Our Parents, Their Influence and Impressions
Realities behind who we are
To hear some people tell it, they are who they are and have what they have, as a result of their own talents and drive. That is of course, if all in their life is positive and wonderful. On the other hand, when things haven't gone quite right, their journey has been difficult or peppered with failure, their finger will point away....in an outward direction.
These unfortunate souls sing a pitiful song of a dysfunctional family, abusive parents, a life void of proper necessities. Excuses are endless and the truth is, they're also fairly useless. There are any number of tales people will spin to explain who and what they are and why.
The reality we should be aware of is that no sole individual makes it to the top of the mountain as the lone champion. Likewise, all men who rape and murder do not do so because they were beaten in childhood. How we get to where and who we are is a whole lot more complex than we can even imagine. It's just not simple.
In the span of a lifetime, it is not unreasonable to suggest that countless people,circumstances and situations touch us in numerous ways and play their part in contributing to the pieces that ultimately becomes our image.
Each of us are influenced in unique ways and to varying degrees by this puzzle-making process. Our genetics certainly are key to directing how when and why we absorb and assimilate everything that happens every moment we exist.
As adults, if and when we take the time to think back to our younger years, it may strike us as easy to understand how and why we got where we are. By that I mean quite simply, if we can recall our parents having been supportive and consistent in terms of our education, we can be sure we gave our all throughout our school years. This strong basic foundation is/was the vital boost to every step taken thereafter. My children grown and on their own for some time now, I've yet to meet the loving parent who does not want that their children surpass our own achievements. This concept is so Universal and constant, it is the shared but silent understanding among parents the world over. We want for a children an even better life than we may have had.
Parents, Our First Loves
Mom and Dad, two simple three-letter words. But oh the powerful overwhelming meaning of these words....the visions, sounds and emotions these two words create within our mind. One man and one woman who brought us into the world and held our helpless being in their hands. We begin our life with a mere pair of human beings who represent our entire world. They are our original and adoring caregivers, without whom we would cease to be. In order to thrive in every way we are dependent upon them as they unselfishly oblige.
Throughout our years of growth and development, they fulfill their responsibilities and faithfully perform parental duties. We do not know them as the man and the woman they have always been. They are our mother and father, our providers, guardians, teachers and source of comfort. It remains this way through the years while our differences and similarities clash or blend, bringing pride as well as disappointment. The bond is constant but the road can be rough with twists and turns... moments of peace throughout years of battle.
We argue and rebel and our parents demand and insist. They criticize our choices. We criticize their judgement. As we're searching and groping to reach adulthood, we look to Mom and Dad to support and encourage us. Often they fulfill our wishes and needs and just as often, they may not.
Miraculously, it somehow progresses to the day we take wing to enter the big bad world, with the fruits of our upbringing tucked under our arm.. Now we suppose, we are our own person. We are certain we carry within us only the best of qualities and characteristics of our parents. We refuse to think we will do many of the things they did that we disliked so much. We were careful to pick and choose only those traits and habits we wanted. That which would make us shine like a star.
Difficult as it may be to accept, not all children and parents love one another. Many are incapable. Some were never meant to have children. Whatever the case may be, sadly, far too many people hold bitterness and blame within their hearts. It happens. With maturity and experience these hurts may be resolved. In the meantime, adult children begin to wonder why they do what they do, or catch a glimpse of their flaws and feel inadequate.. The natural reflex is to look for approval, at every turn.
Parental Influence: Nurture or Nature?
Coming Face to Face with the Truth
Once we reach adulthood, hopefully we're intimately familiar with our basic nature. We know our strengths and weaknesses and perhaps, can admit to a few quirks. Without a good deal of soul-searching and some effort thrown in as well, we may or may not be completely pleased with the person we see. Knowing what talents we possess is a positive force we can work with to our benefit. Facing our faults or shortcomings is not such a treat.
By pure nature there comes that moment we begin to question how we managed to allow flaws to invade our personality. "We are all fallible humans, after all," doesn't bring much comfort. Depending on what stage we're in, this self-criticism can result in looking to place blame. I'm afraid the first people who come to mind, are our parents. Poor Mom and Dad....yes, it must be their fault that we're not perfect. They may have been wonderful, loving and supportive, but apparently something they did or did not do, must be responsible for the fact that we're quick to anger or slow to forgive. We reason we must have been stifled by an overbearing and demanding parent. A tragic reality may be that in fact, you were quite neglected and abused.
And thus, begins our journey of searching, questioning and groping for answers. For without answers, how do we grow and advance? What a gift it would be to have our own personal guru at this point in our life to advise and alert us. They would help to guide us through the open doors awaiting our arrival. Those doors that expose our inner self, the heart and soul of who we are. There is a need to expose our purest authenticity. If you've been there, you already know what I mean.
If we're willing to look deeply enough and be honest enough to understand the very core of our being, we come to the truths. Its' as though we've always known what we're capable of,but for reasons we cannot bear to accept, we settle for being less. There exists a dialogue we exchange with our own inner spirit. In our effort to always protect our heart, we build walls. Unfortunately, these walls can manifest as less than pleasant traits in our character and to harsh interactions with others. We learn to lash out or to be unkind. It means survival for us, to be first to strike down a perceived enemy.
It's time, we know, to break the bonds that keep us void of true happiness and peace. Bonds that we, ourselves created and fortified. No one else, no parent, no friend,no enemy.....just us. When this epiphany arrives, we can be freed from our demons. We can become the person, we are meant to be.
It is then we see clearly and love freely. We find it liberating to embrace tolerance, forgiveness and generosity. The walls will topple and our doubts will be gone. The ability to feel this wholeness, to appreciate life's gifts......will direct us to see that the influence of both good and bad, were gifts we were given by those the very closest to us since the day of our birth.