When you’ve felt tremendous heartache by your parents over and over and OVER again, hating them may feel deserving. Like you have a right to be angry at them and closed-off to the world. Pain so deep that forgiving them sounds more like letting them off the hook and playing the fool rather than helping yourself. “Why should I forgive my father!? He LEFT me.”, “Why should I understand my mother!? She was plain ol’ MEAN.” You have a right to your emotions and feeling resentful is absolutely understanding. But to be honest with you, as long as you hold onto that unforgiveness you will never experience true joy and peace within your life. You will always have that burning frustration in your chest and be held back by the pain of your past. See, when we hold on to pain it becomes like a pair of shades for our life. We see everything through the lens of hurt, frustration, rejection, sadness, and even rage. Everything in our world appears to be a threat; believing that if we take the shades off people will hurt us, and bad. So we become the very pain that hurt us. Not intentionally, but to avoid the cycle. And in an attempt to avoid the cycle, we become the cycle. “I couldn’t even trust my own family. WHY should I trust anyone?? I’m keeping my ‘shades’ on! I trust no one.” I understand what you are feeling, and I am here to tell you:
Take the shades off.
If you are tired of feeling stuck in your pain (like I know you are), you will have to take them off in order to experience the life you truly desire and deserve. So, here is a reminder that may help you move towards your new vision. Help you forgive, heal, and be free.
Your parents love you; always has and always will. They aren’t monsters that are intending or intended on hurting you. Deep down, they notice your pain everyday and would do it all over again if they could. They loved you the only way the knew how. Forgive them.
“Huh!? Love me?? See you don’t know what I’ve been through. You don’t know my story. They don’t love me. If they did, they wouldn’t have hurt me. And why do I need to forgive them after what they’ve done or didn’t do for me!? I deserve to be mad. Hell, I am mad.”
Listen, I hear you. I do. And I would like for you to consider this saying: hurt people, hurt people. Your parents, or anyone for that matter, are people just like you and I who have experienced pain, fear, anger, depression, heartache, rejection, doubt, and any variation of hurt. When those invisible scars go unhealed, the messages of rejection, insecurity, fear, unworthiness, guilt, and shame are all painfully projected on to others. Especially those closest to us. So understand the pint up anger unleashed on to you isn’t about you. It’s a reflection of their pain and their own experiences – their own pair of shades. This by no means is an excuse for their actions, a reason to disregard your emotions, or a reason to just “get over it” and put up with the dysfunction. This is for you to understand the situation on a deeper level so that you can be free. So that you can drop the burden of pain. So that you can take control over your life and not let negative experiences run your show! View their hurt as a reflection of them, not you. See through the new lens that says, I am not responsible for my parents/others pain. I don’t allow them to project their hurt onto me. I whole heartily forgive them for all things as I now realize their actions were a reflection of their own pains, not of me.
And this doesn’t mean that you have to run and be best friends now either. Take your time in this healing process and move as you feel lead. If moving means talking things out, loving from a distance, creating new boundaries, a combination of them all, or simply moving on, do what is best for you to heal and have peace at this time. Just make sure you give yourself the space to acknowledge your hurt, heal, and do so at your own pace. No matter how much time it takes.
Letting go when you are angry isn’t easy and it will take time. In fact, you will have to remind yourself over and over again that forgiveness is a choice not a feeling. And that forgiveness is for you and not them. If you are ready to take those shades off and have clear vision, then I believe and am in agreement with you that you are completely healed from childhood pain. Remind yourself often of the above statement and stand in a new cycle of forgiveness, peace, joy, love, hope, and abundance. Becoming the example the little you needed.