“He was free. All he had to do was let go of the chains.”
Looking back on my life I reflected on what I would consider the one thing I would change or do differently. For me it would be somehow learning more about my parents’ upbringing while they were still with me. Their family history influenced who they were and that became their school of learning on how they raised me and the values they felt were most important to instill in me.
There was an innate goodness about them that automatically surfaced from their heritage and resulted in their being loving and caring parents. As an adult I realized there were other factors that influenced intangibles or imperceptible behaviors that we don’t realize affect us. It was the hidden fears my mother experienced as a child that she did not have control of that I absorbed. My dad experienced abandonment and insecurity when his mother died giving birth to her eighth child. The baby died also. His brothers and sisters were raised by different family members in different households.
Life seems to have a way of putting you in situations that force you to deal with issues that your parents never dealt with. In my case these issues were my mother’s fears and my dad’s insecurities.
It took me a long time to realize that those same issues were transmitted to me, very subtlety but most assuredly. I was forced to deal with my parents fears and insecurities when my father was on dialysis and dying. They could not make any decisions and they relied on me totally. That put a tremendous amount of pressure on me.
At the time of my father’s illness and passing, my job was threatened by a merger. I was awakened many nights by nightmares. It took me a long time to admit to myself that I needed professional help. That is when I started in therapy and sought a spiritual director and a therapist. This was the best gift I gave to myself and hopefully to our children and grandchildren. It helped me to face my issues and deal with them in a constructive way.
If we do not face the issues and let go of the chains that bind us we will continue to transmit them to those we love. To quote a priest I greatly admire, “If you do not transform your pain, you will transmit it.” Our parents were certainly not aware of this. I would venture to say they did not even realize their issues much less realize that they could or should deal with them in a healthy way. But today that is not the case. There are so many resources available both professionally and in self-help tools. No one’s childhood is perfect. No one’s life is without missteps, wrong turns, or misfortunes. But we can each strive to be the best we can be and seek the tools that enable us to live fulfilling lives.
It is a lot easier to have a second and third cocktail, eat and stuff our emotions, or distract ourselves with the latest gadgets and fashionable acquisitions. Unfortunately, the consequences of these escape will never lead us to the changes necessary to truly live a life of abundance and break free of the chains that unconsciously control our lives.
You may want to write down in your note book everything you love about your parents. On the other side of the page write down things you think held them back from reaching their full potential.
You have a great opportunity to stop passing this on by finding the best tools available to help you release all chains from past generations in your life. This will be the best gift you can give to your children, family,
friends and future generations!