Forgiving our parents: Vain immaginations (Part 3)

In today’s series of forgiving our parents I want to share my personal story.

Like most teenagers, I was rotten and remember having it out with my parents, my Mom mainly – from time to time. We’ve all probably experienced that ourselves as we have grown up and moved on to having teenagers of our own (God help you).

But as I grew older and married early (in my 20’s) I had this relationship (who shall remain nameless) which was very controlling and was constantly putting false ideas in my head concerning my parents (namely my Mom). Example, “Your Mom is just jealous of you and your relationship with your Dad.” I was his favorite (I like to kid my siblings about that) but these were just “vain imaginations” that started a disdain for my Mother and was not based on facts.

The truth was that my parents were awesome people and I had a somewhat “normal” childhood. I grew up in a Christian home, my Dad was a hard worker and worked a lot, yet still had time to spend with us. My Mother was a stay at home Mom (having cookies ready for us when we came home from school, made all of our clothes ‘YIKES’) They even traveled around the world as missionaries when all five of us kids finally left home (Ok, so you’ve got the picture).

Nevertheless, these “vain imaginations” that were put in my head by someone who was just trying to control issues in my life, were far from the truth and kept me agitated, aggravated, angry and upset for most of my adult years. THEY WERE UNTRUE, yet to me at the time, were very real.

I can remember people in our community and church saying things like “Your Mom is awesome”. “Your Mom and Dad are such wonderful people” and I can remember my response, “MY MOM?”  I wondered to myself and would sometimes respond with “Are you sure you’re talking about MY Mom?” What were they seeing that I couldn’t see?

Sometimes our unrealistic expectations and point of views become warped through our young adolescent eyes – yet continue throughout our lives, causing us to have ill feelings, anger, obsessions, etc.

I can remember feeling irritated when around my Mother, always defending myself to her, and avoiding her at all costs. So many years were wasted because I was blinded by someone else’s warped point of view (a thorn in my flesh).

One day I came to realize that this was all nonsense and was keeping me from being happy, healthy, and whole. How did I come to realize this? That’s a story in itself, but I will say – It was the beginning! The beginning of me really living; having peace, joy, happiness and a wonderful relationship with my Mother – that I now have today and I have chosen to see the beauty in them both, the things everyone else has always seen. Are they perfect, well, no; but they are precious.

I can honestly say, I have no regrets. Even the bad times I went through in this previously controlled relationship have all brought me to where I am today – happy, healthy, and whole!

Dear Reader, search your heart. Are there any unrealistic expectations or vain imaginations (things that aren’t true and accurate) that may be keeping you from living a life of regret? If so, I challenge you to dig deep, let go, release any and all of it – and choose to forgive. 

Forgive the other person and forgive yourself – it’s imperative to your healing.

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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2 Responses to Forgiving our parents: Vain immaginations (Part 3)

  1. Lorrie says:

    Susan, What a great story and I’m glad you’ve reconnected with your mom. I know she means alot to you.


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