldonado 10:50
For me it was an acknowledgment or approval from others — you’re good, you’re doing things right. The idea that you’re behaving or acting like an appropriate person. When I was single, and a guy would break up with me, I’d think I did something wrong. I basically disappointed dad, I disappointed this man because I didn’t live up to his expectations of me. That’s a lot of pressure. If you’re single, you’re thinking “Why would I want to put myself in this position where someone is scrutinizing?” My father was very strict. He was always nitpicking every little thing I was doing wrong. If that’s my conditioning, why would I invite a man to live with me to be under a microscope, saying “You did this wrong, you did that wrong”, and always feeling that you can never get acknowledgment or approval. That’s the dynamic that played out for me, that approval from man I was seeking. That would be a father hunger, like a hunger for that approval of them saying “You’re okay. You’re loved — in a way, you’re good as you are?”
Robert Maldonado 12:07
Absolutely. It is our relationship with authority. Not only the moral authority, as in the church and God, but the social authority — if we don’t have a good solid understanding in ourselves of that role model and somebody to emulate and admire, then we’re always at odds or ambivalent about our feelings about authority. In relationships it can play out the way that— it’s that phenomena they call in Jungian psychology the puer aeternus, the eternal boy, or the eternal girl, the puella aeterna, where people remain as children morally and emotionally. Maybe not intellectually, because society plays so much emphasis on intellectual development, but emotionally, they’re still like a child. Not that they’re childish in a sense, but that when it comes to really being in touch with our emotions, there’s still that the presence of those early experiences.
Debra Maldonado 13:29
That makes a lot of sense because when I was single, I would always put men on pedestals. I always tell our clients, you put the man on a pedestal because you’re the daughter, then you play that they become the authority in your life. The idea of that stamp of approval like I wrote my book, Let Love In, is that you’re looking for that stamp of approval. That’s how I was: when someone picks me, then I’m okay. You’re giving your power to someone else to approve you. And at the same time, you want it but you don’t want to give it up. So again, that hesitation. I want to say one more thing before we move on. I think that, for me, I did a lot of personal growth, and the difference between Jung and some of the other stuff I did was because we just examine, forgive the parent. It was a lot of projection on my father of “you’re the one who disappointed me, you’re the one who was too critical, you were the one who wasn’t there for me. I’m gonna forgive that.” But there was no acknowledgement of what role I played in my projection. I really didn’t see my part of it until right before I met you. I realized how I responded to the way he was. What I projected onto him was a part of my conditioning but I chose that response. I chose to shut down whereas my other sister would be more open and more willing to be huggy with him and talk to him, and I was like “I’m not going to be rejected again.” I played that out with every relationship. But it was my piece. We have to remember that we can’t just forgive the father because he was terrible or not living up to those expectations. And then we examine it, what I realized is he wasn’t a bad guy. But all this time I was forgiving him and healing my father wounds. It was just a lot of recycling of the same stuff. I wasn’t really getting a breakthrough until I realized, how would I respond to this and how can I change that response or be aware of how I am and what I’m projecting into the situation. So every relationship is a dynamic, that person is not static, and you’re just reacting to that person. There’s a dynamic that happens.
Robert Maldonado 15:52
There’s nothing wrong with the forgiveness model but it’s oversimplified. Because really, we think about what we were meant to do organically in the family. Yes, we’re protected by the father where he serves as the law giver and the moral authority. But we’re supposed to rebel against that, in other words, it is a natural process for us to break away from the realm of the father so that we become independent human beings and are able to stand on our own. That process is disrupted when there’s an absent father, either physically or emotionally.
Debra Maldonado 16:37
So we have nothing to rebel against.
Robert Maldonado 16:39
That’s right. So we feel that hunger to want to connect with a father, but at the same time, there’s a need for our independence, like you were saying. In relationships, we’re bringing that unfulfilled dynamic into the relationship, we want to attach to this other person. But at the same time, our need to rebel and to establish our independence hasn’t been played out yet.
