He’s My Dad All Over Again

Have you ever noticed how almost every little girl around the age of three or four seeks dad’s undivided attention, clings to him and shuns her mom? One mother put it this way: “She only comes to me when she’s hungry.”

Dad seems to transmit something to a little girl’s soul that she just has to lap up, something mom can’t possibly know about. The name of the elixir is masculine intelligence. She seeks to be immersed in it, drawing strength from it so that eventually she can grow to incorporate masculine strength into herself. Psychologically, a little girl’s positive experiences with her father will be necessary to the development of her animus, her masculine side. Through the assimilation of masculine qualities mirrored by her father, she will mature and eventually learn to balance both masculine and feminine traits.

Later in life, each man a woman meets will seem to emit the scent of her father and some men’s personalities will resemble her father so much that she may scratch her head wondering if all men aren’t exactly the same. She may find that those very same qualities she once admired in dad are now interfering with her self-esteem. She may feel disgusted with herself for seeking approval from men, expecting them to help her feel safe and secure in the world. She can’t seem to find her own strength and when push comes to shove she will give up more and more of herself to win a man’s approval.

Father is King, ruling over a woman’s subconscious and if a woman allows herself to be ruled too long she will forever dwell in his shadow struggling to find her own voice. She risks losing herself and forever seeing men as superior.

One the bright side, the men she meets will be light-bringers, shining the light on the on what needs to be healed within her. The wound on her feminine soul that causes her to submit might sting if the man she has attracted tries to dominate. She is apt to feel punished if ignored and will cave in to him if she suspects he disapproves. The clock seems to turn backwards and she feels like a child again struggling for acceptance. The reason she has attracted this father look-a-like is to help her see her patterns of submission and to insist on more equality, a voice and respect. If she can’t have it with him, she may have to end the relationship. Having explored her patterns long enough, she is ready to graduate to an equal complement and a fulfilling relationship. But if she has not learned the lesson of expecting men to rule she will attract more men who like her father try to dominate her. A breakthrough is necessary.

A dad look-a-like may not be a look-a-like at all. A woman who still carries a great deal of emotional baggage from her experiences with her father may see all men through the same lens. She may project the good qualities of her father onto men who are bad for her. This kind of woman wants to recapture her father’s love and is stuck in childhood innocence. She fails to see a man for whom he truly is and continues to ignore his shortcomings until the evidence stacks up and it becomes impossible for her to ignore that he is not as nice a guy.

Some women, who experienced a great deal of pain because of abuse or neglect by their father, may find it difficult to appreciate a man’s intelligence or to trust men in general. A woman like this will project her anger at her father onto someone who loves her and who is not remotely the ogre her father was. Her perceptions of her man are tainted by her mistrust of all men. She will need to heal the wounds of neglect or abuse if she is to embrace an authentic man who loves her. Once the veil has been lifted she can see her mistake and embrace the complementary qualities of her soulmate, seeing him as someone who is in her life to offer her companionship and love.

The famous Jungian analyst, Marian Woodman, admitted that she only saw her husband for who he truly was after 50 long years of marriage. Before that, she had projected her father’s characteristics onto him. She said that it was a relief to know him for the first time as someone other than her father.

A woman’s maternal legacy may have also clouded her view. She may not be aware of how many of her mother’s attitudes about men she supports and how much emotional baggage she is lugging around from her mother’s experiences with her own father. A mother’s shadow can flood a daughter’s subconscious and reside there her entire life if she lacks the insight to witness her mother’s patterns in herself and address them. Although she may not have faced the same threats to her self-esteem that her mother did, she will still live out her mother’s inadequacies and scripts and project a similar attitude onto the men she meets.

When a woman’s true complement, her soulmate, steps on the stage of her life, his personality may also resemble her father’s. Her father and her soulmate will likely share some of the same traits, good and bad. It is because a soul script, in which her father played a lead-in role, was set into motion early preparing her for the man who would complement her most – her twin soul. By the time her soulmate arrives she will have become well acquainted with his psychology through her relationship with her father. She will hopefully have greater insight into some of his character and appreciate her role in helping to mature him as well as his role in lifting her up. Her complement’s reflection of the fatherly qualities she had come to know so intimately in childhood, will summon up from her a more complete picture of her own masculine side. Hopefully, she will have the wisdom to incorporate the positive qualities and call them her own.

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