We’re taught to honor our mother and father.   But what if they weren’t exactly a model of calm maternal and paternal caring, strength, and guidance during your childhood.   What if they still criticize and demean you, infuriate you, or simply push your buttons?

This Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, why not try accepting them?  Why should you, you might wonder?  Because choosing acceptance can make a world of difference, and perhaps none more so than with accepting our parents–faults, blemishes, defects, and all.

Three Important Reasons Why We Should Accept Our Parents

It releases us from the shackles of the pastand the anger and resentment for what they did or didn’t do for us or give us.  With acceptance, we are no longer bound to our parents for our happiness and security.  It is when we continue to blame, resent, and despise our parents, that we remain stuck in the past.

There is a critical shift in focus to what we can do to improve our own lives.  Simply put, we are free to discover who we really are and who we can become.

It can improve and even heal our relationship with them.   When we stop seeking or expecting what our parents can’t or are unable to give us, trying to change their ways, or judging them, trust, openness, and even intimacy can result.

What Does Accepting Our Parents Really Mean?

Accepting our parents is not easy, and often extremely difficult, especially if there has been serious past abuse and transgressions.*  That’s why in The Gifts of Acceptance, I offer tools, strategies, and intentions that make it easier to accept our parents as they are.

One key is to remember that accepting our parents does not mean that we are excusing or condoning their conduct or behavior. Rather, we are simply acknowledging the “reality” of the way they are—and acknowledging that we have little or no power to change them—and then acting upon or deciding what’s best for us aligned with that reality. (See my previous post, “Three Misconceptions About Acceptance”)

For many, acceptance is a way to emotionally and spiritually detach themselves from the resentment and obstructions that accompany such behavior. So, consider this:

In giving “the gifts of acceptance” to our parents this Mother’s and Father’s Day, we are also receiving profound gifts. 

Please share your experiences and stories in accepting your parents, including the challenges and obstacles you faced, what helped and what didn’t,  whether it improved your relationship with them, and whether it helped you.

In the meantime, remember to

Let It Go—And Accept “What Is!” 

….and Let’s Help Make Acceptance Go Viral! 

Danny

*I do not mean to suggest that where there has been severe parental abuse (including emotional and sexual) violence, or similarly harmful behavior, that children should accept their parents at all costs.  It is a very personal decision.  Many who have suffered such abuse are adamant about not forgiving or accepting their parents, feeling no benefit would be derived therefrom.  Others (as shared in my book) found it was essential to releasing the past and moving forward in their lives.

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