With Mother’s day just passed and Father’s Day just ahead I am reflecting on how grateful I am for my amazing journey with my parents.
As some of you know, my childhood was far from perfect and there were many times I actually wished I had a different father or mother.
I wished for a father who would cherish me at all times, be gentle yet clear, protect me, adore me and would always be there when I needed him. I wished for a mother who was a role model in terms of what it means to be a woman, who was empowered, fun, loving, encouraging, and always there when I needed her. In other words – the perfect parents who would love me unconditionally. Well, that is not what I got.
My parents were born at the end of WWII and deeply traumatized by their parent’s trauma, and limited in their ability to be there for me – and at times even deeply wounding to me. For many years, in my twenties and even my early thirties still, I emptied out my frustration, my bitterness, my blame, my pain about them in therapy, workshops and many pages of journals.
Only after that process of feeling my own pain fully, was I actually able to feel their pain, frustration and bitterness, and started to build compassion for them in my heart. Slowly true forgiveness emerged to a point where I authentically, and not as a mental concept, could forgive them for the harm they caused me – and let them off the hook for good.
But there was still another much deeper level of love that I discovered. In our work, there are exercises, where we speak words of honoring, like ”I honor you as my mother” and “You gave me life and that is the greatest gift”, but in all the years of facilitating this, I never fully got what that meant. Only over time, with the help of great mentors, and with a lot of grace it slowly dawned on me that this particular mother and this particular father of mine were the PERFECT parents- for me!
Simply because without them I would not be here. I, this unique being, would not exist had these two particular people not made love – and brought me into existence. THAT is the gift they gave me, and in a certain way they owe me nothing else. That is the greatest gift anyone can give to another- LIFE. I hope I can convey the sense of relief and “rightness” that comes from that realization. Everything just kind of lined up, and I know now that all is well.
My parents loved me as much as they could and express their love even now as much as they are capable of, and that is enough for me. I now truly don’t need them to be any different than they are, and actually find their little quirks and imperfections endearing. I am just so grateful I get to be with them in this new state of being before they leave this earth. I have no desire to change them any more.
In fact, I hear their love for me in everything they say, even though my father, for example, can’t say “I love you” to me when I tell him I love him. I hear “I love you” just in the way he says “Hallo Britta”, as he does in his northern German baritone voice. I so appreciate that I am finally, now in my early fifties, am able to receive their love just the way they can give it. My lifelong story of being “unloved” has vanished into thin air.
This is what my prayer is for you, dear reader.
To be grateful for your life!
To appreciate that you get to actually be here, to be YOU, at this precious point in time.
To know that your particular parents, no matter how poorly or wonderfully they treated you or did or didn’t show up for you, are the perfect parents for you– because YOU are meant to be here.
I for one am grateful to your parents, because without them you would not be part of the Celebration of Being community. I would love to hear your thoughts on this – either by replying to this email or commenting on our blog.
I also want to send a special welcome to all the women who joined ourCelebration of Being community this last week through the Sacred Sexy Life series – we are so happy to have you here!
Blessings to you and your whole family,
Britta & the Celebration of Being Team