I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your parents are only human. Some of us didn’t have the best relationship with one or both of our parents and we carry a great deal of resentment because of it. I challenge you to forgive and release the hurt you carry in your spirit for them. It’s not the easiest thing to do especially if one or both of your parents were absent and/or abandoned you. But just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean it’s not necessary.
We forget the fact that our parents were normal people before they were our parents. Obviously, we’ve never experienced them outside of being our parents and thus we do not take this into consideration. This is important because this is how we humanize our parents. I used to be very critical of the mistakes my parents made in raising me until I decided to extend the same level of grace, I hoped to be extended to myself.
I’d like to submit for your consideration the thought that our parents may not have been prepared to become parents and may not have even wanted to be parents at the time of our conception. As crazy as it sounds, so many of us engage in sexual activity unprotected and are shocked and upset when unplanned pregnancy occurs. I did not grow up with my father in my life and it took a long time to forgive him for his absence. I had to shift my mindset to understand that just because he impregnated my mother does not mean he was ready to become a father. Men and women alike attempt to “trap” each other by pregnancy thus bringing life into the world for all the wrong reasons.
Another source of frustration many have for their parents lie in the fact that we criticize our parents for not teaching us what we feel are fundamental values. I’ve heard people get upset because they feel their parents should have taught them more than just going to school, getting a job, and working for someone else for 40 years. I’ve encountered people upset because they feel their parents should have taught entrepreneurship and financial literacy. This is a prime example of expecting our parents to teach us what they most likely did not know. In the world of the information overload, anything we want to learn is available at our fingertips. Our parents didn’t possess the same advantages that we have and unfortunately, we forget that and hold our parents to an impossible standard.
When chastising our parents about what they did and did not do, or say, or be, we fail to realize that our parents are the way they are because it was passed down. There isn’t an ideal of how to be the perfect parent and so this means our parents learned as they went along. What was learned in the moment then gets passed down. Some may have experienced domestic violence in their upbringing and thus saw it as normal behavior. Then, when we got older, we carried out those same beliefs due to what was indirectly taught to us as a child without choosing to shift our mindset. This is also true of being exposed to poverty, sexual promiscuity, and excessive drug and/or alcohol abuse. A lot of the toxic behaviors we carry have been passed down from generation to generation and it’s up to us to break the cycle, but that starts with forgiveness.
Generational curses are a real thing. Much of the dysfunction that exists is learned and passed down. Many of our toxic traits we possess were inherited. This is not an excuse but simply an explanation. We have the authority to make the decision to change but it is indeed a choice. I had to reach a place where I love and forgave my parents for the mistakes they made as an act of not only releasing my feelings of hurt and frustration but humanizing them. Looking to our parents to be superman and/or superwoman holds them to an expectation that yields disappointment.