Debra Maldonado 17:08
I think that, like you said, that over-simplification— just forgive them, they did wrong, you’re okay. It’s understanding what’s going on with you. How did you rebel? What were you not able to do? And then now, how do you move forward? How do you choose your way? Now for men, are they affected by an emotionally distant father the same way a woman is or differently?
Robert Maldonado 17:39
It’s different because we play different roles in society. The father would be more of a role model in that regard. Although he plays a role model for the woman as to what kind of man am I looking for. The woman might say “I want somebody who is like my father.” At least, if they have that mature father who is able to love them, but also give them enough freedom to become independent.
Debra Maldonado 18:16
What about boys that don’t have a father figure growing up? Then they end up being womanizers or just reckless with women? Is that the puer aeternus?
Robert Maldonado 18:29
That would be part of that father complex. The father complex is simply this idea that there are these archetypes, like we spoke about with a mother. We’re projecting this archetype onto our biological father, and we’re expecting him to be godlike in a sense. It’s that admiration and projection that takes place. But then we’re also rebelling against that. We’re saying “I have to find my own ground to stand on.” And that process is just as important as the bonding.
Debra Maldonado 19:13
I think even now— and you know this from working with families— family units are more complex now in the past 20-30 years. You have blended families, you have a stepfather, you have the father, you have the boyfriend, all these other people coming in to the life, maybe even a big brother from the first marriage coming in, affecting the children. There’s a lot of male— a lot more things to not go wrong. There’s an opportunity for connection or there’s an opportunity for confusion of “What role model am I going to follow?” because in the traditional family, you just follow.
Robert Maldonado 19:55
There’s always the grandparents. The grandfather, the uncles, the siblings, even older brothers. They serve in some respect as that function of getting that fathering, that mentoring, that guide from them. In my experience, you also get it from teachers, male teachers that you work with. Professors that I worked with were very father figures to me. It’s not as simple as if your father wasn’t there for you you’re doomed, you’re going to play these patterns. No, it’s not that way. It depends on your ability to access other father figures and to emulate them into thinking for yourself “Here somebody I admire. I’m going to mould myself after them, model myself after them.”
Debra Maldonado 21:07
Here’s the last question before we move on to how we work with it. It comes to me because I have a lot of friends that are gay. They’re two women who have children. How does one of them take the role of the father? Doesn’t have to be a male figure, but it can be a masculine figure? How would that work?
Robert Maldonado 21:28
Here’s where the Jungian model is a lot more inclusive because it gives us the larger perspective of are we just biological beings or are we just social beings? Of course, we are those things, but we’re also spiritual beings. Spiritual, not religious. We’re not necessarily religious. What I mean is that there are transcendent, transpersonal needs that need to be addressed as well. What that means is that it doesn’t matter what we’re doing biologically, socially, as much as what is our internal understanding of our true selves. Have we done that internal work of self inquiry? Who am I? What’s my purpose? Those questions lead us to that deeper understanding of our true nature. That’s where we encounter these archetypes. They function to make us whole despite what’s going on in our biology or social situations.
Debra Maldonado 22:43
So a woman, a female with still have a father archetype in her unconscious?
Robert Maldonado 22:48
Yes. That integration, meaning that coming to terms with that internal structure, the archetype, is what gives us our wholeness, not necessarily fixing the external relationships with our father.
Debra Maldonado 23:03
So how do we work with the father archetype. For me it was really becoming aware of my own projection, then also my expectations of a man and my father, and then my own pattern of response to that stimulus that I projected and assumed was there.
Robert Maldonado 23:30
It’s useful because what as we work with people, with our clients, and our students, we help them see that in their particular story, in their narrative of their personal history with their fathers, or their lack of fathers, whatever the situation is, is the key to their freedom, because it’s the key to understanding what is going on internally, in their relationship with the father archetype.
Debra Maldonado 24:03
So it’s an internal relationship that’s projected on to the father image in the world. But we have to go inward to see our own father archetypal image.
