Difficult relationship with your Parents? Find out how this author healed hers!
by Guest Author
It’s not a big secret that every human being has had many resentments towards their parents. This is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, this is quite “normal” since the beginning of time. However, it also an area of our lives we must dissect and glance inwards at. Only then can we move forward to integrate positivity, balance, and flow into our lives. We can also use this to heal our relationships with our parents.
Healing my relationship with my parents has been some of the hardest work I ever performed. Yet, this process has also been the most rewarding in my own self-development. And the craziest part of it all? I didn’t need either of them to do it. You see, that’s the beautiful thing about self-growth. You don’t need anyone else to do it and you don’t need anyone’s permission to do the work. I am a huge fan and believer of this principle: We are our own saviours. By shifting our perspectives and stories, we change the way we perceive the world and the people in it.
I began to dissect my resentments toward my parents, that I had harbored for years, when I was 21. First, I attempted this work in writing, in a journal, and at my first rehab center. Then, I looked at my story and perception of my childhood with each parent. A lot of embarrassment and shame had evolved, prior to my “aha” moment. I was judging the act of parenting, when they were simply doing the best they could. For some reason, I didn’t think it was good enough.
I concluded that they were doing what felt right to them. It was all they ever knew. I remember my heart softening and the flood gates opening, when I had come to realize this. This is when my compassion for them had appeared. After that, I had to forgive myself for years of this “judgement”, and for thinking they hadn’t done enough.
I then took an honest self-inventory of all these resentments I had held. This was extreme eye-opener, especially as I reflected over my teenage years, when I thought the worst of them. When assessing the role I played in this deteriorating relationship, I realized I was far from a saint myself. Furthermore, they likely had justification to act the way they did. I realized they did what they believed to be right and fair, with no ill intention.
Additionally, I was able to engage in self-inventory, by taking ownership of my choices and the parts I played. I started to understand the emotional, mental, and spiritual damage I may have caused them as well. I have since made my own amends, by not taking part in the past harmful activities I once had. I’ve learned that telling someone that you’re “sorry” means nothing unless followed by changed behaviour.
When I was in my mid-twenties, I started working with my inner child. I had also started to dive into my own “fear of responsibility”. This fear was a block in my ability to stay clean and sober for long periods of time. I came to realize it was directly related to my inner child feeling unsafe — that no one would care for her the way she deserved to be cared for. Love her the way she deserved to be loved. See her the way she wanted to be seen.
Through some guided therapy work and a lot of personal growth on my end. I came to a place where I was able to tell my inner child, “Everything is okay, Maggie, I will take care of you now.”
This was extremely transformational and yes, I have sometimes let her down, but don’t doubt the incredibly healing power this statement had over my fear. It was magical, undeniable, a force to be reckoned with. I not only acknowledged, felt, and healed my fear, but I also gave myself permission to own my choices, own my destiny, and take responsibility over how my life would unfold.
I am now 29 and in the best mindset spiritually, mentally, and emotionally in my whole life. I’ve dedicated the past 10 years of my life to recover from a hopeless state of mind, body, and soul. It hasn’t been easy but I can honestly say I love “doing the work.” I love the epiphanies, the new levels I grow into each time, and the new opportunities that keep coming my way.
I now have a child who shares a beautiful, nourishing bond with my parents. To see my parents as grandparents is a gift, to witness the bond they experience with my child, priceless! I am so happy I did “the work” to heal my past resentments and trauma with them, to consciously heal and switch my hurt into compassion. I now get to see the beauty of my parents’ relationship with my child unfold without any limits of my own past experiences with them.
In my late twenties, I have come to believe that we actually choose our parents before we come into this present re-incarnation. Now, I know that theory or belief will not sit well with everyone, and that’s okay, this is my belief. I believe we choose our parents based on who will support the maximum growth and evolution for our souls in this lifetime. I have recently been trying to extract what those lessons and teachings from my parents, that have accompanied me in my souls’ expansion, to share and help others on their journey.
Things to work on, with my parents, will always pop up here and there and it’s just another opportunity to see the relationship with a new pair of glasses. A new habit I have been working on is naming 10 things I really like about the person or parent, especially when I’m hurting and those emotions threaten to spill out of me, and all I want to do is unleash my hurt and anger. This is a great way to use gratitude as a shift in perception.
Ultimately, returning to that place of self-empowerment, where only I can change the way I perceive a situation and alchemize my hurt into compassion is like no other. As an author and a coach, my mission is to empower and educate people that they are their own saviour. They don’t need anyone else to live the life they want to live and they don’t need anyone’s permission to do so. My hope is for everyone to do the self-growth work and not see it as “work,” but as positivity enhancement for our lives and our planet overall.
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Maggie Bowles is an author, poet and online spiritual and personal development coach. You can find her musings at maggiebowles.com and @maggiebowlesofficial on Instagram. You will most likely find her immersed in nature with her son or writing at her computer with a green smoothie.