How to move past the wounds of your parents

Posted: March 19, 2012 in God
Tags: , , , ,

Helping Ronnie with his blog, having to listen to his video’s have become very therapeutic for me.  In listening to today’s video, I’m reminded of a conversation that my Dad and I had. My Dad has since passed, but the memories, good and bad stay & linger, keeping me company.

I encourage you to listen to the video that Ronnie post and share, they challenge us.  They cause us to look at ourselves and see how we can change, what can we do to help live out the faith that we proclaim.

Dad? I forgive you….” This is the one thing I can do, the one thing I’ve got the power to decide, and I do, because it’s always in the forgiving that wrongs begin to right.

The Father forgave the prodigal before he confessed (Luke 15:20) and God provided my forgiveness before I asked, and isn’t this the Kingdom I’m orienting to, the compassion before the confession?

I am a daughter failed and I am a parent failing and I know it in ways now I never knewif I rip apart the bridge of forgiveness for my own parents with my own hands, I destroy the only way my own children can come to me. 

This is the work that every person born of a woman, fathered of a man, must do to become an adult: embrace the reality of the first person who held us. Isn’t this always a child’s hardest and continual work?

“I really said none of you kids were marriage material?” Dad’s voice is shrill. “What kind of monster says things like that?”

Monster. Is he saying that about himself? Or that’s what he thinks I think of him? I can feel it in my chest, his begging cry behind the bravado. And my own tears for a little girl and her daddy. How do I heal him? Heal me? Parenting cracks not only a child’s sense of self — it cracks the parent’s sense of selfOh Dad. I close my eyes.

I don’t see a monster.

I see the sad child behind all the years. I hear his cry. And it’s the unmet expectations in life that undo us. That’s what’s hurting in Dad’s aching pitch. What’s hurting in me. Expecting the world of ourselves and much of the world —and us all crashing and burning and hurting. What if we laid down the expectations — of our parents and of ourselves and of perfection — so we could hold each other?

 Just let it all go. Let it all go.

“I love you, Dad.”

“Yeah?” His voice chokes. And then it comes hard and fast and it’s gone and I can let go of the rest but this I won’t forget. “Love you too.”

And maybe in the end a child and parent just return to that, what they had in the the beginning:

The love that conceived.

So no one goes home alone

Three Ways to Forgive our Parents

1. Be a Screen Door

Like the wind blows through a screen door, let blustery comments, stormy blasts just blow right past. Incidents can only hit hard if you have your front door closed. But having a screen door policy allows all the pain to blow by….

2. Only Believe the Best

When you believe that everyone is always just doing their best, that we never war against flesh and blood but against the principalities, that in light of their own limitations, they truly are doing their best… this changes everything. Love bears all things, hopes all things, believes all things and whatever is good and pure and lovely, think on these things.

3. Tell the Thankful Truth

The truth is, there is always something, a lot, to give thanks for and that is the truth about every single parent. Consider offering a father, a mother, the gift of a jar full of slips of paper with your gratitude and thankful memories jotted down. This kind of grateful truth-telling heals the old wounds.


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