Robert Maldonado 24:15
Yes, because remember that the external situation is reflection of the internal structure, of the internal psyche. When we look at the family structure that we grew up in and what narrative I create for me personally from that experience, that narrative contains the seed of the archetypal element in us. It gives us an entry point into it. Now, it’s not the complete story, obviously, because if we just go by the narrative of what happened to me, then we get stuck there. We just repeat those patterns.
Debra Maldonado 24:59
We feel like we can’t change the past. So we’re stuck with this past.
Robert Maldonado 25:03
That’s right. Or we simply project it outward and say that we either reject it, or we say “I’m just going to emulate it.” If it was a positive experience, a positive narrative, we just repeat it and pass it on. But if we understand that that narrative is simply pointing to a deeper element in my spiritual journey, in my individuation process, then it gives us a key to that transformation.
Debra Maldonado 25:35
I love this idea of the father archetype. Another way to think about it is the divine, the God image. When we’re little kids, we do see our fathers as gods. Then we’re out there in romantic relationships. When we fall in love it feels like we’re encountering the divine with that other person. Think about it, when you get infatuated, you have a crush on someone, you’re just like “They’re the best”, you can’t stop thinking about them, you can’t wait to be with them. You’re hanging on, especially when you first meet, begin to text, you get that rush. Then it appears that this other person is giving you some kind of stimulus, this other person is lifting you up, or loving you, or approving you, but you’re only seeing your own reflection. If you can feel those feelings to someone else, that means it’s in you already. That’s a good sign. But when it’s ambivalent, when the attention is hot and cold, then you have to look at where is that happening inside of me and my own relationship with my deeper divine self, my own inner God, I guess we call it our own acceptance of that power.
Robert Maldonado 26:49
If you look at society, we know the religious institutions have kind of fallen apart. They’re still there, obviously, and they continue to act as institutions. But so many of us have lost that faith, that contact, that ritual structure that they would give us to enact a lot of this process. People are on their own now because there is no structure for individuation in that ritualistic institutional way. Now we need to depend on that inner journey of psychology, philosophy, mythology to guide us on that internal journey.
Debra Maldonado 27:43
What would we have to do to do that? That’s a big concept that you just said we have to explore. I think — and then you could share what you think — it’s about coming to terms with our relationship with power and our own power versus projecting outward. We always say the animus and the father archetype are very similar for women. We project that power externally, we’re always putting our spiritual power in money, in other people and relationships. We’re feeling we’re hungry for that power, but we don’t know how to look within to get it. So we’re looking outward. The first step is notice in your life where you’re giving power to things that are bigger than you, that projection, that pedestal, goal that you have that has power over you and who you are. How do those things define you and how we’re trying to pull from the world. I remember one time you said, it’s like we cut the world in tiny pieces and try to pull it all back together. We’re not noticing that we’re connected to it all. It’s all separate to us. So basically we’re coming to terms with the projection of power.
Robert Maldonado 29:07
I was going towards the idea of the relationship giving us a platform for that. You were talking about relationships and how we tend to project a lot of those expectations onto the partner. That’s problematic if you’re unconscious, if you project all those unmet needs you bring from your family experience unto the relationship and say “Here’s my chance to get fulfilled in all these things.” That’s too much pressure.
Debra Maldonado 29:45
Like my dad didn’t give me enough attention, so you need to give me attention. You’re not giving me enough attention. You’re calling them up or texting them 40 times.
Robert Maldonado 29:53
You’re essentially straining and putting a lot of stress on the relationship to fulfill those unmet needs. That’s not the function of a good relationship. In a good relationship people are independent and whole in themselves. Then they’re sharing those experiences together. Ideally, of course, most of the time what happens is people do a kind of individuation within relationships when they say “Here’s my chance to make it work somehow, to find that internal strength to make this work, because I’m really invested in making this work. I really love this person, and I want to make it work.” Then they undergo some kind of individuation on their own. But I think, ideally, people do need more of this kind of information, coaching to help them really take advantage of the relationship as an individuation process.
