I believe that the number one reason people are unhappy in life is because they refuse to believe that when they were kids their parents either didn't love them, or loved them in a way that was so deeply tweaked it amounts to the same thing.
It's my belief that the reason people refuse to accept the truth that when they were kids their parents treated them awfully is grounded in the fact that as very young children they instinctively grasped how terribly vulnerable their parents not loving them made them. We spend the first years of our lives utterly dependent upon our parents for everything we need. If they don't choose to give us what we need, we die. I think that's something we understand pretty soon into the game.
And so children with crummy parents do virtually the only thing they can do, which is to immediately, absolutely and without question convince themselves that, despite all evidence to the contrary, their parents really are good people who really do love them.
Loving Parents = Survival.
Unloving Parents = Death.
Not exactly what you'd call a choice.
As surely as one day follows the next, children who are forced to build their lives upon a truth they can't possibly face turn into adults whose lives are built upon a truth they can't possibly face. And so as adults people with unhappy childhoods continue to suffer: they're angry; they're forever imagining themselves victims; they're easily upset; their relationships don't work; they don't know who they are. They don't know who they are because the core truth of who they are was lost in the lie they had to tell themselves in order to survive life with their unloving parents.
Adults who are lost and unhappy in life have a simple, terrible choice: either accept the fact that their parents didn't love them -- which is to say utterly and completely reject their parents -- or continue to be lost and unhappy. They either toss their parents off their shoulders, or they keeping sinking with their parents on their back. That's it. Those are the choices of someone raised in a dysfunctional family.
And people always choose sinking with their parents on their back. And they do so for a perfectly understandable reason: It's still in their mind -- it's still in their heart; it still defines the psychological paradigm of the only life they've ever known -- that rejecting their parents means they die.
They may be drowning, but at least they're alive.
If you're unhappy in life -- if no matter what you do, say, think, or believe, you're still dogged by this feeling that something fundamental just isn't right with you or your life -- you might want to give some thought to the idea that you have Genuinely Lousy parents. That maybe it's not you. That maybe it's them. That maybe it's always been them.
That maybe the reason you're so burdened is that you're carrying around weight that doesn't belong to you.
Have the thought that your parents were awful, that they were in no way emotionally or psychologically prepared to have children.
Go ahead. Reject your parents.
It won't kill you.
As the one and only Jesus put it, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
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