The Power of Forgiving Your Parents

By Nanice Ellis on Monday May 1st, 2017

Let Go of Your Unworthiness Wound

On the surface, forgiving your parents (or anyone for that matter) may seem insignificant, but forgiving your mother or father is actually the best thing you can do for the quality of your life. Even low-grade parental blame and resentment perpetuate a cycle of emotional pain and suffering that can negatively affect your adult relationships, finances, and overall wellbeing, ultimately preventing the love, abundance and happiness you desire and deserve.

If you have no comparison, you might not notice the amount of energy it takes to hold onto an emotional wound or even a small grudge, but holding onto anger, resentment or any form of hostility requires a tremendous amount of life force energy and this energy is non-refundable. Decades of anger and resentment can cut years off your life, and you wouldn’t even know it. Think of it like throwing hundred dollar bills into the toilet each day, except life force energy is infinitely more valuable than all the money in the world.

The Cycle of Suffering

Without healing our childhood wounds and subsequently forgiving our parents, we stay emotionally stuck at the age of our earliest wounds, and because this causes us to repeat the cycle of suffering, we keep experiencing an adult version of our childhood wounds.

Cycle of sufferingWe repeat the cycle of suffering and keep experiencing our childhood wounds.

For instance, let’s say you haven’t forgiven your mom for missing your tenth birthday or healed the resulting feelings of abandonment; whenever this issue is triggered by a current day experience (someone forgets to call you), the original emotional wound is activated and you drop into an unconscious reaction. For all intents and purposes, you become your wounded ten-year-old self, and because you feel the same pain you felt then, you react by lashing out or shutting down.

Because an emotional reaction is an automatic response to an unhealed wound, there is little or no control over emotions or behavior, and this dynamic can result in a series of current day relationship issues. Year after year, the cumulative effect of emotional reactions can destroy the quality of our most important relationships.

Law of Attraction

According to the Law of Attraction, we unconsciously attract people who trigger our emotional wounds, and this is why a person with abandonment issues attracts potential partners who have commitment fears; not as punishment or karma but rather because our higher selves want us to heal and will use every opportunity to bring our wounds to the forefront. Unfortunately, this means that unhealed emotional wounds can prevent you from meeting your ideal partner or soul mate, and even if you do find each other, the turbulent nature of emotional wounds is known to sabotage even the most ideal partnership.

Law of AttractionWe unconsciously attract people who trigger our emotional wounds.

Blame perpetuates Pain

Blaming your parents not only keeps the wound alive, it also tells your subconscious mind that your parents currently have power over you or your life, and, therefore, blame programs you for disempowerment. Like a virus, this dynamic can spread to every facet of your life. Additionally, whenever we blame another, we become entangled with their energy and stay entangled until we let go, and, consequently, we cannot grow beyond the parent we blame.

Of course, it’s no big surprise that forgiveness is the key to emotional freedom, but, in most cases, forgiveness is easier said than done. But why?

Why is Forgiveness so Difficult?

First, you must realize that blame, anger, and various related emotions are defensive guards that protect you from future harm. Since true forgiveness requires you to release this defense, the very act of forgiveness creates emotional risk. Therefore, to forgive your parents, you must trust they won’t hurt you again, but, the hard truth is, you can never be certain – there is no way to control or predict another person’s behavior, and sometimes loving people do hurtful things.

Forgiveness is an emotional riskBefore we can forgive, we must eliminate the risk of emotional harm.

If you are still vulnerable to being hurt, forgiveness could destroy the only defense you have, and, if this is the case, your protective ego will not allow you to forgive. Therefore, before you can forgive, you must eliminate the risk of emotional harm, and this inevitably means self-responsibility.

Responsibility before Forgiveness

There’s no way around it, as long as you blame or shift responsibility in any regard, you give others the power to hurt you, and as long as you give others the power to hurt you, you’re going to be hurt. Therefore, the only way to prevent emotional harm is by releasing blame and taking full responsibility for every emotion you experience, but there is no point assuming responsibility if you don’t also uncover the dynamics behind your childhood issues. Therefore, to make yourself immune to emotional harm, you must pinpoint the hidden cause of your childhood wounds, and once you do, I will show you how to heal it now.

Understanding the True Nature of Emotional Wounds

We often confuse an emotional wound with the event or experience that caused the wound, but the actual wound is not the situation or circumstance. An emotional wound is the disempowering belief we adopted in response to the experience. Without needing to analyze the details, the core emotional wound is virtually always unworthiness, and, in fact, unworthiness (or conditional worthiness) is the core wound of every other emotional wound.

Emotional woundAn emotional wound is the disempowering belief you adopt in response to an event.

All children have emotional needs that must be met to feel worthy of love and life; these needs include approval, acceptance, appreciation, understanding, validation, respect, and so on. Although children require all emotional needs to be fulfilled, one emotional need almost always stands out from the rest, and because this is usually the need least met, it is the emotional need most associated with worth, and, as a result, it becomes the child’s Primary Emotional Need (PEN).