Debra Maldonado 31:03
I feel like I’ve grown more in a relationship than when I was single, just hitting a wall and dealing with the same things. A relationship opens you up to examine yourself in a much deeper way. So for women we can see the father hunger. How does the father hunger show up with men in relationships? What do they expect of the woman or their partner?
Robert Maldonado 31:29
I think it would be primarily that they wouldn’t trust themselves or they wouldn’t trust their emotions in the relationship to be that anchor for their partner.
Debra Maldonado 31:42
Would they be more like a passive husband?
Robert Maldonado 31:44
Could be a passive husband or emotionally unavailable, workaholic, maybe alcoholic and all those things that get in the way of the relationship.
Debra Maldonado 31:57
So he wouldn’t have basically ability to connect. And even a strong man, if he didn’t have a strong father figure, he can go the opposite, where he puts so much pressure on himself to be everything his father wasn’t. Then you see people have heart attacks and get sick from working so much, because they can’t allow themselves to be the slacker father, they have to compensate. They’re not even there for the other person. They’re dealing with their own stuff.
Robert Maldonado 32:36
There’s that intergenerational pattern that plays out in families. If you’re able to look at how my parents do this, how my grandparents do this, and back in the family tree, you’ll start to see patterns. They’re there just like eye color and hair color, when they are passed down. A lot of the psychology is passed down generation after generation. The good news is, and this is Jung’s work, that we can grow beyond that. If we’re willing to look at those patterns and examine them, our contribution is simply that instead of waiting for therapy to do this kind of work, we can do it by understanding Jung’s ideas and applying them in a coaching model.
Debra Maldonado 33:40
Probably individuation is more a coaching model than a therapy model. Because in therapy you’re just coping with the past and getting to the baseline where individuation is about going to potential.
Robert Maldonado 33:55
I worked with couples as well, what happens by the time the couple gets to the point where they say “We need a therapist”, there’s been a lot of problems building up to get them to that point. It’s not a good way to do it because now you’re having to deal with those issues instead of the real process of individuation.
Debra Maldonado 34:20
So you’re saying that everyone, once you start dating, should do Jungian coaching and then your partner should do it. Because we find that a lot of women or men who have done our process or did our training, they meet someone and want to bring them up to speed because if one person understands the shadow and projection, and the other person doesn’t— but we find that actually what happens is that if they’ve done their individuation, their partner’s most likely ready for it too. Because we resonate on that same level and we find that appropriate partner. So the more work— and I hate to say work because it’s not work, it’s a process of growth, self-realization— the more realized you are, the more who you’re going to match up with is going to match that level or be prepared for that level. Because why would you unconsciously be drawn to someone who isn’t ready unless you’re not ready? Basically one of the steps of individuation is first look at that projection, look at the pattern of your father. What did you long from that relationship that you didn’t feel complete with? Notice how that shows up in your relationships now. It could show up in other relationships too, not just romantically. I found that my bosses were always disappointed in me, or that’s my projection. I always had to follow the rules and be a really good employee. I always felt like I didn’t get enough acknowledgement, just like my father. I project a lot of my male bosses the same thing. Even female bosses too, it’s that authority. We start to project the father archetype onto authority figures.
Robert Maldonado 36:16
We project whatever pattern we received in those first seven years because that’s the initial imprint that we received from the father. If there is that lack, or we sense abandonment, or non-support, or criticism, or even that our father was very invested in living his life or his unmet dreams through us—
Debra Maldonado 36:51
The pressure on the children, you got to be really perfect. Or like Tiger Woods’ father put all that pressure on him to be successful because he wasn’t able to be that successful golfer.
Robert Maldonado 37:05
That pattern is then played out either with our kids or in our relationships. The key is always everything is pointing to us doing that internal work. It doesn’t mean that we have to go to therapy and forgive and all this stuff, although there’s nothing wrong with those things. Some people do need that support. It’s mainly that it’s pointing to what is your role in all this? You’re the one that is carrying the story. You can change it, you can end it.
Debra Maldonado 37:47
You came up with this survival kit to navigate as a child, you came up with your strategies. You decided how you dealt with the outside experience. Then you can choose again to come up with a new strategy.
