Psychologists can sometimes be pretty hard on parents. When trying to explain why we feel unworthy, unhappy, unloved, depressed, anxious, or just about anything else negative it all seems to go back to our childhood. And while it is true that much of who we are today is a result of how we were raised and treated as children, it does not give us the justification to avoid responsibility for the people we choose to be today.
“The pressures of being a parent are equal to any pressure on earth. To be a conscious parent, and really look to that little being’s mental and physical health is a responsibility which most of us, including me, avoid most of the time, because it’s too hard…To put it loosely, the reason why kids are crazy is because nobody can face the responsibility of bringing them up… “John Lennon
Childhood, no matter how bad it may have been, is over and done. We are in charge of our own lives now. We can’t go on blaming our parents forever for the things we do today. Yes psychology does help us understand how and why we became the people we are, but it does not give us an excuse to stay that way. The past is the past and it is gone forever and we need not reflect on it any more than we choose to. The present is what matters and from now on we are calling the shots.
The simple truth is that in most cases our parents did the best job they could with what they knew. They didn’t have an instruction manual or parenting classes. And they certainly didn’t have the benefit of Dr. Phil or the Learning Channel. They had to learn everything as they went along; and often under some pretty extreme circumstances. They had to make a living, pay bills, take care of a home, try and get along with each other, and raise babies, all at the same time. Were they perfect parents? No, of course not. But then again we were not perfect children.
There is tremendous power in forgiveness and forgiving our parents for past mistakes is not only a wonderful gift we can give to them, but it is a gift of healing we can give to ourselves. Because whatever else they may have done or not done, if it weren’t for them, we would not be here. Our parents gave us the gift of life and, if nothing else, they deserve our thanks for that.
You may not get along with your parents or even like them, but you should at least try to love and forgive them.
“The more people have studied different methods of bringing up children the more they have come to the conclusion that what good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is the best after all.” Benjamin Spock
“We never know the love of the parent till we become parents ourselves.” Henry Ward Beecher