As we grow older, we often realize that the traits we dislike about ourselves were instilled in us by our parents. No matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ve experienced toxic behavior from your parents and when we reach adulthood, we have a tendency to continue to blame them.
However, there are a number of reasons to forgive your parents for their toxic behavior and by reading on to learn more, you can make the necessary changes in your life.
1. They Meant Well
Regardless of how you feel about your parents’ behavior, it is important to remember that they always meant well. There is no manual for how to be a parent and unfortunately, they were learning on the job. For many children who were the victims of toxic behavior, this realization does not crystallize until they become parents themselves.
Once someone becomes a parent to their own children, they become much more understanding about how hard their parents tried to do right by them. No matter what you may think about your parents’ toxic behavior, there is no questioning the fact that they meant well and wanted what was best for you, even if they were inexperienced at the time.
2. Inner Peace
When we refuse to forgive people, we are only hurting ourselves over the long haul, whether they are our parents or not. Holding a grudge is not beneficial to our mind state and the concept of continuing to harbor hurt and resentment as we grow older is akin to drinking poison and waiting for the other person to pass away.
In other words, a refusal to forgive your parents is far more harmful to you than it ever will be to them. Refusing to forgive is essentially the same as embracing the ill will inside of you and when we do this, our minds are no longer able to remain at ease. At the end of the day, forgiving your parents is more beneficial to you than it is to them.
3. Maintaining Relationships
As anyone who has experienced family related drama in the past can tell you, once one of your relationships with a family member has been compromised, that is when the choosing of sides begins and a great deal of collateral damage is done. Every family member is forced to have an opinion on the matter and additional relationships are destroyed.
Regardless of how you feel about your parents today, they are the ones who raised you and were there for you when times got hard. Forgiving them for toxic behavior not only restores this important relationships, but it also keeps the rest of the family by picking sides, which brings everyone closer together.
4. Setting The Proper Example
If you have children of your own and you have yet to fully forgive your parents for their toxic behavior, guess what? Your children are far more perceptive than you realize and they will definitely take notice of your behavior, internalizing it and using it as an example to guide their own decision making.
After all, how can you look at your children and tell them to forgive and forget in good conscience, when you know that you are not practicing what you preach? It is up to you to set the proper example, by showing them the true power of forgiveness.
5. Life Is Too Short
While this reason might sound cliche to some, most cliche advice has become popular because of its inherent level of truth. Let’s say you decide to stick to your guns and never speak to your parents again in life or you decide to secretly harbor hurt and resentment when you do.
All this does is cause you to feel increased amounts of guilt and anger. Tomorrow is far from guaranteed to any of us and if your parents were to pass away tomorrow, the last thing you would want is to live the rest of your life wondering “what if I had picked up the phone and made an effort to reconcile?” and regretting your decision more and more each day.
As you can see, there are a number of reasons why we need to forgive our parents for all of the mistakes that they made while raising us. Holding onto the past has never been good for anyone and by letting go of any anger and sadness that we have in our hearts, we can move forward amicably and start to forget the things that we went through as children.