Updated: May 12, 2020
Before we embark on this journey on the road to forgiving our parents, I want you to get rid of all disempowering beliefs such as victimhood, unworthiness & weak. You are none of those things. We sometimes use an unforgiving spirit as a defence to protect ourselves from feeling hurt again. Even the most well-intentioned parent does not meet their children's emotional needs. There are many factors to consider when assessing your parents, financial challenges, unhealed wounds, divorce, depression and many other things.
The truth is when you do forgive someone, there is no guarantee that they will not hurt you again. Forgiveness is a risk, an emotional one, sometimes good people do destructive things. For you to forgive your parents, I want you to do the following;
Pinpoint the hidden causes of your grievances on a piece of paper. Start to find ways to heal them. (Don't ignore them)
Make a conscious decision to not assign blame.
Discover the dynamics behind your childhood - Take some time and discover the issues that surrounded your family.
The sins of our parents are the most difficult to forgive. Our parents are supposed to help us resolve our painful moments, not cause them. They should have our backs when we are faced with adversity. Our parents should love us unconditionally, no matter what. Mom & Dad should drop everything, even if they have heaps to do to be with their child. Does this sound good?
The world isn't perfect, and neither are parents. Some parents have real baggage, and unfortunately, their children are the dumping grounds. This is not meant as an excuse, but it is an explanation. You are unique, and you belong here, even if your parents told you differently.
When I was 15 years old, I watched my father pack his bags and leave. I remember thinking, why would he go? I was upset for years, even though I remained on civil terms with him. I didn't want to include him in my life intentionally. I became spiteful and vengeful. I invited him to my wedding a day before I got married knowing he could not come. When he could not make it, I felt relieved to tell everyone how horrible he was for not attending my wedding.
This took energy, sabotaging people in life takes energy.
Are you sabotaging any relationships in your life?
I was upset both physically and emotionally. I refused to let it go even when my father reached out to me. I refuse to make amends. I would guard myself with bitterness and an unforgiving spirit.
The cycle of unforgiveness would not allow me to heal in my relationships.
Every time someone left, it would trigger an emotion. I felt that sense of abandonment over and over again.
I would become highly irritated, and I would revisit the day my father left. Even good relationships were affected.
I wanted people all too myself, I became possessive, and my feelings became the only thing that mattered.
I had to break the cycle. To do that, I opened myself up to forgive. My father is a good man. I'm grateful for the years I have with him.
Are you in an emotional cycle?
BLAME = PAIN
Blaming your parents gives them power over your life. You tell your subconscious mind that your parents have control over you; therefore, you are powerless.
You become so entangled that you stop growing. Needing someone to blame for all the mess up's in life is natural.
If you are holding onto the pains of your childhood, find a way to release it. Holding on will affect your future relationships with your friends, your work and your intimate relationships.
Take Back Your Power
I took back my power by owning my issues and not blaming my parents. I don't expect either parent to meet any of my emotional needs.
I am responsible for my thoughts and future. I'm releasing the need for an apology, acknowledgement or retribution.
I am no longer angry at my father, so I can start a new beginning, a better relationship with myself and others.
My husband, children, other family members and close friends will all benefit from me owning who I am.
Who will benefit from you owning who you are?
There is something powerful about setting boundaries with your parents.
Some folks choose not to speak to their parents. This approach may work for some, every relationship is different. Before taking the retreat approach, ask yourself the following questions Am I willing to live my life without my mom or dad? If my parent was to die, will I have regrets?
A significant part of healing is forgiveness. Your parents are essential. Take some time and forgive. Are you willing to forgive?