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Forgiving Your Parents  Actions...
Posted: by shutterbug on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 12:09:56 PM
Forgiving our parents is a core task of adulthood, and one of the most crucial kinds of forgiveness. We see our parents in our mates, in our friends, in our bosses, even in our children. When we've felt rejected by a parent and have remained in that state, we will inevitably feel rejected by these important others as well.

But letting our parents off the hook, psychologist Robert Karen says, is the first step toward happiness, self-acceptance and maturity. Here are some thoughts to help the healing begin:

Resolve resentment.
Nursing resentments toward a parent does more than keep that parent in the doghouse. We get stuck there, too, forever the child, the victim, the have-not in the realm of love. Strange as it may seem, a grudge is a kind of clinging, a way of not separating, and when we hold a grudge against a parent, we are clinging not just to the parent, but more specifically to the bad part of the parent. It's as if we don't want to live our lives until we have this resolved and feel the security of their unconditional love. We do so for good reasons psychologically. But the result is just the opposite: We stay locked into the badness and we don't grow up.

Develop realistic expectations.
The sins of parents are among the most difficult to forgive. We expect the world of them, and we do not wish to lower our expectations. Decade after decade, we hold out the hope, often unconsciously, that they will finally do right by us. We want them to own up to all their misdeeds, to apologize, to make heartfelt pleas for our forgiveness. We want our parents to embrace us, to tell us they know we were good children, to undo the favoritism they've shown to a brother or sister, to take back their hurtful criticisms, to give us their praise.

Hold on to the good.
Most parents love their children, with surprisingly few exceptions. But no parent is perfect—which means that everyone has childhood wounds. If we're lucky, our parents were good enough for us to be able to hold on to the knowledge of their love for us and our love for them, even in the face of the things they did that hurt us.

Foster true separation.
To forgive is not to condone the bad things our parents have done. It's not to deny their selfishness, their rejections, their meanness, their brutality, or any of the other misdeeds, character flaws, or limitations that may attach to them. It is important to separate from our parents—which is to stop seeing ourselves as children who depend on them for our emotional well-being, to stop being their victims, to recognize that we are adults with some capacity to shape our own lives and the responsibility to do so.

Let your parents back into your heart.
When we do that, we can begin to understand the circumstances and limitations they labored under, recognize the goodness in them that our pain has pushed aside, feel some compassion perhaps, not only for the hard journey they had but also for the pain we have caused them.

Commit to the journey.
Getting to a forgiving place, finding the forgiving self inside us, is a long and complicated journey. We have to be ready to forgive. We have to want to forgive. The deeper the wound, the more difficult the process—which makes forgiving parents especially hard. Along the way, we may have to express our protest, we may have to be angry and resentful, we may even have to punish our parents by holding a grudge. But when we get there, the forgiveness we achieve will be a forgiveness worth having.

From the May 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

shutterbug
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That  Actions...
Posted: by Freebird2 on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 12:48:37 PM
In reply to: shutterbug "Forgiving Your Parents"

article was posted here in Feb, 2012 in this thread 

http://community.chatelaine.com/advansis/?mod=for&act=dhp&pid=839925&tid=838910&eid=6&so=1&ps=40&sb=1#839925

Freebird2
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Ah yes it was  Actions...
Posted: by shutterbug on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 12:59:12 PM
In reply to: Freebird2 "That"
I just found it in my email folders when going through them this morning. I do suppose this thread can be deleted now though!

shutterbug
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Reported and hopefully deleted soon nt  Actions...
Posted: by shutterbug on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 1:00:51 PM
In reply to: shutterbug "Ah yes it was"
n/t.

shutterbug
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I don't see the  Actions...
Posted: by Freebird2 on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 1:27:16 PM
In reply to: shutterbug "Ah yes it was"

reason to delete the thread, but it's up to you. 

I think that article has a lot of very good points in it. 

Freebird2
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don't delete too quickly!  Actions...
Posted: by a.doll on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 1:20:40 PM
In reply to: shutterbug "Forgiving Your Parents"

I still need time to read this excellent advice - thank you shutterbug!

