Dear Karen Kaye,

Why is it so important to forgive our parents? Why forgive parents who have done us wrong?

Dear William,
Let me begin by asking you some questions. What do you get out of not forgiving your parents? What does that non-forgiveness do to you, and your life? What does it do to your mind, body, spirit and relationships over time? Who does it serve? What is the payoff? What is the cost?

Any person or event that you do not forgive, owns your power. Anger creates a strong relationship; no one is free. Most people who do not forgive have to run from relationship to relationship. All long-term relationships require forgiveness. Also, those persons who can’t forgive others will rarely forgive themselves.

William, here are some new vantage points. Forgiveness does not mean to forget. You are not letting the other person “off the hook,” you are learning from another’s lesson. Rarely do parents get up in the middle of the night to consciously plan how they can wreck their children’s lives. They are just unconsciously passing down what they learned from their parents. (And could you possibly be doing this to your own children on some level?)

By the time individuals reach the age of 21, your life is whatever you make of it. So get up, get help, and let your best revenge be that your life works. By the way, once your life works, it is easy to forgive your parents!

Please do not wait for your parents to no longer be on this planet to forgive them!

Many thanks.


Karen L. Kaye LMHC