Crucial Steps To Forgiving An Abusive Parent
So many people have been hurt by their parents in different ways ranging from emotional, physiological and physical abuse. Some parents subject their kids through neglect, criticism, insults, favoritism among their siblings and some project their shortcomings and insecurities on us; the list goes on and on.
However I am not here to dwell on these painful experiences, I am here to tell us about forgiveness. Letting go of all that hurt that they have inflicted on you.
Forgiving our parents is one of the core tasks of adulthood
I have often seen people who carry lifelong anger and hatred towards their parents because of their childhood and this is very sad to watch.
Some of us are afraid to forgive and let go because we have built our life off that hate and resent, it is that hate and resentment that drives us. We have even made friends with people solely because we share the same resent and anger towards our parents. This feeling has dug a grave in our heart that it’s now part of our daily life. Therefore resurrecting that and actually letting go of it is incredibly hard and very scary. We ask ourselves what will fill up that void? How do we begin to even forgive? Am I even capable of forgiving the people who were meant to protect me but rather harmed me?
The answer is YES. You can forgive your parents, it is a slow and incredibly hard journey but it can be done and when you finally do this, you will fill up that void with nothing short of peace and eternal happiness. Freeing yourself from all the emotional baggage you have carried all through your life.
The parent-child relationship is often the most complex and emotionally intense relationship in our lives. We often look up to them as our gods and very easily forget that they are just people. As children we expect them to be perfect which they are not, and as we begin to grow older we begin to see them as they are; Imperfect beings.
However, when we choose to continue to see them as gods and blame them for all our shortcomings it stops us from moving on. We remain that child that clings to his/her parent. We are unable to take responsibility for our action because when asked why we fail or act a certain way we never fail to acknowledge that it’s our parent’s fault. Choosing to forgive and let go allows you to take full control and responsibility of your life and this propels to begin to improve on yourself.
Here are some thoughts to help you begin this life-changing journey
See Things from Their Own Angle
Most of our parents are often unaware of the hurt they inflicted, they are not mature enough to be self-aware and emotionally intelligent. We have lots of parents who are under enormous stress and truly haven’t learned to deal with stress, that they transfer their anger and frustrations to their children. This is very common. We have parents who gave birth at a very young age that the whole experience was very overwhelming.
There are parents who were raised by parents who didn’t treat them right, they, in turn, have a flawed past. When you begin to do this, you see them like normal people capable of mistakes, we understand why they reacted and responded in the way they did.
Of course this not excuse their actions, but understanding why they acted in the way they did will give you great compassion and make it easier to forgive. For example parents who leave their children and travel to another country for a source of income in order to take care of their children, obviously, as a child, you could feel abandoned and this could carry on the way into your adulthood; causing great discomfort in most of your relationship. However, when you begin to put yourself in their shoes, you get a better understanding of why they did what they did. The realization of this would, in turn, make it easier to forgive because you realize that they didn’t leave you out of anger or hate but because they wanted a better life for you.
This act according to the famous speaker Brian Tracy pushes us to reinterpret the events of our childhood differently. Author and Speaker Wayne Dyer said it’s never too late to have a happy childhood. When you forgive, you shift your perspective from blaming and focusing on the bad to seeing these events as motivating factors that have made you a better, wiser person. When we do this, we can even become grateful to our parents for the things they did and we learned from these experiences.
Try and remain positive, you can’t always change the past but you can change your attitudes. DO not embark on this journey with a pessimistic mindset. It will never happen if you keep reminding yourself constantly of their wrongdoings. That on its own will make it incredibly hard to forgive. Remain positive and stop wishing for the impossible task of trying to make them go back to the past to do things right.
Some of us are stuck because we are waiting for our parents to come up and apologize before we forgive. But truly, this might never happen. Hoping and waiting for them to ask for forgiveness to soothe our egos to undo the favoritism and take that criticism back and prise us. This only triggers the pain; because you feel disappointed over and over again.
And in the case where these parents haven’t changed or are still very much abusive, forgive and distance yourself. Acknowledge you on different wavelengths. Protect your peace and love from afar.