Children naturally adopt beliefs that explain why one or both parents fail to provide this emotional need, so when a child doesn’t receive approval, for example, the child naturally believes she is unworthy of approval, or more likely, she believes she must meet certain conditions to prove she is worthy. Hypersensitive to this need being met, she automatically interprets approval as proof of worthiness and judgment as proof of unworthiness, and this is why judgment can cause intense emotional pain even in adulthood.

Here’s the thing: like every human being, you were born unconditionally worthy, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to prove, improve, or disprove worth. Therefore the emotional pain associated with believing you are unworthy is due to the fact it is completely untrue! Emotional pain is a warning system that alerts you to false beliefs.

Warning signEmotional pain is a warning system that alerts you to false beliefs.

Why do we need to be Warned of False Beliefs?

All disempowering beliefs, such as unworthiness, powerlessness, and victimhood, put us into survival mode, and over time can cause chronic and acute issues with serious repercussions, and, therefore, we need a warning system that alerts us to debilitating beliefs. This warning system is emotion, and, in fact, the purpose of emotional pain is to alert you to the fact you believe a falsehood. Just like physical pain alerts you the second you prick your finger with a knife, so you won’t cut your whole finger off, emotional pain alerts you to harmful beliefs so you can release them.

Without knowing that emotional pain is a sign of a false belief, most of us wrongly interpret this pain; so whenever we feel the emotional pain associated with unworthiness, the pain makes us believe the belief is true, thereby strengthening the belief and deepening the wound, and this perpetuates a cycle of emotional pain.

Furthermore, this internal warning system will stop at nothing to make you aware of a false belief, and, in fact, with increasing amplification, you will attract continuous opportunities that trigger emotional pain until you finally pay attention and release the false belief that is responsible for the pain. All emotional healing is releasing disempowering beliefs.

A cycle of emotional painFalse beliefs caused by childhood wounds can lead to a cycle of emotional pain.

Entangled in the conscious or unconscious belief that worth depends on getting our parents to meet our emotional needs, we grow into adults, still expecting one or both parents to give us what we need to feel worthy. But, this just sets us up for more pain because it never works.

Why don’t Parents meet their Children’s Emotional Needs?

First of all, even the most well-intentioned parents often fail to meet their children’s emotional needs, and, in most cases, emotional wounds have nothing to do with parental love. Oftentimes, childhood emotional wounds are by-products of parenting style or our parent’s unhealed wounds or family issues, such as financial challenges, divorce, or a family member’s addiction, disease, mental illness or chronic depression.

Although parental judgment, criticism, and comparison to siblings or other children are the most common causes of the worthiness wound, almost any dynamic can set the stage, for instance, when a parent is over-protective or over-controlling, a child may feel disrespected and develop the belief he is unworthy of respect, and he may conclude he is untrustworthy, or when a child is told to be seen but not heard, she may develop the belief she is not worthy to speak, or she may believe she is not important.

Failure to meet emotional needsThe most well-intentioned parents often fail to meet their children’s emotional needs.

In most cases, a child’s emotional wounds deepen over time, and as the child matures into adulthood, the wound matures accordingly; manifesting as problematic relationships, financial concerns, career challenges, and health issues, while also making it difficult to pursue one’s dreams and desires.

Many adult children protect themselves from parental judgment and manipulation by closing their hearts and putting up energetic barriers, but despite the defensive quality of anger and blame, it doesn’t protect us from emotional pain because the shield actually keeps the pain inside while it also prevents healing. Regardless of age, every time your parents fail to meet your Primary Emotional Need, feelings of disappointment feed unworthiness and often lead to powerlessness.

The Unworthiness Wound causes Powerlessness

Do you still need parental approval, acceptance, validation or permission to feel worthy? If so, do you conceal behaviors that don’t meet your parent’s expectations?

This dynamic is quite common in most adults, but there is a huge cost involved because whenever you suppress authentic expression in exchange for approval or acceptance, for example, you inadvertently give away your power. In fact, it is impossible to expect your parents to meet your emotional needs and make you feel worthy without giving them your power.

Giving your power awayIf you continue to crave parental approval then you are giving your power away.

Consequently, the relationship is based on dysfunctional dynamics where you remain a powerless child who is vulnerable to being hurt. Not only does this make you susceptible to parental judgment and criticism, it also makes you vulnerable to manipulation through guilt and obligation.

Although blame is a natural response to powerlessness, it actually tells your subconscious mind that the parent you are blaming has power over you, and, therefore, blame perpetuates more powerlessness. Indeed, you won’t be able to heal your emotional wounds or forgive your parents as long as you blame them for making you feel powerless and unworthy. This is why self-responsibility is the cure, and, in fact, self-responsibility is the only thing that can solve your issues.

Self-responsibility means that you must own your unconditional worth and you must take back your power by releasing the expectation that your parents meet any of your emotional needs, and this also includes releasing the need for apology, acknowledge, or retribution.

You are worthySelf-responsibility means that you must own your unconditional worth.

