Forgive your parents – heal your relationships
by Melanie Young W
hen we are children, our experience of love is what our parents show us. Through their actions, words and
behaviours we determine: • whether we are worthy of love • how and when that love is expressed to us • who we have to be and what we have to do to be loved and loveable
• how love is expressed between couples (through watching our parents relationship) These become our beliefs about love. As we grow up and start having
love relationships of our own, we are subconsciously searching for partners who will confirm these beliefs to us. We may be acutely aware that these beliefs
about love do not serve us at all but, until the beliefs have been subconsciously changed, we
will continue to attract relationships that in some way are a reflection of our childhood. Although our parents usually did the best
they could for us when we were children, most of us have a few damaging beliefs that are impacting on our adult love relationships. This may not always be easy to see.
The most important thing is how you feel. Pay attention to how you feel in your relationships and see if there is a correlation between them and the feelings you experienced in your childhood. For example: Your father may have been a raging
alcoholic and you felt fearful and not good enough when he was around. You may have responded by walking on eggshells around him and by always being a good little girl in order to not provoke him into a rage. You could have relationships with men
who often lose their temper and drink a lot. Or you might be in a relationship with a depressed man who never loses his temper and you always behave like a good little girl
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Melanie gives us practical tips on forgiving our parents – an essential for a personally developed life, and yet so often very hard for us to do. As she says, “Forgiveness of our parents is one of the biggest keys in creating loving and harmonious relationships."
around him, supporting him emotionally without expressing your own needs because you are fearful of adding to his burdens and making him more depressed. You feel not good enough because your love
is not enough to make him not depressed and you walk on eggshells around him because you never know what sort of day he is having. It’s clear to see that you have recreated
your relationship with your father in your adult relationships.
WHY? There are two reasons: • It is what we experienced as love as children – so it seems normal to us and fits our beliefs about love and what love is.
• On some level we knew that the love that we got from our father was not unconditional, real love and this has been filed away in the ‘unresolved’ folder in our subconscious mind. Anything unresolved in the subconscious
mind will continue to come up as a pattern in our life because the subconscious mind is always looking for a resolution to unresolved aspects of our life. It is often safer (but not effective) to
try to resolve these patterns within our relationship than with our parents.
HOW TO OVERCOME THIS Recognise that your partner is often subconsciously trying to help you to resolve your childhood issues by playing a role for you. This role will often completely disappear when you have resolved your relationship with your parents.
Then, get very clear on what you need
within your relationship that you are not getting. Ask for your needs to be met in an adult
manner, without any blame directed at your partner, and express your gratitude and appreciation when they meet your needs – even if they don’t do it perfectly at first. Ask them to tell you honestly what their needs are and meet their needs often. Forgive your parents. This doesn’t make
what they did right; it just allows you to move on. Remember that forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a decision. It’s a decision to let the other person off the hook.
HOW DO YOU FORGIVE THEM? I suggest doing all the things listed below. Try not to be half-hearted about this. This is holding you back from all your
hopes and dreams. Experiencing a loving relationship where you feel nurtured and cherished, loving and loved, will completely change your life. If you feel brave, you can tell your parents
that you forgive them or you can write them a letter to let them know. This is not necessary though. You can forgive your parents even if you never met them, even if they are no longer alive or even if you choose never to see them again. You can write them a letter and never send it. Write a letter in which you detail all their
shortcomings first so that you get all your anger and frustration out. Then see if you have a warmer feeling towards them in your heart. From this you can grow your forgiveness letter.
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Leaders in Holistic and Transpersonal Education These articles now in category-specific ebooks – see p.3 for more
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