Day 14: 3 Tips to Forgiving An Absentee Parent

Better Relationships
forgiveness parenting

So one of your parents abandoned you...or maybe both of them abandoned you....at least according to what you know they abandoned you. Have you moved towards forgiveness? Do you subconsciously project your feelings towards your parent(s) on other people? 

For reasons many of us can't explain or don't know, many parents go incognito on their children. Perhaps you know the reason your parent wasn't in your life and you're just not satisfied with it. Whatever your situation is - you must forgive them in order to move forward with your life. 

I can hear many people saying, "Seida, I moved on years ago! I don't care about that (insert the ugliest word you can think of)!" If this was your response, you have been deceived. You haven't moved on and you cannot move on until you see the problem with holding resentment. On the other end of the spectrum, if you have completely ignored the fact that your parent(s) weren't there and refuse to talk about - likewise you have not moved on

Forgiving someone who you feel betrayed you - especially the one person who was supposed to shield you from the ugliness of this world - takes a lot of focus! You have to be willing to face yourself and relinquish your "right" to be angry! Forgiveness is a long road to walk and most often - you can't walk it alone. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when working towards forgiveness...

#1: Forgiveness is for you. Say what Seida?! Yep, forgiveness is for YOU! Holding on to unforgiveness is toxic! Unforgiveness leads to so many things: feelings of inadequacy, bitterness, lack of trust, insecurity, anger and much more. You become toxic when you see something in a person that reminds you of your parent(s) and begin to treat them with disrespect. It's a sign that you haven't worked through your feelings around losing them. I see so many people who feel worthless the moment they become single, because it reminds them of the pain they felt when that parent walked away. I would encourage you to seek counseling and start the process of working through your feelings of abandonment.

#2 Cherish what you have/had. Now I know you're probably looking at me like I'm half crazy thinking, "Seida how in the heck am I supposed to cherish what we had if they were never there?" The answer is simple: if you had SOME type of relationship, cherish what you learned from that. Even if you had a drug addict who was never around for you as a mother, think about what you can take away from that? You could reflect on what you wanted and needed as a child and BE THAT for your child or the children in your life if you have no kids of your own. If you never even met your father to establish a relationship, cherish the fact that he gave you life! You would not be here reading this or have the things that you have at this point in your life if not for him! 

#3 Move on! Moving on doesn't look the same for every situation. Moving on for some means coming to terms with the fact that their parent may never want a relationship with them. While moving on for others could mean learning how to re-build a relationship that was broken down by abandonment and whatever was behind it at the time. However moving on looks for you, it is imperative that you do it! Do not let unforgiveness hold you back from enjoying living life to the fullest! 

You may think that unforgiveness doesn't impact your life, but if you have never dealt with your emotions - you may be surprised to find that your spouse agrees that you have "unfinished business" you need to take care of. 

Tomorrow's Post: 6 Ideas for Date Nights!

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