Give to yourself what you Need from your Parents

As you take responsibility for your life and your choices, you must stop seeking parental permission and emotional support, and, in fact, you don’t even need your parents to believe in you or your dreams. The same reasons your parents didn’t meet your needs in childhood are the same reasons they still don’t. So you can let them off the hook and release all expectations!

Finally, when you know your unconditional worth, and you own your intrinsic power, your parents can’t hurt you emotionally, and, consequently, forgiveness becomes possible.

As dysfunctional dynamics dissolve, it gives way to a new paradigm of relationship based on unconditional worth and self-empowerment. The foundation of this deeper connection is clear boundaries, and, in fact, boundaries can take you from a powerless child to an empowered adult in a heartbeat. Indeed, your personal power is only as strong as your boundaries.

Boundaries are Key

As an adult-child, it is up to you to set boundaries with your parents. Initially, it might feel uncomfortable, but, over time, strong boundaries will strengthen the relationship and allow for a deeper connection. So, to create a positive adult relationship with your parents, what boundaries do you need as an empowered adult?

Boundaries with parentsStrong boundaries will strengthen the relationship and prevent conflict.

Keep in mind, a boundary of respect, for example, is vague and you probably need to define the parameters of respect, so clearly and specifically spell it out in terms of communication and interaction. In all likelihood, you will need to teach your parents how to treat you, speak to you, and behave in ways that reflect respect. It’s also a good idea to invite your mom and dad to establish their boundaries and do your very best to honor them, as well.

Boundaries are set through Intention but Established with Attention

Effective boundaries require integrity, and this means that you must back-up every boundary with proper and consistent attention. Therefore, don’t expect your parents to automatically know when they are encroaching on a boundary. When people are used to behaving in habitual ways, it takes time to recognize new boundaries and reorganize new behavior accordingly. This means that it’s your responsibility to protect your boundaries, and, therefore, confidently give clear feedback; tell your mom or dad when they are crossing (or about to cross) a boundary.

Benefits of childhood woundsEmotional challenges in childhood can lead to positive qualities later in life.

However, if either parent doesn’t respect your boundaries, don’t be afraid to limit interactions accordingly, but let them know why, so they have the necessary information to change their behavior. Believe it or not, most parents will eventually learn to respect boundaries, but only if you consistently enforce them first.

Reaping the Rewards

No matter how it seems, childhood wounds always leverage hidden gifts, such as independence, wisdom, or compassion, and without emotional challenges, our best attributes might never be revealed. If you haven’t yet recognized the positive qualities that sprung from your childhood wounds, now would be a wonderful time to do so because the recognition itself can be extremely healing. Indeed, the point is to heal the wounds but keep the benefits!

Finally, always remember that forgiveness is never for the person being forgiven. Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.




15 Difficult Feelings that mean you’re Evolving


Healing the Child Within


How to Work Through Emotional Barriers

Subscribe to UPLIFT

UPLIFT is dedicated to telling the new story of inspired co-creation.

Get free updates and news about UPLIFT events and films.

How will my data be used?



70 Responses to The Power of Forgiving Your Parents

  1. Oh please! I was 1,000 times better at raising my son than my mother was on her best day! I learned from her how NOT to parent! After reading this I could not have forgiven her then nor can I forgive her now, 18 years in her grave. She singled me out as her own personal punching bag while my siblings went along merrily growing up to be “normal,” whatever that is. My feelings for her carried me into my adulthood, and not in a good way.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that your relationship with your mother was so hurtful Jan. Indeed, there are some things that just seem unforgivable. And that’s ok. I hope that you have found peace in your heart now.

      Much love and thanks for reading,
      Team UPLIFT

  2. This article has a lot of good and valid points.
    What I don’t like about it though is how it “pressures” you into forgiving your parents.
    I felt so guilty about being angry at my parents (because they were also good to me in some regard) for a long time.
    Everyone around me told me to just forgive them. I tried. I pressured myself. I felt so guilty for not being able to do it.
    But forgiveness needs to be genuine. And depending on what happened and how your parents are now it may take a long time until you reach that point where you actually can forgive them. Or you may never reach that point and that’s totally fine.
    You should put no pressure on yourself to forgive anyone. It’ll hurt you.
    Instead what I suggest is to first focus on yourself. Forgive yourself. Realise none of what happened was your fault. Work on yourself and get help if you need it. Once you feel in a position where you can and want to forgive then do it. Only then.

  3. Article was great! I am a mother who was not the mother I wanted to be for my children. Now that I am older, I’m looking back realizing what those consequences were on my children & their life today. As I’ve researched psychology, I’ve learned why I did things bc of how I was raised. I do not using that as an excuse though. It was me that raised my children, I made the mistakes, did I know better? Yes. Are their factors as to why I did it? Yes. But being able to be honest with the kids, accept responsibility for it, ask forgiveness & hopefully come to a point of building a new relationship is all we can hope for. This article has lots of great ideas & tips! Thank you!

    • Wow, this is such a great realisation Amber and you are handling it with such grace 😀 Very inspiring to read.

