This is a picture of my mum and I from a couple of years ago.
I always look at it whenever I miss her.
Which is every day.
Parents are such a huge part of our story.
Of who we are.
Yet, we seldom see how before being our parents, they are people.
Just like us.
Before being the ones who are supposed to guide us through the endless mazes of life, they also often lose their way.
Because they are human beings.
And before being the ones who will dry our tears when the world turns on us, they’ll also be crying when life gets too much.
While we expect family, and especially our parents, to be our rock we often forget that they too, have surely felt abandoned and misunderstood.
They too are walking a path that may not always make sense and which can often be scary and daunting.
Because such is life.

There always comes a time in our life when we have to parent ourselves.

Perhaps our own parents are going through a very long and exhausting “dark night of the soul”.
Perhaps unresolved dynamics are resurfacing, leaving them unable to move forward because they don’t know how to ask for help.
Or they may be just tired of a life that is often hard and trying.
Whatever the reason, our parents may not be available, leaving an incredible void within our heart.

That is the time when if we could just go past our story, if we could just move beyond the whole “parent & kids” bond, we would realize that we all are little spirits playing this insane game called “life”.
And the rules keep on changing, leaving us often lost and confused.

We’re all learning as we go along, simply doing what we can with what we’ve got in the moment.

And quite often what we have is a bruised and battered heart, which needs healing and love.
We are approaching the end of a decade which has seen entire families being torn apart.
I honestly don’t know many people whose family dynamics have not completely been transformed.
It is almost as if, all of sudden, whatever unhealthy bond that kept us together, was broken.
All the lies, abuse, lack of boundaries, our soul could not longer accept.
The game had to change.
And change it did indeed, leaving most of us unable to play “the relationships game” in a new way.
It actually felt as if all those deceiving dynamics were actually better than the discouraging loneliness we got forced into.
Life was asking us to create the family we always wished for, yet we almost missed the drama that came with our dysfunctional families.
Because it was familiar.
And safe.
To create a renewed bond with those whom we grew up with, it’s not always feasible and it requires an incredible amount of compassion, humbleness and self love.
Especially when it comes to our own parents.
This Christmas let’s offer them the gift of acceptance.
For what they actually are and all the things they may never be.
Acceptance for the path they walk, even when we don’t understand or agree.
When we allow our own parents to be what they can be, with all their flows and limits, we actually accept ourselves too.
Because we see that we are just spirits “playing human”.
And that is the greatest gift we’ll ever offer ourselves and the world.

Antonia Lyons

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