"True forgiveness is when you can say 'Thank you for that experience.'" - Oprah Winfrey
"Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you." - Rick Warren
"I believe forgiveness is the best form of love in any relationship. It takes a strong person to say they`re sorry and an even stronger person to forgive." - Yolonda Hadid
After my first blog article on "Forgiving our parents", I had another experience this morning that made me realize how much I still have to forgive my parents. When my parents have a disagreement, they tend to not talk to each other as both are then in their hurt Ego or Inner Child mode. At times, you can even feel the tension even though no words have been expressed (this is why I so believe in energies or seeing more in a person than your eyes may see). It is quite an interesting situation - now being able to reflect on it, it surely wasn`t when I was a child standing between my parents - my mum tends to take the offended, hurt part, while my dad is the angry, temperamental one.
I would judge both sides because I could see how both stay in their stuck positions with no movement forward or towards each other. It was at one point in the past when I suddenly realized that I had those angry, temperamental parts of my dad in me, too. Only with Coaching and Personal Development, I realized that these parts are driven by the Saboteurs that are often angry at others, are self-righteous, and are often unaware of how hurtful their own remarks can be for others. This morning, I realized that, of course, I also had those offended, hurtful parts of my mum in me, esp. as she is sort of my female archetype when growing up. Whenever I am hurt, esp. in a romantic context, I would wait until the other person, the perpetrator, would realize it, crawl out, and apologize realizing their big mistake. While I have told my mum that this attitude is not helpful given we cannot control or depend on others` reactions for our own wellbeing, I was unaware of my own behavioral pattern.
I guess this is why I would be so judgmental of my parents` (lack of) communication styles because they mirrored back to me those parts that I also didn`t approve in myself. When we judge others, we often judge our own parts (if we are honest and strong enough to admit they also exist in us). Also it is often easy to see the flaws and negative impact caused by others than by yourself. Now that I realized it, I could observe that I got furious and mad at my parents, who role-modelled a behavior that I didn`t want to live. I was mad that as a child I couldn`t know better, so my parents should have worked on it, so I wouldn`t unconsciously imitate it because both my parents were my first archteypes of a man and a woman. I was mad at them that they didn`t role-model how to resolve conflicts, but chose to either suffer and wait, or suffer and attack. I was mad, sad, and disappointed - also because I knew that it isn`t my parents' faults, who also grew up seeing their parents role-modelling certain behaviors that are likely shaped by the Asian culture and the present generation. So it was my own responsiblity - once I am aware of things - to now work on it, learn from it, and transform it - not only for my own wellbeing, but also for my future children and humanity.
I once read that children actually teach parents rather than the other way around as society often would like to think. I also read that children heal what parents couldn`t. I also read that souls choose their parents before they reincarnate, so I like to think - instead of being mad at my parents, that my soul actually chose my mum and dad as parents to have exactly these experiences and learning opportunities for my soul`s growth. I also read that our souls are all inter-connected, so if one soul is evolving, so does humanity.
The reason I have always wanted to initiate "Vietnam Wellbeing" was exactly that. That we children, esp. those who grew up in a different country than our parents` home country in Vietnam, are often faced with cultural, generational, and personality clashes, that can make life difficult and challenging if we are not aware and supported. Take my example with my parents - if I wasn`t aware of my parents` habitual patterns, I would not only be less able to support my parents gently, but I also wouldn`t be able to see my own blind spots. I would have continued to stay offended or retaliate out of anger in my inter-personal relationships, and not understand why people would react in their own ways.
And this is where compassion comes in again. I can see that my parents suffer, too, That in those positions and attitudes, they will only continue suffering and not transform their pain as I have seen as an observer myself. From my own experience, I have suffered, too - staying offended, attacking out of pain, or feeling self-rightenous. It is quite a lonely and painful place to be - which the Ego won`t admit as it also enjoys the dominant role it takes in our life. So this blog post is a call for myself to keep forgiving my parents, to remember my soul`s mission and contribution to humanity, and to choose compassion - for my parents, you, and me.
Love, from me to you,
How is your relationship with your parents? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)
Inspiration: Katherine Schwarzenegger - Gift of Forgiveness
Reflection: What have I observed with my parents?
Intention: I observe my own behavior patterns and choose those that serve my wellbeing.
Viet Linh Le is a female visionary, qualified coach with corporate experience, and multi-cultural founder of @vietnamwellbeing, with the mission to change our world by coaching the next-generation decision-makers. Find out more on www.vietlinhle.com