Robert Maldonado 38:02
That process is what was traditionally called spiritual life. Spirituality wasn’t just about going to church or the temple and meditating. It was that a person was whole and complete in themselves, they understood “I have the power to generate that story. Therefore, I have the power to change it.” That’s the human power right there, the divine power in the human being. Accessing that power is what this life is about. In other words, all these challenges that we face, they’re not simply to make us suffer. They’re there to wake us up so that we can develop ourselves, we can grow into this.
Debra Maldonado 38:53
We don’t want to go back and say “Why did I get stuck with this father dynamic?” Someone told me once “Having that father helped you seek truth. Having that complicated relationship, you didn’t just get married at 20 and go into the suburbs, didn’t explore your mind at all or go for anything.” It kept me in a place where I needed to dig in and see what this is about, turning inward versus being very externalized and comfortable in my external experience. It can also be a hindrance. I find that my friends that had that comfortable early life didn’t do the growth because they didn’t need to, they had everything out there. I find that it’s the biggest gift to be able to know who you are and grow and have deeper spiritual experiences and human experience at the same time and be able to after 41 years of being single finally meet someone who’s loving and kind, a different relationship. I see that happen over and over again with people we work with. The dynamic that get set up with the partner is completely new and different then. You’re not destined to play out that pattern if you become conscious, that’s the key.
Robert Maldonado 40:23
It changes your relationship with your parents. Because you see it in the right context, you’re not projecting all that “You should have done this and that.” Our culture’s saturated with an idea of blame the parents, the parents screwed you up somehow, go to therapy because you’re broken somehow, and you need to forgive.
Debra Maldonado 40:47
Write them an angry letter. I have to say I did all that stuff. Then when I realized that it was me that was not also contributing to my father being distant with me, I was holding back too, I reached out and talked to him, we started to really create a bond, I was 40 years old. When he got diagnosed with cancer I did energy work and hypnotherapy. I said “Do you want me to try this on you?” He was like “Okay.” My own projection of my father would have been no, he’s shut down, he wouldn’t be open to this. My last moment with him before he passed, I was doing energy work on him, grounding him. He was like “Oh, I don’t feel the energy here.” I’m like “You feel the energy?” It was so cool to have that experience with him. I thought to myself while I was doing it that he’s the last person in my whole life that I would ever think would be experiencing this with me. My sisters and my mother had left, it was just me and him alone. I just remember that day was so special. It wasn’t about me healing him, it was that he saw me for me, for who I was, who I became— I’m getting all emotional— and I loved him for just who he was. I just think that’s how we can love more in the world if we can see who these people are for us and how they’re all just trying their best, and most of the time they’re dealing with their own conditioning. It’s just a beautiful moment, I’m getting teary eyed, but it is very powerful to be able to love someone that wonderfully, even after having that complex relationship. It was just a beautiful moment for me. We all should be open to that. If your father has passed, or you haven’t had a chance to complete that, there’s still a way you can work with that and create that within yourself. It doesn’t mean that you can’t resolve that. Because you’re carrying that memory in you of him, so you can change it.
Robert Maldonado 43:08
At the archetypal level, we see, like you mentioned, it’s very much connected to how we experience the universe, because the father archetype represents the unseen, that moving spirit behind things, behind the material world, the ideas, the dynamics.
Debra Maldonado 43:36
Trusting in the unseen helps us create in life. If we only look at the concrete and the practical, we tend to be cynical about life.
Robert Maldonado 43:50
It reconnects us to the bigger cosmic experience of being a human being. It’s not just about making our little life work, although that is a part of it, but it’s also that our work is meant to contribute to the whole, to humanity, to other people. It’s a great process. But again, we have to shift the way we approach these things. If we approach them just as pathologies, as things to push away, to fix, we’re missing the bigger point that it’s a great lesson. It’s an entry point into a deeper spiritual life.
Debra Maldonado 44:43
Wow. Powerful session. Some comments I love: “This coaching program deals with emotions without judging them. Such freedom.” “Not judging others but seeing our own choices.” “What imprint would a divorce father leave on a son? My parents are still friends, but they did not have a romantic role model in my home. How do I overcome that?”
