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Gillian Sanger

Forgiveness and understanding of our parents

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I'm starting to see my parents in a new light - beginning to understand them in a new way and find greater empathy for their own lived experiences. I think this has come down to 1) growing up, and 2) having some difficult conversations that, in the end, ultimately strengthened my relationship to each of them.

Does anyone else have experience with their understanding of their parents shifting over time?

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Thank you for your beautiful post!

I struggle with this a great deal. I at this time only have my mother with me on earth.  I have recently lost my grandmother, whom I always related more to as a motherly figure in my life. The way you stated you see them now through the lense of their own life experiences was really freeing to me. I think the reason my mother and I have a limited relationship is a fostering of expectations that were never met. When I think of her through the lense of the life she has experienced I am able to have much greater empathy for her. 

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@Sarah - I resonate with this a lot. It really reflects the paradox of life, or the ability to see things through seemingly contradictory lenses. I've started to consider paradoxes a lot lately, and am practicing holding two sides of something at the same time. For instance, can it both be true and valid that 1) something wasn't met during childhood, and 2) there is space for acceptance, forgiveness, and unconditional love. 

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@Gillian Sanger@Sarah Yes, I resonate with this very much.  Our parents did not have it very easy.  Mine tried to move around and my dad ran his families business.  We never had any money.   My mom always wondered where it went.  Dad's brother helping with the family business was taking all the money.  But my folks did not see it until the brothers wife; she was in a wreck and the IRS came for him.  Not having anything to start with.  Nothing at the time and losing the business really took a toll on my dad.  

He was in the Vietnam War and came back a bitter angry man.  He could not get help from the Vets Assoc. until we were already grown.  It made a very big impact on their lives.  At my dad's death bed he talked of his guys in the troops.  Mom having us 5 kids and wanting to give us everything.  They did not go out for anything.  I remember a Rootbeer float once in awhile.  

They would have tears in their eyes and apologize in later years that we grew up like we did.  As if they could have changed it.  No they could not.  Early on I expressed that they did what they knew to do.  My eldest sister didn't see it that way.  She had a whole different take on the growing up.     Sorry I get windy writing.  I do love to write.  Yes we must FORGIVE them for acting childish ourselves thinking we deserved better.  I didn't deserve better.  There was worse going on.     Counting my blessings.  Nameste

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