Relationships between parents, siblings, spouses, and between kids can be very complicated paradoxes of love and hate, happiness, and frustration. It seems like we don’t want them in our lives sometimes, but we just can’t live without them. We build behavioral patterns and subconscious systems of hurtful feelings established by recurring events associated with one’s sense of worth and authority that perhaps started even when we were still infants. Families can provoke these patterns of hurtful emotions from coming out into the present.
For instance, maybe when you were still a child, your older sister hit and punched you most of the time and would often call you a ‘moron.’ She would do this because she was nine, nobody was looking, and also because a student had punched her too. You were six, and no one was there to help you during those years, so you fixed some impressions about your sister, yourself, and your relationship that up until today make you feel hurt, angry, and embarrassed, in the present.
However, your sister’s good now, you’re both in your mid-forties, and you’re the town’s favorite doctor, but you do still feel like a moron when you’re around her. Perhaps you still feel that old part of your relationship, like a pebble in your shoe that just wouldn’t want to get out of there and make you completely comfortable. It’s making your relationship feel less fulfilling that it should be.
Going Through The Dynamics And Healing The Family
Most families have been able to deal with this kind of family dynamic effectively. In a lot of family relationships, however, the painful even or series of events is graver than that, and this establishes a long-term pain in the heart and mind or a repetition of emotions that keeps the anxiety and stress linger within the family.
When you forgive, you gather strength that allows you to be yourself when you are with your family and loved ones. You’ll be able to set healthy restrictions, and the love that you feel inside will eventually soften the rough ends and enable you to be happy with the people around you. It is an amazing experience when an individual does decide to forgive and how it works wonders for the family. Soon, the ripples flow throughout all the members and will change the dynamics of it all.
Forgive To Move Forward
When a more difficult situation of neglect, disruption, or disloyalty within family members happens, there is more reason to forgive and show unconditional love. These emotional rifts can make you feel unwell and broken inside, and it most definitely could drain you of your energy up to the point of fixation on the negativity.
Bitterness causes you to consciously or unconsciously hurt your own person. This is why you must offer forgiveness towards your family members so that you can take back your own self-respect. What is a completely different concern, though, is whether or not you will stay within your marriage with your partner, or agree to just let your disrespectful aunt attend your family dinner, or perhaps take your legal matters with your cousin to court. But first, forgive the other person first and then decide on your restrictions and appropriate actions to make, and then stick to that decision. When you forgive, you feel a cleansing from inside, slowly feeding your soul with positivity, peace, and calm. Ultimately, the greatest gift that forgiveness gives is mental cleansing.
Clearing It Out With The Family
Putting the drama aside, the members of your family are in your circle for the rest of your life – to cherish memories with, to share experiences from, and to live out life through the good and bad as a family. There is so much more than pain and bitterness in your relationships if you intentionally see the positive things in people and be responsible for clearing it out with the family member or members concerned.
As for me, I am grateful that I have finally taken that step of forgiveness towards my mother, which was the most hurtful relationship that I’ve ever established with anyone in my family. She was a consistent drug addict up until I was fifteen. I was the eldest and more ways than one, I was the one who was most affected by this family illness.
For twenty years, I loathed my mom, dreaded the moments that I know I couldn’t help but see and talk to her. This caused me to keep myself isolated from my whole family for quite some time. My lingering and long-term bitter and hurt emotions toward my mother kept me from seeing and keeping connected with my siblings as well. They didn’t have the same history that I had with her, and they could not comprehend the negativity that I was feeling toward this smart and admirable woman that they now know in the present. My younger brother would whisper into my dad’s ear after our dinners, “Why does Claire hate us so much?” My mom would answer her, “She doesn’t hate you, dear – only me.”
The process of forgiving my mother was long and winding, with several rough patches along the way. It took me six years, actually, to entirely heal the damaged relationship. My deep cuts healed rather very slowly because of the extreme anger that I had suppressed from when I was a little girl – the thought of her mistreating me, shouting at me, and throwing whatever she could put her hands on. It was painful. I did a lot of work to forgive her, and I didn’t make it easy on her, either, even if I didn’t do it intentionally.
But through those years, each parcel of forgiveness that I fulfilled gave me more strength and helped me get away from the prison of rage and hatred that I was in. As I was slowly healing, the hatred was substituted with unconditional love that blossomed between my mother and me. From the initial awkwardness in our attempts to build a connection, there became a free will to show compassion and care and respect. We finally found the peace that we needed during the simple and joyous moments – watching a family movie together or talking strolls in the neighborhood. Our talks and breaks became more natural. And when she passed away, our bond was completely mended, my loss for her was subtle, light, and easy.