It never hurts to post again as a reminder!

 

 
 

When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it – don’t back down and don’t give up – then you’re going to mystify a lot of folks. ― Bob Dylan

The poster formerly known as plexy (stolen from Jack Johnson)  and before that known as sexyplexy (nickname just for fun!)  ;)

 

 


 

 

a.doll
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How about forgiving ourselves  Actions...
Posted: by Nanny G on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 8:48:02 PM
In reply to: a.doll "don't delete too quickly!"

for the hurt we gave our parents. I think often about this. We left and went to work and live away. We did not call as often as we could have even when we lived close. We really aknowledged our parents when we were 30 and over and had kids of our own. I think our parents did the best they could with what they had, and so did we. Different generations and so  on and on...

I am not sure my mother in law had the same access to her grand-children as my parents had, I did not realise it then but now I do.

Nanny G
edited Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 @ 8:50:28 PM by Nanny G
 
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Just a suggestion...  Actions...
Posted: by dreamer16 on Sat. 21 Jul., 2012 at 10:44:49 AM
In reply to: Nanny G "How about forgiving ourselves"
but this might be an interesting topic for another thread.


"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"  Dr. Seuss

 "Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does."  (unknown)

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."  George S. Patton

The poster formerly known as Writer Mom (stolen from Prince)  

dreamer16
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I agree with you dreamer16  Actions...
Posted: by a.doll on Sat. 21 Jul., 2012 at 4:35:16 PM
In reply to: dreamer16 "Just a suggestion..."

An excellent topic for another thread.

Forgiveness works both ways.

 

 
 

When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it – don’t back down and don’t give up – then you’re going to mystify a lot of folks. ― Bob Dylan

The poster formerly known as plexy (stolen from Jack Johnson)  and before that known as sexyplexy (nickname just for fun!)  ;)

 

 


 

 

a.doll
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I agree  Actions...
Posted: by dreamer16 on Sat. 21 Jul., 2012 at 10:43:20 AM
In reply to: a.doll "don't delete too quickly!"
No reason to delete.  This is an excellent article, whether it's been posted before or not.

I'm still working on my journey and am almost at my end, but it's taken many years.  Another reminder is always helpful.  We can all use some help along the way, in whatever form that might be.


"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"  Dr. Seuss

 "Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does."  (unknown)

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."  George S. Patton

The poster formerly known as Writer Mom (stolen from Prince)  

dreamer16
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thank you!  Actions...
Posted: by green_sleeves on Sat. 21 Jul., 2012 at 1:57:51 AM
In reply to: shutterbug "Forgiving Your Parents"
I must have missed this the first time around and found it rather enlightening so am posting this as a 'note' on my Facebook page. Thumb up
                                          


                                                                             

No need to explain: your friends don't require it and your enemies won't believe you anyway.Grin


green_sleeves
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I agree, no need to delete  Actions...
Posted: by focused on Sat. 21 Jul., 2012 at 10:29:18 PM
In reply to: shutterbug "Forgiving Your Parents"

It's a real good post.  Much wisdom there.

Personally, I had a terrible time getting over some of the things my father did. I went for therapy about it, for quite awhile.

While the process was going on, I was becoming an adult. I learned that my parents lacked some coping skills, but I'd be the first to say at this point in time that they certainly did the best with what they had.

I remember feeling freed when this sunk in.  Forgiveness is really cleansing I think. 

I hope your post will help others who continue to blame their folks for things they did. 

focused
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Good article  Actions...
Posted: by MMV on Sun. 22 Jul., 2012 at 9:36:11 AM
In reply to: shutterbug "Forgiving Your Parents"
For me, forgiveness is honesty, acceptance and letting go, no matter if we're speaking of parents or of any other relationship in our lives.  To hang on to anger, animosity and resentment is a very heavy burden to carry and has many ill effects on our lives.  It often takes time to work through issues to get to the point of forgiveness, and we get there through our own personal journey, but in the end how freeing it is for all parties involved.  People do the best they can. People make mistakes. We're all only human.  Forgiveness is a great gift to teach our children.

MMV
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