Forgiving Your Parents

Pam: Once you understand this and fully embrace it, it is so
          freeing – don’t forget you choose them before you came 
Ann:  I still don’t know if I believe that or not. My father was a 
          monster and I can’t wrap my mind around him being some
          kind of friend who agreed to mess me up in this lifetime! 
Pam: It’s all about the lessons we came here to learn this life time.
          I understand completely where you’re coming from. 
Ann:  That’s the other thing I have a problem with. I understand
          that that is a prevailing thought, about learning lessons. But
          I think I believe that if we come back, we come back to 
Victoria:  You’re right, Ann, we do come back to help. But that help isn’t necessarily love, support or even warmth. The help often comes in a way that shows us exactly what we don’t want to be or have in our lives. You and your father chose each other. You offered each other an opportunity to be faced with lessons that you as individuals and as a family needed to learn. And he had as much to learn from you as you did from him. Your father didn’t agree to mess you up. He agreed to be your teacher and student. He took on a thankless job that isolated him emotionally and brought him no love or joy. He needed to learn how to break the cycle, how to live from love, not fear. From what you’ve said he didn’t learn it. It seems to me that you’re the one breaking your family’s generational cycle. Your life experience could have lead you down a dark path, but you’ve opened your mind and heart to light, love and joy. As difficult as things have been for you, you still manage to shine. You show compassion in your work, to your family and friends, and to the community that you share your knowledge with. 
Ann: Thank you so much for your kind words! ❤️ You know, this is the first time I have even considered the possibility that my father might have had lessons he failed to learn. I was just thinking of the “I’ll play the villain” aspect. I still just think it’s such an ugly idea, to plan everything I have been through, in advance. I can’t even imagine agreeing to it. But I am open to changing my mind about it (in theory, LOL). So far, though, it still doesn’t feel like truth to me.
Victoria: What we go through in life is not planned out moment by moment in advance. The situation is planned with the people in place; the actions, the behaviors and the words are free will. We cannot control anyone else’s behavior, but we do get to choose how we respond. The point is: how do we respond to someone else’s bad behavior? For our own happiness, for our own soul’s growth and to break our generational trauma, we need to and can stop stop allowing our emotions and behavior to be dictated by someone else’s behavior. True emotional freedom comes from letting go of the knee-jerk responses that we learned from fear and opening ourselves to our true nature, opening ourselves to our heart. 


  1. It’s true that we don’t always choose the circumstances of our lives, but we do choose how we respond to them. And Ann, it sounds like you’ve chosen to respond to your difficult childhood by becoming a compassionate and loving person. That’s a beautiful thing.

    I hope you’ll continue to explore your thoughts and feelings about forgiveness.

    I also agree with Victoria that forgiveness is important for our own happiness and healing. It doesn’t mean that we have to forget what happened or pretend that it was okay. But it does mean letting go of the anger and resentment that we’re holding onto. That’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

  2. Yes, you are right. We can’t control another person’s actions but we can control how we respond, whether it’s our parents or not.

    • Victoria Juster

      It can be difficult, but we can control our response.

      • Forgiving your parents caught my eye as I’m going through another tricky part in life of aging parents. Both my parents are 92 and still living on their own. My mother’s health is deteriorating but she is fiercely independent. She is not very receptive to help and it has left me feeling frustrated and angry. It shouldn’t be this way and not the way I want our relationship to end. But it is hard to resolve since it brings back memories of past hurts. I comfort myself with thoughts that I have done my best and that I can’t make someone do what they don’t want or can’t. It makes me sad though. But my anger and frustrations have eased. I do have an understanding of why and how my mother is. I do forgive her. She’s showing me how not to be though she does not know it.

      • Victoria Juster

        Lily, I relate to this completely. I’m going through the same thing with my 90 year old mother.
        You sound as though you’re handling it in the best way possible.

  3. The last paragraph, what a timely message and a great reminder!

  4. Victoria, I love how you said “this is the first time I have even considered the possibility that my father might have had lessons he failed to learn.”

    I believe that when we recognize that we all have lessons that we didn’t pass, we will be more forgiving of each other’s behaviours.

  5. Brenda Marie Fluharty

    I have realized my parents did the best they could do with what they know. I have done a lot of spiritual healing over my lifetime.

    • That is such a difficult thing for all of us to accept, Brenda. You must have done a lot of healing to get there.

  6. Your statement “he had as much to learn from you as you did from him” made me think. I feel like I am learning from my SON what my Dad sort of couldn’t teach me: kindness and trust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *