Being grateful to our parents has nothing to do with the fact we crave their approval to an unhealthy degree. Way into adulthood we might still be scared of their rejection or be enmeshed with the people who raised us. Why is this dangerous and how can a break in our relationship benefit all of us?
Wanting to be accepted by our parents is a normal survival pattern. We protect and shield them automatically, and often we need to unconsciously unlearn this to find our authentic self. Daniel Mackler explains how you can have a happy childhood and still carry trauma from times you were left alone, were scared or sustained injuries; all of these make us cling to our parents even more.
When there is substantial pain, we will need to heal the intergenerational trauma we carry with us.
It is crucial for our self-development to be allowed anger and rejection of our child rearers.
Otherwise we express our denial in subconscious patterns the same way our parents did when they weren’t allowed to feel.
Grieving our expectations is healthier than refusing to acknowledge them, but still our parents are with us. In order to get rid of the resentments (no matter what they have done!), I have found it useful to pray for their health and success. It is impossible to wish people well and ill at the same time!
Once we have allowed ourself to be furious at our parents, and then forgive them fully for any resentments we have carried around all our lives, we are truly alone.
We are free to express ourselves authentically, and restart contact with our parents if wanted. Not as children, but independent adults who have chosen this bond.