I was thinking. I cannot be the only parent who struggles with this stuff during holidays. Let’s sit down together and speak gentle words of comfort to one another…words of rest and peace and sanity. 💚
(Especially in the recovery community, parent guilt is an old and bitter acquaintance.( Half the reason we relapse? Just sayin’.)
Ahem. What hurts most is probably the things we did or didn’t do that were our own darn fault.
💚Thou shalt ask forgiveness and make amends if it will not hurt an innocent third party. Of course. But if you are reading this article then you probably already want to make things right. The question may be…then what?
💚Thou shalt ” trust the process. **” It is my job is to deal with my stuff and say sorry and let my Higher Power change me to be better. It is their job to forgive or move on with their lives. That is none of my business, not that I don’t love them. This takes time. Relax.
💚Thou shalt make amends and then shut up about it. Amends are as important to give as they are to receive. Absolutely. But saying I’m sorry can become a way of asking my kids to absolve me or take care of stuff for me that belongs with my sponser, support team or Higher Power
💚 Thou shalt avoid monsterizing. Over-focus on how awful what I did/neglected to do is: that is playing a destructive, counterproductive, self-absorbed game. It is thinking about bad, instead of focusing on the good. It’s a trap. I am not going to change the past by obsessing over it. It is what it is; the question is: where am I going from here?
💚Thou shalt avoid overidentification. Undoubtedly it hurt when mom forgot them at the store or dad spent the Christmas money on medicating his addiction or we criticized or fought with the other parent and ruined the birthday dinner….of course. Didn’t it hurt when the same things happened to me as a kid? And I forgave and found healing and peace. And it’s over now. it can’t hurt me after the grief process is complete. I just was in control in the case of myself and so it felt better. Control and perception are everything; remember the difference between a passenger on a sinking ship and a rider on a bolting horse –either one may get hurt but the horseman is an agent as well as a reciprocant.***
💚Thou shalt trust. Learn the “unforced rhythms of grace*”. God is there for my kids too. He has no grandchildren. He is just as available and aware of their childhood pain as He is aware of mine. I don’t have to fix their hearts. That’s God’s job. I just have to take responsibility and deal with my part.
💚Thou shalt give thyself permission to have fun on the way. I’m not endorsing irresponsibility or callous disregard, of course…But it’s ok to pause regularly enjoy your life while your in process. Resource management.
**Byron Kehlor. A much listened-to college professor of mine.
***cs Lewis Mere Christianity