Why it’s Time to Forgive Your Parents and How
Let Go of Old Wounds
Forgiving your parents may seem insignificant, but often times it can do more for your quality of life than you may realize. Without an emotional comparison, you may not even realize how much of a toll such a long term grudge can take on you, no matter how small it may be. This makes it easy to establish a cycle of suffering and emotional pain that can negatively impact your future relationships and general well-being.
A Cycle of Suffering
If you don’t work to identify and heal you childhood wounds its easy to stay emotionally stuck at the age the wounds were made.
A perfect example of this would be if perhaps you never forgave your father for missing your birthdays as a child and never healed from the resulting feeling of abandonment; whenever an issue triggers this same feeling (say if someone forgets you have plans and subsequently cancels) it’s easy to fall back into a subconscious cycle, reopening the old wound. Often times this can result in you essentially reverting back to your younger self and lashing out, or even shutting down entirely, instead of reacting reasonably the the fact it may be a simple mistake.
The Law of Attraction
The law of attraction actually states that often time we attract people who bring up old emotional wounds. This is because our higher self wants these wounds to be brought to to our attention so we can better recognize and heal them. This is why often times someone with abandonment issues will be attracted to someone with a fear of commitment. Naturally making for a very unhealthy relationship, often without you ever realizing why you find yourself falling back into a cycle of surrounding yourself with people who trigger your insecurities.
Sadly this can keep us from ever finding our true soulmate, especially if you never notice the subconscious reaction causing the cycle, and take the time to forgive the person who caused the initial wounds.
Blame Feeds Pain
Blaming your parents not only keeps old wounds alive but perpetuates the idea that they have some sort of power over you. This blame not only builds subconscious walls but ingrains a feeling of disempowerment.
Without being able to forgive them it is impossible to grow beyond the parent we blame.
Why is Forgiveness so Difficult
Forgiveness is often easier said than done, the reason for this is because the blame, anger, and other emotional responses, are guards put up to protect us from future harm. The act of forgiveness makes you very vulnerable, in order to forgive anybody you have to be able to trust they wont hurt you again. Depending on the severity of the emotional scars you may have, this is often a difficult thing to trust.
By shifting the blame to someone else, you immediately give them the power to hurt you, and as long as you give others this power, you are going to be hurt. You have to be able to take responsibility for the emotions you feel and come to terms with the fact that what we feel may not be as justified as it feels in the moment. Overcoming your own ego is often the most difficult step in forgiving others.
Understanding Emotional Wounds
A common misconception is that an emotional wound is the actual event that caused the wound, when in fact it’s the underlying feeling that event caused.
All children have emotional needs that must be met and when they are not met, often times the child will associate this lack of the need being met with their own personal unworthiness of receiving this love and acceptance. The child will invent reasons for not having their emotional needs met which can often come in the form of either unworthiness or conditional worthiness.
Recognizing False Beliefs
Beliefs and feelings like these can often carry over into adulthood, and it is important to recognize many of these subconscious feelings of unworthiness, powerlessness, or victimhood, are in fact often false. You need to be able to recognize the fact that often times the emotional pain you feel is a warning sign that you are believing a falsehood.
Many of us falsely interpret this pain, and instead of taking the pain as a sign that the underlying feeling of unworthiness is false, we instead assume the feeling of pain means the belief is correct, amplifying the pain and deepening the wound.
Why Parents don’t meet Emotional needs
Even the most well meaning parents are not able to meet their child’s emotional needs. Often times this is a result of their parenting style or even the parents personal unhealed wounds.
While parental judgement, criticism, and comparisons are the most common causes of the unworthiness wound, almost any dynamic can set the stage. Over controlling or protective parents can lead to a child not feeling respected which will eventually lead to the child internalizing the belief that because they are not receiving the respect they are in fact unworthy of the respect they crave.
Unworthiness Causes Powerlessness
Do you need parental approval to feel worthy and therefore conceal behaviors from your parents they may deem unacceptable or that may not meet their expectations?
This is a common dynamic with many adults however is extremely detrimental. When you toss aside genuine expression for the sake of approval you immediately give them power over what you do or even how you judge yourself. This not only makes for a very dysfunctional relationship dynamic but it makes you extremely susceptible to parental judgement and criticism, as well as opening you up to potential manipulation by means of guilt and obligation.
It’s important to set boundaries with your parents. It may be uncomfortable initially but over time setting boundaries will allow for a much stronger and healthier adult relationship.
Boundaries need to be clearly established and you must lay out what respect means to you. It’s also a good idea to ask them to lay out boundaries as well, and do what you can to respect them.
Reap the Rewards
While it may not seem like it, hardship is how we grow as people. Once you have forgiven your parents and been able to heal your emotional wounds you may find a part of yourself you never knew existed. If you have still yet to realize the positives that have come out of your childhood wounds its important to try and do so. The recognition itself can be very beneficial and can make it much easier to forgive the ones who inflicted them.
Lastly, always remember forgiveness is not for the person being forgiven. It is a gift you give yourself so you can fully recognize your potential and be the best person you can be.
Written by Laif Beck