WHY COULDN'T YOUR PARENTS HAVE LOVED YOU ENOUGH
AND TAUGHT YOU BETTER?
(Posted to blog also.)
[Throughout this piece are links to valuable pieces for understanding life and how to lead it. Those will take up many hours, but I suggest that it will be immensely worth it!!]
[Notice that the above title applies, most probably, to about 99% of us, with many of us only being partially aware of it being in the background conversation that determines our life. And quite a few people hold this as a major theme in their lives - those people MUST solve this. AND everyone could benefit from clearing up this "ultimate misunderstanding".]
STUCK IN THE SPIRAL
I know a fellow who is "eternally" seeking to finally win his father's approval, though his father is dead and the authority figures he seeks it from cannot give enough to him. Although he worked extremely hard for fear of being fired, neglecting his family and his own emotional well-being, he is retired now and caught up in the same thing - what you might call his "eternal treadmill", not unlike that of Sissyphus.
I know a very dear, precious, delightful woman who is still stuck in the concept of not having been properly loved by her mother (and perhaps her father?) and how her mother caused so much stress in her life and restrictions and fears...
AND, if they don't change their perspective and understanding and don't learn "life wisdom", they will be stuck with those stories and their effects on their lives
AND, though there is some truth to their inability to do "the right job", mostly they (and we) are caught up in the "mental constructs" that Buddha talks about, where we create in our mental world something that is simply "made up" and misunderstood and often harmful to our happiness.
First of all, perhaps, is that we are caught up in unrealistic, and often idealistic, expectations of how skillful our parents "should have" been and how capable of loving us the right way they "should have" been.
But we fail to understand that we are all on a path that was largely predetermined by the input of one's caregivers (and even the caregivers of their caregivers, and so on...) and the limited amount of "extra" time they had for learning life skills and life wisdom.
ONLY A FRACTION OF...
The fact is that they were at only a fraction of the capability that they could have been at, but they were not to blame for that, as they simply started on a path that was not capable of reaching the heights of wisdom - a higher path was not even conceivable in their minds at all.
They simply did the unskillful best that they could, given the level of their awareness and of their limited knowledge.
They tried hard, I assure you, but were also caught up in "conflicting needs", many of which were understandably selfish, as they, too, like you, struggled unknowledgeably and with lack of wisdom throughout their lives. They had very little room to be the perfect loving parents to us - they didn't even know how to love a child as he/she should be loved nor to guide a child as he/she should be guided and taught.
They tried to love you as best they could. As a child, you truly needed to know that they loved you and you feared that they might not - and if they didn't, it could lead to disastrous consequences - we might be left in the cold to starve to death (or whatever virtually equivalent emotional story).
But, you might note, they did you "the really, really huge favor" of keeping you alive until you were an adult, capable of living on your own. Surely that is the greatest gift of all! D'ya think!
BUT, WHO IS IT UP TO NOW?
Ultimately, what is the truth and reality is that you are the very one who, as an adult, can be the one to love you, unconditionally. You are the only vital source, with everything else being a bonus if you get the approval, love, or cross-dependence that feels good. Note how good a job you, yourself are doing at loving you - where you have the most at stake rather than having it be about a person once-removed from you (outside of you but closely connected, such as a child). Note how you often are a very bad friend to even yourself, even a criticizer, misunderstander, hater, judger, etc. - so how can you expect a quantum leap up from that from your parents, who probably even knew less than you???
It is, at least now, up to you to do all the key loving of yourself and to simply drop the idea that your parents should've done a better job. [Notice that I did not say that you should "forgive" them. They simply did the best they could and could have done no better than what they knew how to do - so there is no fault and no reason to blame them! And, if one does not blame a person or "hold them at fault", then there is no forgiveness that is needed, or even appropriate. It is you have to correct your faulty understanding, not them that you have to forgive. People say you should forgive them for your "selfish" peace of mind, but what you really need to do for your peace of mind is to see that there is nothing to forgive (or resent) in the first place!!]
YES, THE "COULDN'T"
So, bottomline, they could not have loved you more than they did AND you don't NEED to have them to have loved you then or now, as you can be perfectly happy taking care of and loving yourself - and you can learn how to do those two things, you can gain the wisdom to do that.
It is now up to you - and you only!
NOW, ABOUT THE BAD ADVICE AND THE HARM...
Now, for the matter of them having given bad advice (at least enough "bad advice" to have disappointed you compared to your unrealistic expectations), let's clear that up.
Whatever happened, happened. That part is over - fini! You got bad advice to some extent and/or good advice and guidance was surely missing to some extent.
But there is no fault for them not having done better.
There is only the future now, where you can take the advice they gave you and examine it to see what is true and beneficial and what is false and/or harmful.
It is up to you to correct the wrong beliefs you have and to replace them with powerful, correct, workable beliefs. (See The Beliefs Change Processes.)
AND NOW "THE INTERVENTION"
And it is my intention (though I want you to do this for others, too) to be an intervening force in your inevitable momentum that has you stuck living the same old life, progressing slowly, if at all. It is my intention to change that momentum by somehow convincing you that you will find much value and much happiness from truly seeing the value of constantly increasing your wisdom, so that you not only have more of an upwardly progressing line in life, but an accelerating upward curve of wisdom and its directly mirroring happiness level.
They gave bad advice or whatever. That is your starting point and hopefully not your ending point, not the point you leave yourself at. They could not have conceivably done better. But... They only knew what they knew and not more. They only had left to them the few attention units they could afford to give you after the great majority of their attention units were used up by their struggles to survive well. They did not know how to live life at a wise level, so they incurred and wasted alot of attention units on the wrong things, on fears they could've known were not real or at least not any big deal, on problems they created and then had to solve or get "relief" from, etc. - and the result is that there was little left for you.
Now it is up to you not to make the same mistake as they made. It is up to you, as expeditiously as possible, to get on the life-learning upward trajectory where you can be at a level of happiness that is, most likely, beyond that you might have thought possible.
Will you now leave behind your "stories" about how they let you down, didn't love you enough, and/or left you stuck with beliefs and emotional/operational handicaps that lowered, or ruined, your life. Once you know that those are mere stories, merely things you "made up" in your mind based on false mental constructs, you can let them go, stop many of the unhappiness producers and unhappiness sustainers. Actually, you can "disappear" them, as they were'nt really true or real in the first place!!! And move on to a glorious life where you will not "stop short" of doing that learning that will, in fact, dissolve your "problems" and have you creating an abundance of happiness!!!!