At this point in time, one could be in a position where they believe that their parents are to blame for what they are going through. This could show that their life is in a mess and they may have mental and emotional problems.
Perhaps they have only had this outlook for a short while, or maybe it has been with them for a number of years. Either way, they could experience a lot of anger, rage and hate towards them and have moments when they think about getting revenge for what they went through.
A Different Viewpoint
If there are people in their life, most, if not all, of them could tell them that they need to ‘let go’ and to ‘forgive’ their parents. Blaming their parents is then going to be seen as a complete waste of time.
As far as these people are concerned, what took place will be in the past and that will be all there is to it. Furthermore, they could be told that their point of power is in the now and that they have no control over what happened.
If one was to reach out for external support, whether that is a therapist or a coach, for instance, they could have a very similar experience. Here, one could essentially be told that they need to move on with their life and to put the past behind them.
They may even be told that they need to ‘stop being a victim’, something that is unlikely to be very pleasant to hear. Ergo, what took place will be seen as being totally irrelevant and something that they can put to one side.
So, regardless of whether it relates to the people in their life or the person who is there to assist them, it will be as though there are only two options available. Either one blames their parents and stays stuck in the past, to they forgive them and move forward.
Based on this black and white view, it is going to be perfectly clear that the second option is the best one. What could also be thrown in is that ‘their parents did the best that they could’.
Firstly, what the above shows it that it is as though there only two options and, secondly, that the past is in the past. Additionally, it is assumed that parents always deserve to be respected, even idolised, and there is no such thing as ‘bad’ parents.
What if there are more than two options available and that their past is not actually in the past and that it is not enough for them to simply forgive. Ultimately, there is more to this than is often mentioned, and this is why it is so important to look deeper.
Undoubtedly, if it was a case of one blaming their parents and staying stuck or forgiving them and moving forward, the logical thing would be to do the latter. The truth is that one is not going to live forever, so there is no point in them wasting their precious time and energy.
Nonetheless, what this view doesn’t take into account is that if one is in a very bad way and hasn’t developed much of an adult self, they are not going to be able to just forgive their parents. For them to truly be able to do this, they will need to work through the pain that they are in and to forgive themselves.
The reason for this is that what took will be over but they will still be carrying the emotional pain and trauma that they experienced all those years ago. If they don’t acknowledge how they feel and work through it – with external support if they need it – this baggage won’t just disappear.
Now, forcing themselves to forgive their parents and to no longer blame them might allow them to look good and even stop them from feeling guilty, but they will simply be living in denial. They will still carry all their inner wounds and these inner wounds will continue to impact their reality and their physical health.
Just a Stage
If they were able to take a step back from their experience, they may be able to see that they have merged with what could be classed as their child self; the part of them that is deeply wounded. Through having merged with this part of them, moving forward or if what they are doing is serving them won’t cross their mind.
This wounded part of them will need their adult self to acknowledge what they are going through and to hold the space so that this part can express what it wasn’t able to express all those years ago. Until this adult self is in place, a therapist or a healer will be needed to hold the space.
Taking this into account, if one can’t let go of the past or ‘forgive’ their parents, it doesn’t mean that they need to force themselves to move forward; it means that at least one part of them is not in a good way and is calling out to be seen and heard. If one was just one person and they were not made up of many different parts, this wouldn’t be the case.
If willpower is used to move forward, these parts will be invalidated and ignored, with this being an experience that one is most like only too familiar with. Perhaps the main reason why they are in a bay way now is that they didn’t receive the loving presence that they needed when they were growing up, and this why it is so important that one receives this now, from themselves or another if they are unable currently provide it.
What this illustrates is that it is not about one forgiving their parents or not forgiving them, it is about them acknowledging their own pain and working through it. If they try to do the former before the latter, they are likely to just end up bypassing their own pain.
Through working through their own inner wounds and forgiving themselves, they will naturally become more compassionate towards those who mistreated them. Forgiving them will then be a by-product of the work that they have done, and are doing, on themselves, not something that they do to look good, please others or to avoid feeling guilty and fearful.
Lastly, what this also illustrates is that one can’t think or force their emotional pain away; this, of course, wouldn’t be the so if their thoughts always created their feelings. The emotional body is very different from the mental body, which is why a very different approach is needed when it comes to dealing with part of ones being.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.