Guest Contributor: Romal Tune
Speaker, Author, and Social Entrepreneur
What do sons wish they had received from their fathers? What might honest, healing conversations between fathers and sons look like? From author, speaker and social impact entrepreneur Romal Tune, comes this compelling book that shifts the narrative about what it means to be a man and raise emotionally healthy sons.
I Wish My Dad: The Power of Vulnerable Conversations between Fathers and Sons shares the Intimate, vulnerable stories of 17 men and the relationships with their fathers. These engaging stories provide hope and healing especially for relationships that are "complicated."
In the book you describe the complications of your relationship with your own father. How is your experience of being a son connected to your writing? My experience of being a son was the reason for the book. For a long time, my dad and I had a challenging relationship, to say the least. In recent years, my heart has softened toward him. That’s due to a lot of therapy and working on myself. As a son, I both wanted and needed things from my dad, but I didn’t receive in the ways that I needed them. As a son I needed love, affection, and his time in ways that would have built my self-confidence and ability to both give and receive love. When I decided to write the book, I thought about what I needed, and I knew I wasn’t the only guy feeling these things, so I just jumped into it.
What would you say to men who have not been able to heal from the absence of a father in their lives or whose fathers have died? What might healing look like for them? That’s the story for several men in the book. A few of them were very young when their dads died, and few others had very distant relationship—or none—with their dads. I think guys looking to heal from the absence of their fathers can learn a lot from these stories. One thing I’ve learned is that the absence of a father doesn’t mean a person can’t heal. There is healing in naming what you needed, wanted, and hoped for. There’s something liberating about not holding it in anymore. It’s like having held your breath for years and finally exhaling and giving yourself permission to breath. The thing about naming what was missed is that it also sheds light on what you still need. Those emotional needs are still there and can be met by other people once there is a willingness to receive. It’s not the same as receiving it from a dad, but allowing people to love you in ways that you’ve always desired it feels great.
Many fathers have regrets about their parenting and wish they could heal their relation- ships without feeling shame. What do you recommend for fathers who feel too ashamed to heal broken relationships? That was—and perhaps still is—me! I had many regrets. I still feel sad at times, when I think about some of the mistakes that I made. But I’ve learned that who I was then is not who I am now. I think that fathers who want to heal their relationships have to realize that shame is a thief that tries to steal your right to heal and thrive. For fathers who feel too ashamed to heal broken relationships, I highly recommend that they read I Wish My Dad. It will show them that healing is possible. Their children want it just as much as they do as fathers. You conquer shame with humility and truth. Owning mistakes and saying “I’m sorry” takes courage. Once it’s done, it’s liberating. No one has to carry it anymore. The secret is exposed, and that creates room for healing. I’m a Christian, and often time when I sense the feeling of shame coming into my thoughts, I remind myself that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. The things that some would deem shameful oftentimes become the very stories that give people an example that change and healing is possible.
To read the full interview, I Wish My Dad
Dr. Joy DeGruy shares her thoughts on the need for "Wish My Dad" to strengthen the emotional bonds between fathers and sons or heal relationships where it's needed. Learn more at https://IWishMyDad.com
Vance's story is told in Chapter 9 - "I Wish My Dad didn't Abandon Me." In this video he shares reflections on what it means to be a part of the book "I Wish my Dad: The Power of Vulnerable Conversations Between Fathers and Sons." Vance talks about his thoughts on love, affection, and redefining manhood. To purchase "I Wish My Dad: The Power of Vulnerable Conversations Between Fathers and Sons" visit https://IWishMyDad.com or your preferred online book retailer.
A conversation about "I Wish My Dad: The Power of Vulnerable Conversations between Fathers and Sons" with Dr. Nicole Cammack, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, President and CEO of BlackMentalWellness.com to purchase "I Wish My Dad" https://IWishMyDad.com or your preferred online book retailer.
Romal Tune is a speaker, author, and social entrepreneur. He serves as a vice president at TMS Global and is the founder of ClereStory Education, a nonprofit that offers workshops and
coaching about mental health. Tune is a graduate of Howard University and Duke Divinity School and has spoken internationally at conferences addressing topics of inner healing, thriving, and the importance of mental health. He is the author of God’s Graffiti, Love Is an Inside Job, and I Wish My Dad. He has two children and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.