"Luke, I am your father."
Darth Vader said…
“Luke, I am your father.”
Do you remember the look on Luke’s face?
This famous line from Star Wars hit home for millions who watched it.
Well, it’s all goes back to a well-known but little understood theory called “attachment”.
According to John Bowlby, the founder of attachment theory, a secure emotional and physical attachment to at least one primary caregiver is essential to positive self-esteem.
In fact, while secure attachment individuals tend to have:
• Better mental health
• More positive self-image
• More comfort in intimate relationships
• Higher self-efficacy in dealing with stress
On the other hand, insecure attachment Individuals tend to have:
• Negative self-image
• Anxiety over abandonment
• Hypersensitivity to rejection
• Emotional distance from others
But what’s attachment got to do with Star Wars?
And what’s attachment got to do with me?
Well, consider this…
Darth Vader was a symbol for the “dark father”. The father who was emotionally or physically absent from your life, or maybe abusive.
Darth Vader was symbolic for the father who broke your heart.
For many black executive men who have reached the c-suite, after achieving all of your success, you may feel broken inside.
If this is so, I’m sorry to hear this. And, there is help.
What if a brown-skinned therapist in a Banana Republic sweater showed up on the flight deck of the Destroyer and said, “guys, let’s just all take a deep breath together. [Inhale – Exhale]. Hey stormtroopers, can you find us a few comfortable chairs, a box of kleenex, and some mint tea? I’ve got some work here to do here. Thanks guys.”
Wasting no time he would jump in.
“Now Luke, Darth Vader just said he was your father. I’m wondering what feelings are coming up for you around this?”
Luke pauses for a moment, and then bursts into tears. “Dad, I always wondered where you were as a kid. I wanted us to be together. All the ewoks had their fathers around. And it was cool that Obi-Wan showed me how to use the light saber, but I wish it could have been you. Was it something I did? Why did you leave?”
Starting to tear up himself Darth Vader would hand Luke a tissue and explain how he never knew his father, and had become fearful of getting hurt in intimate relationships. But that he was sorry he’d hurt Luke, and was ready to heal his emotional life as well. The two would have hugged it out at the end of their 80-minute extended therapy session, and scheduled an appointment for next week.
The Star Wars series is over.
However, that healing conversant never happened, and the two sides remained enemies for generations, leaving many wounded or dead through their ongoing war.
How many decades have you been suffering inside. At war within?
Well the guys news is here. The brown skinned therapist never went to the flight deck of the Destroyer because he was busy helping real life executives heal their childhood wounds here in Oakland, California.
While I’m no Yoda, as an attachment based psychotherapist for black executive men, I can help you find joy, happiness, and pride within.
May the Force be with you.