We don’t often realize just how influential our parents are to our lives, especially as we set out to make important decisions. Even as adults, we often consult our parents and ask for guidance; which is really permission, in disguise.
Due to my parents passing, I haven’t had the benefit of parental guidance for most of my adult life. But when faced with a dilemma, I still act “As If” – I think about how they would react to the decisions I make, as if they were still alive today.
Their passing has shaped my perspective in a way that has affected both my decision making and behavior. Although, I’ve always sought their approval, I make decisions knowing that I will be free from parental judgment and punishment. I therefore have the courage to make bold decisions, even though I know they might have disapproved.
I also feel completely accountable for all my decisions and actions. I only answer to myself. I have no one to blame but myself, but I am also very well aware that my parents will never come to my rescue either. This is a very sobering thought, but I also find it liberating. My failures are my own, but so are my successes.
But perhaps, I am merely trying to make lemonade out of lemons. Of course if given the choice, I would always choose to have my parents, along with all their judgment and discernment. But what is shocking to me is that many of my close friends who blame their parents for their failures, also view my situation as some type of an advantage.
To them, I would say this. None of our parents were perfect and they all made mistakes. But unless your parents were truly bad people who inflicted harm on their children, you have to believe they did the best that they could. Therefore, whatever they have done that wounded you emotionally can only be healed by forgiving them. And only once you have forgiven them, do you stand any chance of having a normal, adult relationship with them.
We all know that a lot of adults struggle with their relationships with their parents. It is the most common reason that people go to therapy and most adult unhappiness stems from some UN-dealt with issue from childhood. But you can’t blame your parents forever. At some point you need to own your own shit and deal with your issues.
So to all my loyal readers, I challenge you today, to reflect upon your own relationships with your parents. Are you satisfied with the condition of the relationship? Can you do more to improve it? If so, then do it. Remember that life is short and your parents are growing older each day. Make the most of time that you have with them.