Do you know how many people Google that question? Nearly a thousand people every month shamefacedly lowers they eyes as they look for the answers,
“Why don’t I love my parents?”
“Do I have to love them if they keep humiliating me?”
“What do I do if I don’t feel anything towards them?”
For many the subject of love and gratitude to the parents is a painful and bleeding wound. When you start talking about it they have an attack of aggression or depression. All, because there are plenty of bad marriages and even more bad parents.
Lack of love breeds lack of love
Sometimes people are born nasty. Sometimes it happens that the love for their child simply does not “kick in” for the parents. Actually, nature takes care of that and has created a special mechanism for it. The one that everybody calls “maternal instinct.”
This feeling of boundless love and wish to hide the infant from all the evils in the world is actually explained by hormones. The woman’s brain produces them right after she gives birth.
According to statistics, however, the mechanism simply does not work for 20% of moms. They don’t really feel anything except annoyance towards the infant howling at their side. They only take care of it because they feel it’s their duty.
So they continue to reject and not love their children whether they are 5 years old, or 15, or even 45. As a result, all the children get is shouting, spurning, humiliation and unfair punishment beyond measure.
Naturally, there is no way for children to feel love in response. It is not acceptable, however, to openly express our feelings, especially negative ones, especially about those close to us, especially about our parents. Everyone always says, “You MUST love them!” But how could they, the happy ones, understand...
The situation is badly aggravated by the clamoring of home-bred psychologists who reject healthy aggression in response to an attack. They insist on a crazy, in this case, idea, that you have to defy yourself and somehow force yourself to love those who torment you. Thus, for people with awful childhood memories they create an acute feeling of guilt. It seems that they are not satisfied simply with low self-esteem and a conviction that you are not worthy of love even from your parents.
Must children love their parents?
Imagine that a stranger comes up to you at a party and instead of small-talk about the weather starts saying nasty things to you, to insult and humiliate you. Will you search your soul for love and forgiveness of this person? Just because you met them at your friends’ party? That’s really unlikely.
So why should feelings for sadistic parents be valued otherwise? Why do we demand love and forgiveness from a child who has suffered abuse, humiliation or beatings for 20 years?
It is one story, if you talk about the emotional see-saw – you’re loved today and not loved tomorrow; mom is hysterical right now, but showers care and attention on you two days later. There is something you can work on in this situation.
It is a totally different story if all you ever see is aggression: you are always shouted at, beaten and repelled. For those who carry the feelings of humiliation and repudiation throughout their lives, lovelessness is a psychological and physiological standard.
True, it is your reality, your past. But that is not a reason right now, when you’ve grown up, to feel that you are bad, flawed or somehow wrong.
Without a doubt, there is universal love. You can love the human race, the sea, the woods or the mountains. But loving a specific, quite real, aggressive person, who constantly puts pressure on you is a very different story. However much you try to convince yourself that you love them – it is a lie. Love is not possible when you are afraid or under pressure, you must realize that.
Yes, love heals while hate and resentment destroy the body and soil the mind. This does not mean, however, that you must eke out the love. If anyone tells you so, make sure that you don’t fall for it. It is not possible to love someone who does not love you, who constantly spurns, insults, hurts and humiliates you.
Gratitude without love?
If it seems strange to you, think how many times a day are you grateful to people you don’t even know.
— You step out of the bus and a stranger gives you a hand to help you get down.
— Someone holds the elevator door for you, so you would not have to wait.
— You stop by a store after work and get two bags of groceries. A stranger offers to help you out to the car with them.
Are you grateful to these people? I think so. But do you love them? The answer is obvious.
So why have love and appreciation stuck together so painfully when it comes to your parents? Why is it that when you say, “I don’t love my parents” (often enough, well-deservedly) you blush with shame and feel that you’re a monster?
You can be grateful to hundreds of people for what they have done for you. However, you do not have to love them. You can simply thank them or do something for them and go your way.
Gratefulness and love are two different states. These are high vibrations and their energy is similar, but they can exist separately quite easily.
If you didn’t get as far as loving the entire human race, it will be difficult to feel love for no reason to anyone, including your parents. It is really simple: you don’t love yourself, you don’t love the human race and you will be able to love certain aggressive individuals who keep abusing you even less. To do so, you need to not only want it, but also to evolve.
Gratefulness next to hate?
Besides, we all have people in our lives whom we not only dislike, but really cannot stand. We’re even ashamed to admit to ourselves sometimes, how much we want to pay them back by doing something nasty.
At the same time, we may be grateful to them because something they’ve done has drastically changed our life for the better. However badly we may have wanted to beat them to a pulp or run them over by a car at the time.
Let me give you a very realistic scenario as an example:
— Let’s say that about 5 years ago you were going out with John. Everything was great and you were actually planning a wedding when Jennifer, that nasty piece of goods, vamped him, stole him from you and married him. Of course you don’t feel too friendly either towards her or towards your ex-fiancé. It’s quite natural.
Only, soon after the wedding John showed his true colors: now he drinks and drugs, goes out with other women and Jennifer has to run and hide at the neighbors’ when the fit takes him to teach her a lesson. Nor is she the beauty who stole your prince any longer, but a tired-out, faded woman with a junky alcoholic husband and two unkempt children.
Your life, meanwhile, isn’t bad at all. You grieved and pined and felt like hell for a while, but then you went on living in spite of everything. So now you have a good job and go to the seaside for vacation every year. Just recently, you met someone really nice and caring.
So, even though you can’t stand Jennifer to this day, deep down you are grateful to her. If it weren’t for her, who knows – maybe instead of sitting in a movie theater with your boyfriend, you’d be dodging John’s fist right now.
If you go down memory lane a bit further, you’ll find quite a few such situations. So it does happen – you can be very grateful yet really dislike a person.
So what do you do about your parents?
Your very first priority is to learn to separate love from gratitude. If all your life, your parents had broadcast to you that they don’t love you, don’t try to eke out of yourself any love for them. It’s alright not to love them for now. You do not have to make yourself love your parents right this minute.
Your second task is to learn to feel grateful. However nasty your parents may have been, they paid for your childhood with their energy, time and money (yes, money too). You were fed, clothed, sent to school. You may have attended clubs or summer camps. They have made a real effort that deserves to be respected.
Learn to be grateful. Give what you can or what you think you should to help them out. Never, ever blame yourself for lack of love!