Let’s face it… people can drive us crazy. Especially our parents. When you’re young, you look up to your mom and dad like they are your heroes. However, from the time you enter the “socialization” years (begins around puberty/tween years) throughout the rest of your adult life, you see your parents through different eyes.
When it first begins happening, you’re too young to understand it. You just think that they don’t know anything and they are not capable of understanding you. Once you reach your “professional” years, you begin to understand that they are “people” too. And like all people, they are human and make mistakes.
I remember the moment it happened for me. I was in college and was filled with an overwhelming feeling of guilt about the way I had treated my parents in the past. Once I was away and on my own, I began to realize and truly appreciate all that they had done for me, had sacrificed for me, and how much they loved me. So, I forgave them. Then, I forgave myself.
Have you? Have you forgiven your parents for all the things they may have done to you? Or didn’t do for you? Their bad moods, their lack of patience, some unkind words, maybe even a slap or two? If not, here are three reasons why maybe it’s time you did.
Reason 1: They Were (and Still Are) Doing the Best They Can
This is true for EVERYONE, even our parents. They are a product of their own upbringing, their own programming, their own limiting beliefs, fears, doubts and insecurities. Remember, they are people, too.
In my book, “I HAVE TODAY: Find Your Passion, Purpose and Smile…Finally” I teach a process called EEDs (Emotional Energy Diffusers). The third step is to “Praise.” Briefly, that means to look at the person in front of you and understand that they are doing the best they can in that moment. That’s all they’ve got. The 3-Step Process gives you the chance to show compassion and understanding towards a person who needs it even though their outward behavior may be exhibiting something negative, like anger or frustration.
So, forgive your parents for the short-comings and short-sidedness. Deep down, they don’t mean it. They REALLY are doing the best they can in that moment.
Reason 2: They Beat Themselves Up Enough… You Don’t Need to Keep Doing It!
If you are a parent, then you now KNOW what it’s like for your parents! Parenting is not easy. You do ten things right and ten things wrong all day long! You take each day as it comes. We all have moments when we’ve snapped. For whatever the reason… exhaustion, stress, pressure, frustration… it happens to all of us. Take a minute to recall a time or two when this has happened to you as a parent. Didn’t you beat yourself up mercilessly? Well, our parents are the same way!
Here’s an opportunity to remember that about them. We are programmed with so much guilt! So, don’t add further shame to the mix by holding on to something that happened in the past that doesn’t even matter anymore.
Reason 3: You Continue to Hurt YOURSELF by Not Letting Go
Buddha said, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Whatever happened, it’s over! It’s in the past. Let it go. Forgive and move on! The person who suffers the most by not forgiving is the person who can’t forgive. Life is too short to hold on to pain from the past. It’s unhealthy, and it blocks your full potential for happiness to come into your life. Now, isn’t THAT reason enough?
Forgive your parents. Love them for the people they are, in all their humanness.
LOVE IT!: I LOVE MY PARENTS FOR THE PEOPLE THEY ARE.
THANK IT!: I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY PARENTS.
BRING IT!: I AM A BETTER PARENT BECAUSE OF MY PARENTS.
Quote: “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” – Oscar Wilde
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