Finding Peace by Letting Go of Family Karma
I got an email over the weekend from a reader that was asking how to forgive her narcissistic mother, who had abused and traumatized her for years until her death a few months ago. This woman knew that holding onto her hatred and resentment was going to make her sick, but she didn’t know how to let it go. I have gone through this same journey with my mother and I am so appreciative to be free, healthy, happy and to know that all is understood and forgiven. Some of our life lessons can be extremely tough.
I have had this same conversation with so many, many people over the years. It seems that a majority of us come from dysfunctional families. And this dysfunction is often passed down from generation to generation. Unhappiness begets more unhappiness; trauma begets more trauma.
So how can we let go of this family karma so that we may find peace and total health?
See the Bigger Spiritual Picture
Over the years I have read or heard countless accounts of near-death experiences and also reincarnational memories from children, and many of them share the fact that we seem to plan this life before “coming down to earth.” We, quite literally, seem to choose our parents and families for specific reasons.
Of course, once incarnated, we seem to forget all about the choices we made on the other side, which hardly seems fair!!
But the point is, it’s worth considering that this may actually be a spiritual truth. We may very well choose our families and circumstances beforehand so that we may have specific experiences in this life that teach us specific lessons.
So if you find yourself in a family with relatives that drive you nuts, hurt your feelings, or are downright abusive, try and wonder if, as nasty as it feels, it is part of your soul’s development to experience these things.
Have Some Human Understanding
I’ve never really liked the concept of forgiveness, which is a BIG concept in the Christian faith. But as a child, and even as an adult, I found the concept a bit vague and lacking.
“Forgive others for their trespasses.”
“If someone hurts you, just forgive them.”
“When you forgive others, you benefit as well.”
Okay, that sounds great and all, but HOW exactly do you do it? HOW do you forgive someone who physically abusive when they drink too much? HOW do you forgive someone who constantly puts you down in front of others? And HOW do you forgive someone who went to prison for possession of drugs, leaving you and your mother to completely fend for yourself?
How on earth do you “just forgive?”
It’s like having a quantum physicist write out a mind-bending and REALLY long equation on a chalkboard and then tell a bunch of 5th grade students to “just solve it.”
WHAT?! How on earth could they even BEGIN to solve that puzzle if you don’t tell them HOW to do it?
What I have learned over the years as I have tried, and tried, and tried and TRIED to forgive those who have hurt me is that forgiveness requires… understanding. Understanding is the missing piece of the forgiveness equation. It’s how you solve the puzzle.
When you understand that your grandfather was raised by an alcoholic who verbally – and sometimes physically – abused him, your heart melts, you feel compassion for that little boy, and you understand why he is falling into the same behavioral patterns.
When you understand that your mother constantly criticizes you and puts you down because she was raised by a vicious grandmother who always made her feel like she was an unwanted burden (because she had HER own childhood horror story), you understand her behavior and feel sympathy and compassion.
And when you understand that your dad became a drug addict because he can’t bear the pain of having survived the car accident that took his best friend’s life in high school, you don’t need to forgive him, because you INSTANTLY feel love and compassion for him.
Whoever in your family has caused you harm, do your best to understand WHY they may be acting the way they do or did in the past.
Meditate and picture your parent or the person who has hurt you as children. See and feel their hurt. Hurt people hurt people. Stop trying to “forgive” others and instead, try and understand what their upbringing was like and where their hurt came from and why they do what they do.
Cut Those Ties That Need to be Cut
Understanding your loved ones will help you to release the pain they have caused and finally find peace. But that does NOT mean you must continue to take any abuse. If you have family members in your life that are toxic, and they refuse to listen or change their behavior, it is your right and responsibility to sever these ties. Your health and well-being are far more important than keeping up appearances!
Most of us are born into families that have some kind of negative baggage or karma. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to let go, find peace and be WELL!