      Much love to you and your children on your journeys,
      Team UPIFT

  4. This article, if nothing, has put things in perspective for me. Every concept mentioned feels tremendously relatable. I’m focused on the part where the article mentions the establishment of boundaries through communication and interaction. So my only question is how to do so when communication amongst the child and the parents IS the weak point?

    • Yashika,
      Thank you for your comment, we’re very happy it resonated with you. That is tricky, I understand your predicament. Perhaps you could try writing a letter to your parents (or children, I’m not sure which is which in your case) sharing that you love them and would like to strengthen your relationship with them. Once you have opened this ‘conversation’, it might them be a bit easier to express your needs and boundaries.

      Another nonviolent communication method that has worked wonders for me over the years is called “I feel… / I want… / I’m willing…”. When you have an issue with someone that you need to address, framing it in this way makes it much easier for the other person to hear and not feel attacked. It’s important to avoid using ‘you’ as much as possible, or they can feel attacked, and always remember to focus on your feelings.

      For example, say your best friend often teases you about being tall and it upsets you, you could say something like:

      Person’s name – I feel really hurt and unloved when people make fun of my height.
      I would really like to feel loved the way I am.
      I’m willing to joke with you about something else that doesn’t hurt my feelings, if we can agree on it first, because I love laughing with you.

      Something along these lines 🙂 I really hope that helps and that you can find a way to build a healthy and happy relationship with your loved ones again soon.

      Much love to you.
      Team UPLIFT

      • This article did help me. I did attempt to renew my relationship with a father who abandoned me. For 6yrs prior to his death. I was never able to quite get there though. I did and said some horrible things to him during this time trying to resist him trying to disrespect the boundaries I had set. As a result at the time of his death, I had blocked his phone number. Now during this time, we had also had many positive interactions. But he really wanted to come and live with me. I had tried that early in our reconciliation and it did not work. I still wonder if it was because he wasn’t respecting my boundaries or if I simply had to have it my way or the highway because of my defenses. As a result, my uncle was not able to reach me when he took a turn for the worst and ended up in hospice. He finally got a message to me the night before my father died to tell me he wasn’t expected to make it through the night. He called the next morning to tell me he died. I live across country and would not have made it to his side to say goodbye. My father died alone in hospice. I am still haunted at times by the things I did to avoid furthering our reconciliation. This article I think might help me understand why and forgive myself. I know I need to forgive myself

        • Christine,
          I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re right, forgiving yourself is going to set you free from these feelings of guilt and regret, though I know it is often easier said than done. I’m certain your dad would want that for you though, as I’m sure you would want for him if it were the other way around.

          I have found writing letters to those I’ve lost with whom I harbour regrets and guilt to be very healing. This process has helped me to make peace with them and myself. That and also connecting with their spirit through a Psychic or medium, if that’s something you are open to.

          I wish you all the best on this journey of healing your heart Christine.
          Much love,
          Team UPLIFT

  5. Great concept on ‘unconditionally worthy’.
    Thank you for the article, so true.
    My mother’s attitude towards bringing me up was ‘I love you – I hurt you as I have any right’. Such a ground for emotional pain into adulthood. The thing is she never believes that child may have emotional needs. We communicate much less now and she refuses to accept any boundaries.
    I will read the article again and think it over.

    • Parent-child relationships can be so tricky Olga… Thank you for sharing and we wish you all the best in your relationship with your mother.

      Team UPLIFT

  6. Nanice Ellis, I cannot thank you enough for writing this article. You are an Angel in disguise. Thank you just so much.

  7. My therapist recommended Kristen Neff to me via printed slip with the link to a TED talk re. Self-esteem versus self compassion.

    Since night before last I’ve been alternating crying & fuming in the aftermath of the latest way my 77 yr mother hurt me.
    I tried journal venting… 3 times. I tried telling Dave, who means well, but he has no clue.

    I noticed she called (& didn’t leave a voicemail) a couple of hours ago, & it stirred up the hurt/rage me again to the point that I found myself bawling & couldn’t swallow lunch.
    I reenacted all of the reasons I‘ve blamed her for how lost & broken I feel, while reminding myself she did the best she could considering how her mother also neglected & abused her (passed thru generations).

    So just now I googled “how to forgive your parents.“
    At the top of the list (rightfully) was this excellent article by Kristen Neff.
    I’m not sure If or how you explored early on that it might be best for you not to procreate, but my reasoning at age 12 was pretty clear – tho I know there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, I didn’t Trust myself or want the responsibility of not accidentally wounding another innocent child (“The buck stops here.”)
    So how do we take responsibility for our lives & stop blaming the abusive parent(s)? How do we learn self compassion and treat ourselves with the acceptance & kindness that have been missing all our lives? 💁‍♀️🙄🙆‍♀️😔

    And Damn, why am I always misplacing my magic wand? 🥴

    COVID-19 – Be safe; be well

    Luck is just probability taken personally!
    Pain+Resistance= Suffering

    • I hear ya! I got stuck with my 74-year-old parents at the age of 36 due to covid-19. Recently dumped from a toxic relationship, previously widowed from another toxic love of 17 years…I mean, bring on the wounds! But the fact that I have to re-live the dynamics with my parents and watch their dysfunctional relationship each day is like a curse and a blessing at the same time. I realized I am having the same arguments I had with my mother 20 years ago (after which I left this home until a few months ago). Probably I was brought back to come and see what the roots of my wounds are, where my self-destructive self-demeaning beliefs stem from, and somehow bring closure to this, let go and live my own true life. I arrived at this article for this reason. Cos I really cannot take this shit with me into the next decades of my life.

