Forgiveness, as the experts say, is a choice. If someone has wronged you, you cannot wait for forgiveness to appear. You must make a conscious decision to forgive. You also cannot wait for the person who wronged you to apologize. It may never happen. Forgiving someone is a personal choice and one that can give you many benefits. Researchers know that by actively forgiving, you can expect to experience less stress, better relationships, less depression, and even lower blood pressure and a lowered risk of substance abuse.
If the forgiveness you are considering means letting go of the harm and neglect you faced as a child because of a parent’s alcoholism, it will not be easy. Whether your alcoholic parent physically abused you, or simply was never there for you emotionally, you suffered greatly as a result. Forgiveness may be something you have considered, but are struggling to get through. With some understanding, compassion, and a suspension of resentment, you can forgive and move on with your life.
The reason forgiving your mother or father is so difficult is that they caused so much damage in your life. When the children of alcoholics become adults they often experience their own struggles with substance abuse. You are also vulnerable to depression, you may have low self-esteem, and you probably struggle to maintain healthy relationships. If you were physically abused by your alcoholic parent, the repercussions may be more extreme.
Can You Learn To Understand An Alcoholic?
If you have managed to avoid having a substance abuse problem yourself, you may have a hard time understanding your alcoholic parent. However, your path to forgiveness may begin with compassion and understanding. Read up on the disease of alcoholism and try to learn why certain people are vulnerable to it and the impact it has. You may even want to talk to your mother or father about it. If he or she is willing to open up, you can learn just what the struggle has been like. Maybe your parent experienced abuse as a child. If you can understand the motivation behind your parent’s drinking, you may find the compassion to forgive.
Can You Let Go Of Resentments?
One of the biggest roadblocks to forgiveness is resentment. This ugly specter lives with you day in and day out. The more you think about how your alcoholic parent impacted your life in a negative way, the bigger this resentment becomes. It is a toxic feeling and will hinder you in everything you do. Even if you cannot yet forgive your parent, learn to let go of the resentment so that you can better function.
Remember The Good Times
Few alcoholic parents are so terrible that they never cared for their children at all. As you try to let go of resentment and attempt to cultivate compassion, think back to your childhood and try to remember the happy moments. Make a list of all the memories of a happy and caring parent. Remembering these moments and the feelings that accompanied them will help you to journey closer toward forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a choice, and it is a healthy one. Your life will only get better when you are able to forgive your parent. You will be able to rebuild a relationship and you will be able to let go of resentment. You will feel as if a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
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