Respect Your Parents

I was thinking about a Dar Williams song today that she wrote about her therapist. The line goes something like this, speaking of when she was in a therapy session; “When I hit a rut she says to try the other parent”. It is a great song and tongue in cheek it is quite funny. It seems to ring true about how traditional talk therapy tends to be based on blaming our parents for all of our problems.

There is no doubt that parents do have the biggest influence on our development of self esteem, confidence and sense of worthiness. Things can go a little wrong in a family when parents might be young and overwhelmed with their own dysfunctions that they might not have been as available as they would have liked or maybe got angry a lot. And things can also go VERY wrong in a family when there is abuse, gross neglect and terribly dangerous situations for children. Being abandoned and adopted can also do a number on children’s sense of well being.

Even though parents have this influence on our sense of who we are in the world, when trying to heal from these experiences, the worst possible thing to do is put blame on your parents.

I am not saying that they are not responsible for things that they did or did not do, but holding the stance of “if they could have done better they would have”, is far more healing for those wounds.

One of the most primal survival instincts is to “belong” to your family. One of the biggest wounds that I see in my clients over and over again is a sense of not belonging and then continuing that pattern out in the world with others even outside of the family.

To hold the stance of “blame” when working to heal these wounds only puts more distance between children and their parents. And as long as there is distance between them no one will heal.

A much more useful thing to do on the inside when working with theses things is to look at ALL of what your parents gave you, realizing that they gave you life and they were the only ones who could have done that.

And instead of judging them and what was or wasn’t there…just say a peaceful “ok”.

That’s it, “ok” and notice the resistance that is created by trying to make something in the past be different gets still and quiet.

Then, there is room for healing and not a minute before. Now, I am not suggesting that means you have to make amends in person with abusive parents etc. This is done on the inside of yourself.

I invite you to try it out for yourself. Notice what it is like to blame your parents and hate your childhood and notice how that feels.

Next, look at your parents and all that was and silently and peacefully just say “ok”.

And notice that the tension of resisting what already is, relaxes.

For more information on how NLP and Family Constellations can heal your life quickly please visit my website.

Be well,

Cinthia Dennis.