When I first got into self-development, I shared a lot of what I had learnt with my parents. This was partly because I wanted to share what I had learnt and partly because I thought it could help them.
I soon came to see that I was wasting my time, and that it was far better for me to keep most of what I had learnt to myself. I didn’t think it was worth the hassle of being put down and treated as though I was trying to sell them a virus.
They were both experiencing a lot of stress, but this didn’t mean that they actually wanted to do anything about it. Consequently, their health was only going to get worse over time, and there was very little that I could do.
I was brought up to believe that other people’s needs were more important than my own, which caused me to believe that I was responsible for other people’s needs. Said another way, it was my fault if they were not happy.
So, as I was responsible for others, I believed that it was down to me to rescue my parents. My value as a human being had nothing to do with who I was; it was based on what I did.
If I could save them I would be able to feel good about myself (for a short while), but if I couldn’t do this, I would end up feeling like a failure. The trouble was that they couldn’t be saved, and, even if they could, this wasn’t my responsibility.
I was then behaving more like their parents than their son, playing a role that I wasn’t supposed to play. Ultimately, both of my parents were carrying too much pain to be present.
My father was more reachable than my mother, but he wasn’t fully available. I think his heart was still attached to his first wife who had died of cancer, which stopped him from being able to fully show up.
It could have been worse
Still, if my father had not have been around, I would have ended up being even more wounded. My father had the ability to be kind and gentle, and as he was an older dad, he had a lot of things to pass on to me.
He taught me the value of self-discipline, self-control, and patience, along with the importance of respect. My mother, on the other hand, was very cold and I couldn’t understand how anyone could be like this.
The Years Passed
My father would often listen to what I had learnt and he even worked with a healer when he had bone cancer, but his health gradually got worse. My mother’s health also went down a similar route.
For years I could see that this would happen; it was simply the result of consequential thinking. I didn’t need to be psychic and to look into the future; the signs were there for anyone to see.
After my father passed on and my mother’s health got even worse, I spent a lot of time beating myself up about what had happened. I went over what I did and what I could have done.
I experienced a lot of guilt and believed that I deserved to suffer for what had taken place. Along with this, another part of me knew that I did the best that I could and was focused on what I could do to heal my pain.
We All Have Our Own Path
Through hanging in there and working through a lot of pain, I came to see that it wasn’t up to me to save or rescue them. They were on their own path and there was nothing that I could have done to change that.
It made me think that perhaps they were the perfect parents for me and that they supplied me with just what I needed. It is, of course, easy to say this afterwards; I would have got angry and experienced disbelief if I had thought about this before.
Having said that, I think this is exactly what I experienced when people told me things like this all those years ago. I thought that they were completely deluded, and wondered how they could come out with something so ridiculous.
So, if you felt as though it was up to you to save your parents (or anyone else for that matter) before you read this article, you might have a different outlook now. I hope that this article has had a positive effect on you.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article, as many others have.
Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 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.