This blog is not for everyone. But some people might find it helpful.
Here is what I’m not going to do. I am not going to tell you that being mad at your parents is wrong. I am not going to tell you that your parents are innocent. Though it may be right, I want to look at this problem from a different perspective.
Childhood wound has existed since the beginning of times. Almost every person plays both roles in this family dynamic - once as a child, then as a parent. Some people are affected by childhood wound more than others. But every person is a victim.
When you were a little child, you were weak and vulnerable. Your parents had a full control over your life. They told you Santa is real and you believed them. If they said you were worthless and dumb - you believed them as well.
As a child, you’re not aware of the severity of your problem. But as you enter adolescence and adulthood, you begin to notice that something is off. Chaos enters your life.
You have a problem connecting with others because you feel less than. You’re not able to get a grip on your career. You feel anxious. You feel confused. You don’t feel like a whole person. Your existence is accompanied by a deep emotional pain that gets more severe when times get rough. Your relationship with parents becomes increasingly tense. You begin to resent them.
You tell yourself: “If only my dad told me he loved me...if only he said he’s proud of me...if only he cared...my whole life would’ve turned out to be different.”
For some of you, not hearing ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m proud of you’ would’ve been the least of your problems. Many children today are victims of constant verbal, physical, and even sexual abuse.
No matter how your childhood was like, let me give you five reasons to forgive your parents.
Let me tell you something about your parents. Your mom and dad were once little children who dreamt of being cool, loved, and admired. However, their childhood dreams were scarred by never receiving love and admiration they desperately needed. Perhaps, they even experienced physical or emotional abuse.
They entered adulthood feeling unprepared, insecure, and hurt. When they gave birth to you, they said to themselves: “I will never do to my child what my parents did to me”.
However, the inability to receive and express love, caused by the emotional baggage of their childhood, has forced them repeat the same mistakes that once left scars in their own hearts.
This 'virus' can be traced all the way back to first humans. It affects everyone. It’s in our genes. Your g-g-g-g-g-great grandfather was hurt by his father back in 1206. And then he hurt his children. You will hurt your children too, no matter how hard you try. We're all victims of the same plague.
Life is suffering. Life is chaos. To reduce suffering and chaos in your life you have to stop being a victim. Victims are the ones who don’t have control over their circumstances. Their outcomes and destiny are being dictated by something or someone else.
Forgiveness does not mean the other person is not guilty. It means telling yourself that their actions no longer impact your life. It is a declaration of liberation from victimhood.
Yes, you were not given the best hand. But for your own sake, you have no choice. Imagine having to hike a hundred miles to survive. The problem is that you only have flip-flops to wear on your feet. Would you sit there and complain about not having hiking shoes? Or would you start moving knowing your survival depends on it?
It may be a slow process, but you have to liberate yourself from the effects of your childhood wound. Continuing a life of resentment, anger, and victimhood will only pull you even further into chaos and suffering. Let go for your own sake.
If you were hurt by your parents as a child, you may develop a pattern of emotional withdrawal. You may avoid sharing your feelings with others and express them to your loved ones. Usually, this type of behavior is considered as lack of caring and love by the other party.
However, emotional withdrawal is not as bad as some other symptoms.
Many adults with childhood wounds develop anger and occasional rage. When their self-esteem is being threatened, their defence mechanism kicks in with a disproportionate emotional response. Usually, a person feels guilty afterwards but doesn’t admit it, because admitting would hurt their self-esteem.
This is the reason why such destructive pattern continues from generation to generation. If you feel anger towards your parents, I guarantee you, you will transfer it onto your kids.
Children will test your limits, which means they will challenge your self-esteem. If you are still controlled by your childhood wound - you will not be able to withstand. You will hurt your children emotionally or God forbid physically. You will become just another link in the chain of abusive parents, joining your predecessors.
What happens during a medical examination?
A nurse takes a part of your body - blood, saliva, urine, tissue, hair to check the health of your entire body. Each cell is a piece of your anatomy that can tell whether your whole body is ill or stressed. Your cells are you. They’re sick when your are sick. They’re stressed when you are stressed.
When you were conceived, your parents bonded together small pieces of themselves. These pieces grew and became a younger them. You are not a separate biological entity that was given to your parents. You were literally a part of your mother and father. You are them.
So if you think that you are a standalone perfect being that has been spoiled by the people you were given to - you’re deceiving yourself. You carry the stresses, traumas, and illnesses of your ancestors. They are being transferred every time one generation takes a piece of their body, which grows into a new one similar to theirs.
If your parents were stressed or ill while you were just a cell in their body, perhaps it’s not their actions, but the fact that your were piece of them is what impacted you.
Let’s get even more technical here.
Every person has what’s called DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is a molecule that carries your genetic code. Your genetic code is information that was given to you by your parents. The code contains data on your hair, eye, and skin color. It also includes predispositions to certain physical and mental illnesses.
As of today, scientists believe that genetic information cannot be changed. Don’t get discouraged though.
What is super cool is that the activation of genes can be regulated. If you have a genetic susceptibility to certain negative traits or diseases, these genes can be suppressed over time by your environment and lifestyle. The study is called Epigenetics.
Your genes are like an orchestra with many instruments. Epigenome is the conductor who decides which instruments play and which not to. You may has some faulty genes in your DNA, but your epigenome is the conductor of your genes. It can decide which genes to activate and which genes to suppress. To learn more, read this article on Epigenetics.
It takes time. But you can literally tell your depression, anxiety, or many other nasty genes to go to sleep by changing your epigenome.
I believe the answer is education. No, not your Bachelors degree. The education I’m talking about is a lifelong discovery and implementation of wisdom. It requires rewiring of your brain and psyche.
Best way to do it? Books. Immerse yourself in books. People put their lifelong learning into a book so that you can spend two weeks acquiring the same knowledge.
Books will teach you about the right ways to eat, sleep, and exercise. They will tell you what people to befriend and what people to avoid. They’ll allow you to discover yourself. They’ll teach you about self-discipline. Fall in love with knowledge and implement what you learn.
As I said before, forgiveness is more about you than your parents. It’s liberation. Your parents may continue being hurtful, but if you liberate yourself their actions will not affect you anymore.
You will become your own person. You will find the strength to understand, respect, and love your parents the way they are. And perhaps, you will be the link in your genetic chain that will change the destiny of yours and future generations.