As you judge your parents so your personal power suffers.
The more you want to skip this episode – the more you probably need to listen to it.
And let’s be clear! You don’t need to ever speak to your parents again, if that is what you’re worried about. You might want to – but you don’t have to, to get the benefit of what I am talking about here. It’s not as intense you might be thinking.
This episode is about how what happened in your parental dynamics, in your childhood, and in your heritage significantly influences everything and anything that is possible for you as a leader and as a business owner.
There are 5 reasons for why judging your parents is negatively influencing your ability to lead and be led:
- You cut yourself off from human life force. If you walk around thinking you would rather not have had the patterns or the parents you got, it’s like cutting off your roots. And just like trees stand weak, when they don’t have roots, so do humans. You might have very good reasons for not want to be like them or to have anything to do with them (I have coached leaders who have been abused in all kinds horrific ways as children).
The important thing is to acknowledge that this is where you come from for better and for worse. You are one in the line of many – that’s how you get access to human life force, even if your childhood was a mess and your parents weren’t anywhere close to being “good parents”.
- You are turned towards the past. When you’re judging your parents, it’s like you’re standing with your back to the future, because you’re looking towards what’s happened in the past and that makes you less powerful in the present.
- You are out whack in the order of life. If you’re facing towards the past, you’re looking towards the generation that came before you, rather than towards the next generation. That messes with the way natured intended life to be and it minimises your chance to be supported in life and the power you have available for creation of the future.
- You become too big for your shoes, which can make you weirdly inflated. When you’re judging your parents, you’re in a way saying: I know better than you, I am better than you, I would never have done what you did. And this might be the case. But you didn’t have their exact childhood and you don’t fully know what it was like to be them.
When the above sentences feel true, it’s like it’s like we are trying to scold our parents and in that sense we become our parents parents or our parents judges and that’s not who we’re meant to be. We are born to be our parents’ children and only when we can be the children are we free to look towards the future and tend to creations that are true to us. (Rather than leaking energy to proving our parents wrong or showing what failures they were.)
- You have to keep proving that you’re good enough. If you’re judging your parents there will be a deep niggling self doubt. Because if they aren’t good enough – that means you’re made of faulty raw material and maybe that means that you’re no good too.
The mean voice inside will pop up from time to time wondering what if I am like them or at least partly like them. It’s exhausting to try and prove that you’re different from your parents.
So what can you do instead of staying in harsh judgement?
What helps is to see a bit more of the generational picture. With whatever snippets of information you have about the generation before you plus thinking about what happened in the world at that time of your parents childhood, it might highlight to you that your father or mother didn’t have an easy time, and neither did their parents.
Although it doesn’t excuse bad behaviour, it helps us acknowledge that there is a chain of suffering that has been passed on and that there is not one person to blame. Each generation before passed on mess to the next. And it is, what it is. And it happened.
You can also work on forgiveness. But not in the sense of saying what happened was OK. My favourite definition of forgiveness is giving up the hope that it could have been any different. We don’t fully know what it was like being our parents and we are not excusing their behaviour, but we are giving up the need to judge. Because when we judge our parents we are also saying (unconsciously) this isn’t what my life should have been. And when we’re busy focusing on what shouldn’t have been and what isn’t right, we don’t have power to focus on what we can do something about and what strength we have gained from everything we have been through.
If you have been judging your parents harshly and are wondering what the best next step is, start by imagine them in front of you – visualise them and say out loud:
“You are the right mother/father for me”. Notice if this is something you can say easily? Or perhaps it feels too difficult to say? Maybe it releases something or maybe it opens a can of worms?
Whatever emotions come up for you reading/listening to this, you don’t have to sit alone with it. I highly recommend getting in touch with a Family Constellator and if you feel called, get in touch with me.
For more information about Noomi Melchior Natan and Leadership Behind the Scenes go to www.noominatan.com