Robert Maldonado 45:07
Again, it’s not so much about overcoming but examining and approaching that, asking yourself honestly, what assumptions does your mind make about that fact of divorce? If you ask “What does that mean about being that I experienced?” and put yourself back in those early experiences as well? What were the emotions? Was it fear, was it feeling lost, feeling abandoned? Whatever it was, you approach it with an open, friendly, non-judging mind. It’s not about approaching good emotions and pushing away bad ones. It’s simply all emotions are telling us something about our mind, something about the way we’ve interpreted ourselves in the world. It gives you a lot of information as to what assumptions have you been making about your role in life and the possibility of relationships in your life? That awareness starts to change the dynamics itself.
Debra Maldonado 46:29
And then how about a father who cheated on the mother, and they got divorced, and the daughter is trying to now find relationship, which she would probably have an imprint about, like a trust issue?
Robert Maldonado 46:46
It’s very personal though, because siblings experience the same parents, but often take away very different lessons from those experiences. It depends on your narrative, how did you interpret those experiences? You have to get that “What was my interpretation of those experiences?” It’s not that that’s going to do a certain thing to everyone.
Debra Maldonado 47:16
So we’d just look at a situation and say, everyone who’s had this experience, like if I had a father who is cold, I’m always going to be having this certain—
Robert Maldonado 47:31
Because we’ve seen people that had had pretty much an ideal family life. And they still have to do this internal work.
Debra Maldonado 47:42
And they’re like “They had such great parents, what happened to this person?” I think what’s often overlooked in personal growth, a lot of times we focus on the terrible parent, the critical parent, the abandoning parent, but not the high achiever parent, the one that wants everyone to be the best and the pressure on the child who has to live up to the expectation. But everyone’s different. Some people are okay being slackers, some people need to meet that expectation. And you see that in the different siblings. So all the projection.
Robert Maldonado 48:25
It’s never too late to have a great childhood. Because through this work you let go of a lot of those resentments. You start to use your mind in a creative way. If I’m free to reinvent my story and the way I feel myself to be in the world, what can I create? I can use my imagination, my talents, my skills now in a different way instead of always being tied to that narrative of the past.
Debra Maldonado 49:02
Father hunger, there you have it. It’s an intriguing topic. The bottom line is in order for us to deal and have healthy relationships with ourselves and others is to deal with our projection of the father archetype and what we made up about that projection, how it impacted us and how to see through clear eyes and basically see the father or the mother figure in a more human way. They are imperfect but they are trying their best most of the time with what they’ve been given.
Robert Maldonado 49:52
We know for sure that if we trade places with anyone, we’ll simply play out their destiny because we don’t really have freewill until we do individuation, until we come to terms with our past history and really understand the power of our mind. We’re simply acting out of past conditioning, out of that past narrative. So anyway, I hope this helps people understand a little bit more about family dynamics. What’s on the agenda for next week?
Debra Maldonado 50:35
I think we’re talking about— I can’t remember. I know we’re talking about soulmates, and I think we’re talking about work relationships next week. We’re going to talk about work relationships, soulmates. Anyway, I’m so glad that you’ve all read all the comments. Thank you for joining us. Also, I want to mention, please follow us on iTunes, get all the downloads, we have tons of podcasts, you can go back and listen to all our topics, Creative Mind Soul Sessions. The official name is Soul Sessions with Creative Mind. If you like to be on our YouTube channel, we do post videos here all the time. Subscribe in the lower right hand corner of the button here and you’ll get to be a part of our subscription and notified of all the times we’re going live. Also join us in our Facebook group. We have a Facebook group community called Jungian Life Coaching with Creative Mind. Look us up, hopefully you will join us to interact with us, and watch more content, and ask us questions, and be able to say hello.
Robert Maldonado 52:05
Yeah, thanks for watching. See you next time.
Debra Maldonado 52:08
Take care. Bye bye.