How to Forgive Your Parents for Their Mistakes
Talking about my mom in public isn’t an easy step for me – and neither is for her. I don’t want to criticize her or hurt her in any way.
After all, I know she tried her best.
People often don’t realize just how much your parents can affect you.
Your overall mindset. Your values. Your opinions & beliefs about life, love, happiness, success, self-confidence… and the list goes on and on.
There comes a time in life when you realize that everything you’ve been taught is wrong. And that makes you upset, frustrated & angry.
However, my experience has taught me that’s the quick fix to the problem – to be angry.
In reality, it’s a recipe for disaster and self-sabotage in the long run.
Instead, forgive your parents and take the time to learn something from their mistakes.
Invest in the relationship you have with them – and you’ll realize you’re investing in yourself as well.
Here’s how to do that:
Know how their parenting affected you
You can’t solve any issues if you’re not aware of them first.
Dad leaving me behind caused my abandonment issues. Mom trying to establish authority over me made me insecure & weak. All of that combined has been enough to spark up my anxiety & depression.
Admitting that to myself didn’t feel nice but it was the only thing that enabled me to solve my past trauma and move on with my life.
Remember they’re not perfect
While growing up, you very likely looked up to your parents for everything. This is done unconsciously – it’s the way Mother Nature works. They were your superheroes, your idols without you even being aware.
And whenever your superhero did something to mess things up, your tiny little heart broke into million pieces.
But here’s something I didn’t know back then: no human being is perfect. Your parents had their own demons they had to fight as well. Cut them some slack.
It’s all in the past anyway.
Be aware that they probably didn’t know any better
Parenting is done based on the set of values and beliefs we already have ingrained in us. Before you judge them for their behavior, remember that your parents didn’t know any better.
I know my mom loved me and wanted me to succeed & be happy in life but she didn’t shy away from smacking me occasionally. I don’t think she did that as to physically harm me – quote the contrary, she did it to teach me what not to do. Her parents did the same to her.
She didn’t have the emotional capacity nor the resources to make me and my sister obey her in any other way. Looking at it from this perspective now, I’m aware she didn’t know any better.
Take back responsibility for your own life
There’s only so much time you can spend blaming your parents.
I know that childhood trauma is not easy to forget – and it probably scarred you for life – but after a certain while, you’re in control of your life. You make your own choices and decisions. You shape your destiny.
Don’t waste precious time wishing you have been dealt different cards. Play the best hand with the ones you have already. You can’t change the past but you always can change your future.
Learn something from their mistakes
If I have to find a silver lining in my parents’ mistakes, then it’s knowing what type of parent I’m not going to be.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to raise a human being but even know I’m quite positive about my parenting style. I want to raise kind & emphatic human beings, with a positive mindset, plenty of self-esteem. Successful and yet humble individuals.
And I can only teach them that if I lead by example.
Do you struggle to forgive your parents? Do you often wish things would’ve been different?
Share with me in the comments and let me know – I’d love to hear from you!