Forgiving Your Parents

Several big-time baseball stars were recently suspended for using performance- enhancing drugs. One of the most famous blamed his choices on the fact that his father left the family when he was quite young. I am sure this had a negative effect on his life, but you can’t blame your adult decisions on your parents, whether they were there for you or not.

We all look for reasons why things aren’t going our way. Many people blame their parents for the unfulfilled life they are currently living. But at some point, you have to let go of what your parents did or didn’t do to you and take responsibility for making the changes in your life that you need to make.

Yes, it is true that too many children are mistreated by their parents. I see the unfortunate results every day. I am also a survivor of an abusive childhood, and I know that making my parents responsible for my moods or difficulties is a waste of time. It is up to me to pick myself up and focus on what I need to do to make my life a better place to be.

It may be easier said than done, but by taking the first steps, you can reclaim your life and move forward without the burden of feeling like you aren’t good enough or believing that you didn’t get a strong enough foundation as a child to prosper now as an adult.

You need to accept that times have changed and that you have more power now than you ever had before. The trick is to find the most productive ways to use that empowerment.

Some people choose to be the parent for themselves that they never had, either through therapy or by doing exercises on their own. There is one process where you let your adult self talk to the child that is still within you, letting that inner child know that he or she is safe and that you will not let any harm occur. It may seem a little strange or feel uncomfortable at first, but doing this exercise can heal the hurt inside and leave you feeling better about yourself.

Other people have chosen to “divorce” their parents, and there are books available on how to go through this process. Divorce, in this case, is done only figuratively—it has no legal weight—but it can be a helpful tool. Claiming your independence can make you stronger and help you release your pain and resentment of the past.

You need to remember that your parents no longer control your life (unless you let them) and that you have the ability to change your circumstances. Unfortunately, many people avoid dealing with their issues and go through life seemingly fine until something unsettling happens. Then all bets are off, and those who don’t know better start to blame their parents instead of being proactive about altering their situations.

So be proactive. Letting go of the past is very freeing. It gives you the ability to accomplish your dreams and enjoy them.

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