Some people harbor, within themselves, a crippling sadness, because they are convinced that their mother or father did not love them. They may be correct, at least to some extent. There are many degrees of love, and the love of parent for child should to be of the highest caliber; sometimes it isn't. Some have even known, or at least thought, that their parent loved a sibling more than they.

These are realities, unpleasant, but, nonetheless, realities. Let us assume that you suffer from the conviction, or worse, the knowledge that you were loved less than you should have been. It accomplishes little to hide from it, so if it's real, let's face it and accept it for what it is, a reality.

Such an acceptance is almost always accompanied by pain and rage. So be it. Now what are you going to do? Where do you go from here? Are you going to wear that pain and rage around your neck for the rest of your life? If you choose to do so, you will find it a heavy necklace, indeed, and it will become heavier with each passing year.

There will, hopefully, come a time when you will outgrow your pain and rage, but you will never finish outgrowing it unless you begin to do so, because beginning always comes first, and finishing always comes last.

Elementary to be sure, but most human beings want to reach the end of a painful process without ever having had to begin it.

Don't beat yourself over the head with your unhappy feelings toward your parent. Back off and give yourself and everyone else a break. Let time work its healing miracle, while you grow in wisdom and compassion.

Sooner or later, you will arrive at a point of forgiving your parent, but that step will probably not come until after you have become a responsible adult and a parent in your own right. It is probable that, for now, you will simply go on with your life, flinching from time to time with the pain, and it will be that way until you begin the process of forgiveness.

Your relationship with your parent is probably made up of love and anger. This is normal, but you are responsible for the percentages of love and anger, because, like it or not, you own them. By this, I mean that if your feelings are half love and half anger, you are in charge of working with those percentages until, at some future date, the love becomes 75% and the anger 25%. If you really want it, the time will come when the love is 100% and the anger 0%. Do you think it will never happen? You are wrong; it will happen, and the sooner you begin to work on it, the sooner you will crawl out from under your incredibly heavy load.

It is painful for those of us who have completed the process to see others still enmeshed in and crippled by pain and anger, but those emotions will go away, as soon as you want them to badly enough to turn them loose. I promise you that, when you do so, you will come out free of pain. It is worth striving for.

Until next time,
Muriel Sluyter

Return to the Neighborhood.


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2 comments:

    I Knew I Could Fly said...

    This is so true. I have had to learn to let go of the rage I felt when my family went from treating me like Angel of the family to the Black Sheep of the family.

    I was only able to let go of the pain and anger when I realized that it was my Heavenly Father's opinion that really mattered. I also had great support from my "Family in the Church".

    The weight and burden was too heavy to carry alone before this letting go happened. The letting go, was achieved also through forgiveness and the Atonement.

  1. ... on August 2, 2008 at 11:12 AM  
  2. Kim Thompson said...

    You would think a parent would always have unconditional love for all their children, but unfortuantely, it doesn't always happen.

    Thanks for the reminders that we are responsible for our own happiness and we need to step on the path to achieve it.

  3. ... on August 11, 2008 at 7:53 PM