      I also decided to not have children for the same reason as you. Until I resolve this inheritance of pain, I am not going to pass it on to anyone else!

  8. Some of the best advice I received was when I was experiencing a lot of pain confronting the abuse I endured from my family and later romantic relationships. I opened my heart to a pastor about the hurt in my life and he told me “you don’t have to make yourself feel vulnerable in person and forgive someone face-to-face. Forgiveness can be done at anytime from a safe distance.” I never looked at things that way and it helped me let go of pain and guilt I felt throughout my life. As my parents are still alive, although I have distanced myself for my overall wellbeing, I still had the need to reach out because I recently found out my husband and I are expecting a baby of our own and I wanted to say how I felt to lay my feelings to rest once and for all. It was cathartic to write out my feelings and realize how strong of a person I am and how my family has missed out on knowing me thinking I’m good for nothing. I was able to Express how I am passionate about raising my child in a loving environment free of violence and apathy and it felt good to express how I feel without the need for validation and no expectations. The response I got was apathetic and stoic, histocially as they have behaved towards me, they never claimed any responsibility for their actions I expressed in my letter nor validated my feelings (which was the source of my pain for years) but it didn’t matter to me because I know I did what I felt I needed to do – I needed to confront the hell they put me through, their lack of love and support and share despite that I forgive them and I still love them because that’s the woman I am, I recognize they brought me into this world and now I have the opportunity to do better because if the woman I have become. I am a strong and beautiful being despite them, I didn’t have their support then and I don’t need it now because I have an inner strength that has sculpted me to be steadfast. I reached out to them to express how I feel and face them at the same opportunity, I did this so when they pass I know I gave them the chance to be open hearted, I forgave them and they chose otherwise (I can release myself from feeling like my feelings are unsolved or have any guilt). I’m a spiritual person so I wanted to honour my parents and treat them as I want to be treated and release myself from feelings of unworthiness and powerlessness because their limiting beliefs don’t have to be mine anymore. Everyone copes with pain and trauma differently, and the rejection and abuse by your birth family can be damaging as society puts so much emphasis on close family bonds being the norm. Something that has brought me a lot of peace is that ‘family’ doesn’t have to be defined by those connected to us by DNA, by letting go of my birth family it has made room for real love and peace in my life. I felt a void in my life by not having my parents to stand by me or siblings who cared about me and I filled that void by being a sister and child to those without that connection (seniors, orphaned and neglected children, etc). Everyone copes differently so what works for some may not work for others but for me reaching out and volunteering (formally and informally) has brought a lot of love into my life. I never developed a close bond with my parents but there are hundreds if not thousands of people I opened my heart to and had a genuine connection with, making the world a little brighter. In reading others feedback I do agree there is the danger of making bad choices by feeling “needy” for love and validation – hence how I ended up in abusive relationships over the years, making unhealthy choices. That’s why I talk about my experiences and own upto my mistakes to maybe help others from undergoing the pain I experienced when feeling unworthy and seeking validation in all the wrong ways (binge drinking to ‘fit in’ and ‘numb out’, having numerous flings and seeking validation from men, etc). I also spoke to counselors and other survivors of abuse to work through the trauma and make healthy choices, it took me a lot of years of pain and suffering to realize I don’t need to revictimize myself, I deserve better and need to love myself for me and I need to be selfish and put myself first, approve myself and be proud of myself. I didn’t need my family to do that for me, I needed to love myself. Just like forgiving my family, it allowed me to forgive myself for my mistakes and move on. I hope this helps.

    • Sarah,

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful journey you have had with forgiving your parents. It is truly heart-warming to hear you have found forgiveness, and therefore, cultivated a deeper sense of love and peace within yourself. That is a great gift to give yourself and one we would all benefit from, so thank you for inspiring us 🙂

      So much love,
      Team UPLIFT

    • That’s great Prashant, lovingly setting boundaries is an important part of taking care of ourselves. It is often amazing to see how well people respond as well – when we respect ourselves, others often will too 🙂

      Team UPLIFT

  9. This was a good article, although it did speak to surface type wounds rather than deep, ongoing abuse and neglect. I believe the idea, that my not forgiving is hurting me far more than my parents. I have come around to accepting my father as just a fine human being, even if he was an absent father. My mom, though… that is proving very difficult. She was crazy and violent and volatile in every way. We could not count on her to be calm, loving or receptive to our common problems in growing up. As the oldest, I was parentified and was always expected to be years older, to make up for their shortfalls. I RESENT this. I RESENT their blindness and irresponsibility. But, this resentment ages me.. causes me more internal pain and ongoing mental anguish. There is simply no good thing in it for me. I wish I could not think about them the way they don’t think about me, at the very least.

