Lately I have been reading on a lot of websites, even well-known ones, and friends' Facebook pages, where the author will say something like: "I have decided to renounce my parents. / My parents were abusive, so I've decided to cut off all contact with them."
I SO understand where they're coming from, but even so, I want to tell them: Don't do something you'll regret one day.
“Love Thy Parents” Is Not a Commandment
When I was young, I was taught that in the Bible, one of the ten Commandments was that you are supposed to "honour and respect your parents". The person giving the talk pointed out that the Commandment specifically did NOT state that you are supposed to "love" your parents.
He explained that G-d understands, not all parents have won their children's love. Some parents are indeed abusive. Some parents have done horrible things to their kids, called them worthless all their lives, beat them up, subjected them to cruel and unusual punishment, etc.
There are even some people who try to kill their kids! Talk about abusive!
However, the Bible did state that you are to HONOUR and RESPECT your parents.
“Honour Thy Parents” Is a Commandment
Well, first of all, personally, I feel that all people deserve to be respected, just simply because they are people, human beings, and they were "created in the likeness of G-d".
All right, if you don't belong to the Judeo-Christian tradition, you might not agree with this "in the likeness of G-d" thing. But the point is, human beings are special. All human beings.
Within each human being is a spark of G-d, a spark of the Divine. That means that when you gaze upon a person, you are looking at a piece of the Divine. Doesn't that fact in and of itself make that person deserving of your respect?
Then, nextly, your parents gave you life (or, well, at least your mothers did, as the role of your fathers might have been minimal and might have been limited to just satisfying a momentary sexual lust – but then again, that doesn't apply to all fathers!).
We All Forget About Love Sometimes
You are here and alive today thanks to the fact that a woman – who may or may not have treated you nicely while you were growing up – decided to go through with a long pregnancy and a more or less painful and scary childbirth, just so that you could live.
Perhaps, after that, while she was raising you, she then forgot how precious you are, and how much she once loved you when you were born, and how excited she once felt about having a little one to take care of. I often see mothers screaming at their kids in the street or hitting them, and I wonder why they went to the bother of having kids, if they're going to treat them this way.
But I think that, in most cases, it isn't because they don't love their kids. They just got bogged down with all the stress of daily living. Perhaps they have a scary or abusive husband who is going to tan the hides off of them if they don't get dinner onto the table on time, and that bawling, obstinate, temper-tantrumy toddler is making them even later.
Perhaps raising a kid didn't turn out to be all that they expected. Glowing photographs tend to make us believe that babies are cute and adorable, sweet and innocent, and maybe your non-stop yelling-till-he-throws-up fiend is anything but sweet and adorable. My son is hyperactive, and I know that that can drive you nuts!
We All CHOOSE Our Parents
But be that as it may, no matter what your childhood was like and how your parents treated you then, think that, well, first of all, you CHOSE them! We don't know why you chose those particular people to be your parents.
And I think sometimes we all wonder why we chose the people that we did, no matter what they were like as parents. So I can understand even more that, if your parents were abusive, you would wonder how on earth you could have chosen such beings to raise you.
But choose them you did, it was part of the life plan that you designed for yourself, to be raised by such people. So you can't exactly blame them if you ended up in their household.
Then, there are also other reasons why, if you decide to renounce your parents and cut off contact with them, you might one day live to regret this decision.
You Don’t Know When It Will Be Their Last Day on Earth
We're all here to be together on this earth for such a very short and limited amount of time. The time that you are allotted to be with your parents is limited, and when it's gone, it's gone.
You have the freedom to decide what to do with this time, how you want to live your relationships. You can choose to waste it all and throw it all away, by no longer relating to these people you call your parents.
But think that, if they are here, and you are here with them, there is a reason for it. There is something that you have to do together. Perhaps you have to work something out. Perhaps you all have something to learn from each other.
Well, you won't be able to work these things out if you don't relate to each other! You won't learn anything from them if you kick them out of your life.
They're here, in your life, for some reason. So figure it out, and live that reason!
The most likely plan, is that probably, they are here to help you to learn...... FORGIVENESS!
Of course, when we're kids (or even not-so-young, adult kids), it's so easy for us to just scream with wild abandon: "I hate my parents! They used to hit me! They told me every day I was worthless! They used to lock me up in a closet in the dark! They used to force me to do this thing and that thing that I didn't want to do! They forced me to become a lawyer / doctor / salesperson, when what I really wanted to do was study XYZ career!"
I used to do a lot of that. As I explain in this article, my parents also raised me with some values that today, I acknowledge were quite erroneous.
However, regardless of what your parents did, we all have to admit, someday, that they did the best that they could with the beliefs (no matter how wrong these beliefs were), values (no matter how erroneous) and knowledge (or lack thereof) that they had. They couldn't have raised you any other way, when you were small, because at that time they didn't know any better.
They did the best that they could. Perhaps they thought that how they were raising you was the correct and proper way to do it, because during those times people didn't know any better. H*ll, I even hear people debating today whether it is better to spank helpless little babies or not.
Pro-spanking proponents tell me: "If you don't spank your baby today, he'll grow up to be an intolerable, arrogant, spoilt little prince, a sociopath!"
So you can imagine, if your parents used to listen to that kind of crap (well, crap in my opinion), they might have kicked the daylights out of your backside when you were small! But they had the best of intentions, which was that you grow up as a fine and proper young lady or gentleman with your head screwed on right, not a sociopathic monster!
Your Parents Are Fallible Human Beings
So think that your parents were simply, the same as you are: fallible human beings. Human beings who probably bought into a lot of negative beliefs in their day, because after all the world is full of negativity, and mass consciousness is chock full of negative beliefs.
I don't think you will find a single person alive today who hasn't bought into at least a few of the negative, untrue beliefs that float freely about in mass consciousness. And your parents were no different.
They raised you according to these beliefs, erroneous though these beliefs might have been. They were wrong, but they didn't know it.
So the best thing that you can do for your parents – and for yourself – is forgive them.
Surround Yourself with People that Support You
That doesn't mean that you must continue to have a close relationship with them. Chances are, they are still operating under these false and limiting beliefs.
Perhaps even today they are still always nagging at you, or disapprove of your lifestyle or choices. Perhaps today they still try to lord it over you and tell you what you should do. Maybe they spend a lot of time criticizing you and everything you do and every choice you make.
So I can understand that you might want to limit the amount of contact that you have with them, even if only for your own sanity.
And that's okay. After all, we all know that if we want to create the life of our dreams, the best thing we can do is to limit our contact with people who don't make us feel great, who don't support us or respect us.
However, don't forget that your time on earth with your parents is limited, and when they are no longer here, you will, inevitably, start to remember all the great things that they did do for you. And you will think:
“I wonder why I didn't tell my mother how grateful I was to her for helping me with so-and-so problem that I had? I wish I had told her that, but now it's too late.”
“And I wonder how come I'd forgotten all the fun we used to have doing this thing or that thing. My mother/father was so nice to me whenever we did this or that thing, and that illuminated my life at that time. I wish I had told my parents that, and now it's too late.”
No one is one hundred percent good or bad, and your parents aren't either. Are those the kinds of regrets you want to live with for the rest of your life?
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