Forgiveness doesn’t come easily for many people. When someone hurts you, that pain can end up staying with you for a long time. Forgetting about the pain or betrayal you experienced may seem impossible, and forgiving the person who wronged you might seem equally as hard. As difficult as forgiveness may be, forgiving your parents is one of the best things you can do for your peace of mind, health and overall quality of life.
Why Is It So Hard To Forgive?
The blame, anger and other emotions you feel are defensive emotions that protect you from future harm. True forgiveness requires you to let go of this defense, which means it comes with an emotional risk. In order to forgive your parents, you must trust that they won’t hurt you again. Of course, you can never be sure. Forgiveness makes you vulnerable. You are risking emotional harm.
Why Should I Forgive?
The longer you hold on to pain from your childhood, the more it will affect your life in the future. Early wounds have a way of staying with us. When we experience something traumatic at a young age, that experience often plays a role in who we become. Your pain might make you shy or unable to trust others, or it might make you strong, resilient and determined to create a good life for yourself.
When you hold onto your pain, you become stuck in a cycle of suffering. You end up experiencing an adult version of your childhood wounds, over and over again. This can have a profound effect on your happiness, relationships and quality of life. Blaming your parents for something that happened in the past keeps your wound open. It also allows your parents to have power over your current life, state of happiness and inner peace. Forgiveness is the key to emotional freedom.
How To Finally Forgive Your Parents
1. Take Responsibility For Your Emotions
If you blame others for your pain, you are giving them the power to hurt you. By taking full responsibility for every emotion you experience, you are releasing the blame. This includes pinpointing the cause of your childhood wounds. Allowing yourself to find the root of the problem can help show you how to heal yourself.
2. Understand Emotional Wounds
An emotional wound is a belief you adopted in response to an experience. The core emotional wound is almost always feelings of unworthiness or worthlessness. All children have emotional needs. They include acceptance, approval, appreciation, respect and validation. If your parents didn’t meet these needs when you were a child, you may have naturally assumed you were unworthy of approval. It’s important to understand that the emotional pain you associate with believing you are unworthy stems from something untrue.
3. Let Go Of Your Unworthiness Wound
Holding onto your wounds may give you the belief that you still need approval, acceptance and validation from your parents in order to feel worthy. The longer your harbor that pain, the stronger these feelings become. You are giving your parents power over you, your happiness and your entire life. As hard as it might be, forgiving them can help set you free. Letting go of the pain is a powerful step in releasing their hold over you.
4. Give Yourself What You Need
If it’s approval, validation or permission you’re missing, stop looking for it from your parents. Make a conscious decision to take control over your own life. Understand that you are responsible for your own happiness. Give yourself the permission you thought you needed. Find your own sense of validation through inner peace. By forgiving your parents and letting go of your pain, you are opening yourself up to a whole new you.