      • To Ceder Shahan,
        I also harbor a lot of resentment towards my family. I was put onto the AA Step 4 which is all about Resentment. You don’t have to go to meetings; but rather than work step 4 at home alone. I hope it helps.

  10. thanks but for my story is ,
    i come from a muslem background but i got saved and i thought am not going to be rooted and now its like i will never look back and its now coming to five years.
    it happens that one day i went to church and i spent there one week cause we were in fasting and praying and i felt like being the church so coming back home ,my elder sister and my mom got mad of me and beat me up even as i speak i still have wounds,
    they threw me out of my home and even denounced me of being one of her children and i went to church its where am residing per now the worst part of it my sister is an aids victim and she bated me and when i went to the hospitali was given arvs
    but i feel i want to fogive my mom but i feel i resentment for her yet right now she bed ridden and she needs my help but when i even think of meeting her ijust shade tears please help me .its yvonne

  11. I am a person that has been beaten, seen my mother beaten, seen my sister beaten. But my mother is still there and he is still there. So what do you do? The only thing that really matters in the end is me. Ive been a terrible mother and I cannot forgive myself but reading this information is helping me more than anything. So if I can forgive my dad maybe I can forgive myself for being such a bad parent. Lost!

  12. I am a psychologist and I often work with abused children. This article is disgraceful. There is a reason child abuse is a crime. Articles like this perpetuate abusive patterns, and self-blame. You have no idea how much harm articles like this cause.

  13. this is all well and fine provided your parents are not predatory psychopaths feeding off of your misery and the only way to possibly escape or let go is when they die. I am praying mine does.

  14. Life must truly be easy for you if all you have to forgive is a missed birthday. Try forgiving being molested by father and mother knowing about it and blaming you for it. Learning from your own daughter that your father was starting to molest her and again grandma knew and pushed under carpet reporting it to police and mommy dearest telling you that if your father died from the stress she would never forgive you. Trust me when I say forgiving those that betrayed you is never simple and this article is BS.

    • Amen sister, I’m not about to simply forget how my dignity, confidence, and self-worth was stolen by my mother. Forgiveness, the Lord knows I’m trying. It’s an easy thing to type it on a website, but it’s rendered my functionality in society and relationships, really challenging, to say the least. I pray for all who shared on this website, and keep your heads up.

    • The article is not bullshit, and it does not claim that forgiveness is easy. People who have suffered serious abuse have a long journey to recovery (if they ever do recover), but the route to recovery is to find self-worth, and a deep acceptance that none of the abuse was your fault. If you do that, you will find freedom because you will have severed yourself from the power of the abuser – power that can persist decades after the actual abuse ceased. Forgiveness will give you lightness and joy – it is something you can give to yourself, not something you give to others. It is not simple or easy. But it is possible.

  15. Being a parent and bringing up children is the hardest job in the world especially if you have suffered yourself as a child and do not know how to handle a given situation, you pass on your reactions to your children because you do not know any better. As an adult if you can see through their faults, all to the good, then foregiveness and healing can begin

  16. An interesting article with lots of good parts in it, but also a real strange one, which reminds me somehow of the “positive thinking approach”:

    Blame and anger are IMO *not* in the way of forgiveness! They are the way to forgiveness! Because they teach you how to protect yourself. They teach you your power, where you felt powerless.

    The authors blaming of the blame is IMO part of his childhood-conditioning. Because as a child you are not welcome to blame your parents.

    And also: The emotional pain is not a reaction to the false believe of unworthiness. It is the other way around: The false believe of unworthiness is a reaction to emotional pain.

    My 2 cents. 😉

    What do you think?

    • i think anger is indeed the reaction we make to protect ourself but blame on the other hand is the things that give the power to other. we blame because we cant really control other people act toward us. so instead of blaming we can always try to be proactive of our act hence focusing the power of our own action.
      im not really understand about the emotional pain stuff, so will read more from other source

  17. Some families are just toxic and although you may forgive them, often you just have to remove yourself completely from that environment. Forgiveness doesnt fix everything but removing yourself from the toxicity can, over time.

