Women who grew up without fathers — “daddyless daughters,” as relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant calls them — often struggle with their self-esteem and feelings of abandonment in both their childhood and adult lives. Even though their experiences may be painful, Iyanla says that daddyless daughters do have the power to heal. They just need to know where to start.
In an episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” with an audience made up of daddyless daughters, Iyanla shares ways the women can begin to heal. “One of the first things that we have to do is tell the absolute truth,” she says to the women. “Radical, gut-level, honest truth. And it starts with, ‘I’m a daddyless daughter.’”
Iyanla has the entire audience of daddyless daughters repeat that truth, not just encouraging them to speak the words, but to feel it deep within themselves. “I want you to get down in your body and really sit in it,” Iyanla instructs. “Acknowledgment is the first step toward healing.”
One audience member in the video above has a hard time acknowledging the painful truth that accompanies being a daddyless daughter. “That’s not the story I’d like to tell myself,” she confesses. “I tell myself that he just doesn’t matter to me. That’s a lie… I love him and I wish that he were a part of my life.”
Iyanla prompts the audience member to dig deeper into the truth by having her finish the sentence, “And because he’s not a part of my life, I feel…”
“I feel worthless sometimes,” the audience member says candidly. “The way I cover it up is by not letting him in. Even when he tries.”