  18. Good article..but forgiving a parent who still is abusive and boundaries only anger them.in an unfortunate situation to get back on my feet after a traumatic situation, depending on them temporarily, only subjects to continual toxic relationship.
    Fixing and healing is more complicated than just to forgive:(

  19. I’m havig very hard time forgiving my parents. They took my childhood at such a young age.. my mother left my brother and I and chased some man.. she promised she would come back and she never did!! I needed her ! I’m lost I’m confused ! I need my parents love and they don’t even care. I had to be adopted by my grandma because my parents didn’t come back like they said they would!! I’m still struggling trying to find a way. My father used to beat my mom and beat me and my brother and now I can’t even sleep at night because I get nightmares about it. They hurt us and I can’t even move on in my life because I’m so angry at them. I wanna have a relationship with my father and make new memories and forgive him. But idk I’m afraid. I have to hide how I feel with the comedy I bring to my family making them laugh and smile because I know how it feels to be miserable I’m afraid to be a parent one day because I don’t wanna be like my parents. When I sing I try to let out how I feel all the pain I have from them and it doesn’t really work because I haven’t forgiven them.. but I’m gonna keep trying and I know deep in my heart I will find a place for them again but I just need help doing that

    • I was my mother’s slave because I was the oldest girl of 8 kids. I watched my younger brothers and sisters and remember getting up in the middle of the night to feed my sister then get up and go to school. I did all the housework while my mother watched soap operas. When my dad came home she would act busy. I could not wait to leave home. I got married at 17. I am 62 now and been married 3 times and dated men who treated me with NO respect whatsoever. I could never talk to my parents. I had no emotional support from either of them. It was until my mother was on her deathbed that I told her what I missed growing up from her. She told me she was sorry. She told me for the first time that she loved me. It took 62 years. What a waste.

  20. This article has helped me to see I am worthy and don’t have feel not wanted by my parent anymore. Thank you. for these Words of advice.

  21. Can you explain what wound made me attract a gay husband? I am going through the biggest shock of my life. How is this related to my parents?

  22. This was one of the greatest revealing article I had read in a long Time. I think I could truly comprehend with some of it’s teachings. I am very thankful for that and for you to sharing this with us.

  23. I am so amazed at how the universe knows and then provides exactly what we need and at the exact time we need it. I’ve been working on clearing negative stuff because we’re in the process of ascension, at present. But as much progress as I’ve made, I can’t seem to get pass the issue of forgiveness. Anger and blame at my parents have colored my entire life and all relationships, just as stated in the article. And I’ve struggled like crazy in life, not accomplishing what I want and am capable of without ever understanding why. This information resonates with me and I am grateful. Thank you.

  24. This Article is very Logical and Practical.It is of a great use for emotionally hurted people! Must Read Article!

  25. I was abused by a father who (I only recently discovered) was a narcissist. He is deceased. I want to release the anger but I don’t know how. How does one do that?

  26. This was immensely helpful. I had a violent father and my mother did nothing to stop him (and was pretty cruel herself at times). I still have a relationship with them and for some reason I always go back looking for love only to be hurt when it isn’t there. Most recently I had a serious health problem with eye watering medical bills not covered by my insurance. My parents are millionaires. They didn’t come to visit me in hospital despite my begging, they denied I was ill, called my doctor a “quack” and then (although initially offering when I told them the size of my medical bills), they then refused to help financially. To put this in context, I am a 27 year old oxford educated lawyer at a top firm and I have never asked them for a penny. Anyway this for me was the final straw after years of emotional abuse following the physical abuse I endured as a child (which still plays on my mind most days). The feeling I had had all along that my parents didn’t love me I realised was true. I for the first time became so angry and disgusted with them. I was finding it so hard to get past this anger. This article made me realise that this anger just continues to wound myself and that forgiveness isn’t weak. The roots of a lot of the positives in my life today stem from the pain I have had endured due to my parents – I was always so desperate to be independent that I wrote in my diary at 10 that I would get a good job that pays a lot of money (check and check). I am the friend people go to when things go wrong, because I know what it is like to hurt and I tell them the words I always wanted to hear in those situations but never did. I am resourceful, because growing up I knew I had no one else in my corner – the only reason I found a cure (if at a price) is because I refused to accept that I had a progressive incurable disease. After just the first two sessions with this expensive doctor I could walk again and he said he was amazed I had found him so fast, that most of his patients wind up with him as a last resort having been disabled for 10 years. In fact when I think about it that way – the wounds my parents inflicted on me have ultimately saved my life. I am not going to let the anger take over the rest of my life and I will own my wounds as making me the person I am today.

    • Oh my God iam thrilled and delighted that i have discovered your quote.first of all my name us elhadj iam about to recover from crappy childhood fairy .. I would like you please to assist me with my immigration issue .i will be honor to gear from you anytime soon ok… Here’s my number please call me or text as soon as you get my message thank you Mr . my number is 347 855 18 24

    • Eloise, I appreciate your honesty, and point of view. Your reply has helped me tremendously. I truly appreciate you sharing this.

  27. I don’t believe in anything that says ‘should’ anywhere. No one should have to do anything, especially when it comes to emotionally neglectful parents. Because most of the time, they don’t do the work to look at their behaviour and and as a result nothing changes. Its often just a different mask on their part.

  28. Curious, would you write a similar article to a rape or attempted murder victim or victim of some other potentially life destroying crime pressuring them to forgive and not seek justice from their perpetrator? If you wouldn’t, then I don’t see why this article is appropriate, either. Some parents perpetrate crimes on their children that destroy their children’s lives. If it was between adults, justice would be demanded and rendered. But since it is done to a helpless child, we are just supposed to forgive and stop blaming. No justice, no peace. How about working towards getting more justice and protection for children and education, support, standards, and accountability for parenting so these most defenseless of beings don’t have to suffer whatever torture their parents inflict on them (I am with the person who scoffed at the example of a wound being a parent missing your 10th birthday). If that is the depth of your wounding, maybe this article could be for you. But if you’ve been severely neglected, abused, or abandoned, I don’t think this is enough and it may even be wrong to tell ppl their innate human need for some measure of justice and recognition is just not important and they’re just going to have to forgive and move forward with no reparations. Sometimes ppl literally don’t even have what they need to survive due to their parents’ neglect, abuse or abandonment.

  29. Was emotionally and physically abused as a child. The impact on my life has been very clear. I have released and forgiven incidents but never tried to address the lack of emotional support it created. Thank you for this article. I think it will help me get over my trust issues that I am currently working on. I will say boundaries and space make a big difference. And understanding my parents are just repeating the patterns from their own childhoods. It doesn’t make it acceptable, just lets me release the blame and take back my power to control my reactions.

  30. A shining example of why liberal arts are so reviled. While a useful idea the entire article could be reduced to the last sentence. Otherwise a mass of opinion or unsupported theory presented as “fact”. Still, after wading through it, good stuff.

  31. The text is a great explanation of the inner mechanics of feeling unworthy and the resulting difficulties in your relationships all your later life. True and helpful.
    It just doesn’t offer any help on the ‘how’. How can one forgive? How do you let go of the grudge and pain?

    • by giving yourself all of the thing u expect from your parent
      the grudge and pain just there for u to notice all this stuff
      love yourself 🙂

  32. Great article. Although I guess I always knew deep down, it helped me to become consciously aware of my unworthiness false belief. There’s work to do. Thanks for sharing.

  33. As complex beings we hurt and we hurt others often not intentionaly but through ignorance or disfunction in our own family background.
    To forgive releases us from negative posionous thinking,only when we learn to forgive can we learn to fully live, some people have a lot to forgive parent’s for but it’s when you do it you find you were really the prisoner because bitterness is a poison we drink ourselves expecting the other person to die, why let someone who has cruelly interacted in your past life have the opportunity to continue to destroy your future. Forgivness is about releasing yourself it dosen’t mean you ever have to sit or visit with that person again, but knowing you have no intention of harm or ill will toward them then go live the life that you deserve.

  34. Both of my parents are gone. I’ve struggled with unworthiness, trying to prove I’m worthy, for the majority of my life. I’m sure my parents did as well. They were the products of their upbringing. After years of figuring out why I behaved and led my life in this blaming, unworthy state of mind, I now take care to recognize that pattern within me, and realize I don’t need to prove myself. I am worthy, I am loved and loving. We are all doing the best we can at any given moment… And to keep reminding myself of that fact. So are YOU.

  35. Great advice for people who grow up entitled, thinking that mom and dad owed them a pony. Great if you are not mature enough to recognise that your parents had struggles financially… Or other common issues. But this is complete bulkshit if you were physically, emotionally, mentally abused by your parent. Just like don’t tell an abused child that their parents loved them.
    Oh and you can give your kid that pony and a puppy, and everything they could want, love, time etc…and they can still grow up to be apathetic and cruel. You can grow up in an abusive environment and grow up to be loving, empathetic, and responsible.
    Your environment only plays a small role.

    • Rather, environment plays a big role. It just the opposite, as example given with abusive turns out nice, coz it is what the child lacks to experience or what he/she yearns for.

      It is a big factor coz exposure to specific situations, which is the environment, makes the person aware of such things and explains the behavior as coping mechanism. Hope you get what I mean ?

      • Dear Amelia, I know what you mean, it is so hard. But forgiveness is for you, not the other. 🙂 It’s learning that yes, this happened to me, this person did it to me, but I release them, I let them go, and in turn you free yourself. You don’t have to ever see them again, talk to them and you aren’t condoning their behavior. A guided visualization a lady on youtube helped me a lot, unforgiveness is like a wrought iron gate around your heart, those you don’t forgive are locked in there with your heart, you dont’ want to keep them there, she said to close your eyes and visualize you put in the key and open the door and let them out, release them in love, release all ties, give them back to their maker.

        • I am trying to forgive a dying father who told me years ago that he made a decision to not include me in his life. Simultaneously, I am trying to support my children who do have a relationship with him. To say this situation is complicated and emotionally unpredictable would be an understatement.

          Where can I find this guided meditation you speak of?

  36. My father was mentally ill and as i a child i was highly intelligent. Was mensa . My father wounld never allow me to be happy and be relaxed. He would prod me and instigate and when i would react he would threaten to put me in an institution.my mother covered for him saying your father was abanoned as a child. So it gave my father the green light to abuse and damage me. I have been disabled and damaged my whole life. I just cant forget the trauma he put me through. It affected my relationships.

  37. The article makes a lot of sense, explains why some people are more needy than others and constantly seek praise and approval.

Leave a reply