You are not your Parent

Parents are a mystery. As children we want to grow up to be just like them, and by our teenage years we want to be nothing like them. Eventually, Superman shows us his Kryptonite and “You’re just like your mom” becomes an insult.

_MG_5031

Every time we find ourselves behaving in a way similar to our mother or father, we get scared because we also remember all of the choices they made that we don’t want to make. The way they disciplined too harshly, spent their money too quickly, always showed up 15 minutes late, never finished a project, complained, and fought.

However, these were all choices they made and were not forced to be this way. They chose to spend their money quickly, they chose to stay an extra 15 minutes in front of the mirror, and they chose to yell when we didn’t do what they asked. Does that mean they will always be this way? Of course not. So, If our parents have the option to change, why do we believe we can be confined to a lifestyle they have lived?

parent1

Many of us are convinced that our lives will end up just like our parents’. We will spend money too quickly, we will fight, we will never be on time–because that’s who we are.

If we believe the lie we are exactly the same as our mother or father, we lose what makes us different. All that makes us uniquely us. 

Every relationship we have will be affected by this lie if we continue to believe it. We may begin to expect certain outcomes and prepare ourselves accordingly. We shield our hearts or shut down. We will do anything to not end up like them.

parent3

We might share the same ridiculous laugh, or muscle build, or love for music, and we should embrace it–not try to avoid it. We do not need to hide from what makes us similar, because it is not all that we are. When we stop focusing on all of the negatives, we are able to remember the positives.

The love they showed us when our heart was broken. The grace they showed us when we messed up. The patience they showed us while we learned to ride a bike. The peace they showed us when we were unsettled. The thankfulness they showed us when we cleaned our room without having to be asked.

Hear this truth: The actions and choices our parents made do not define us. Even the words they have spoken about us, do not define us. They are human, and they are going to do and say things that are hurtful. It is up to us how we handle the hurt. We can let it scare us, or we can let it inspire us.

We are given the opportunity to learn from our parents, right from wrong. Sometimes we learn what is right by seeing them do right, but other times we learn right by seeing them do wrong. Choosing to forgive them will heal the hurt.

ParentWe can love greater, show overwhelming compassion, give grace freely, have tremendous hope for the future, and when we make a similar choice our parents have, we can find peace knowing we are not defined by it.

How has the fear of becoming your parent affected you? How have you embraced all that you have seen from your parents? 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Encouragement, Freedom and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to You are not your Parent

  1. A Captivated Artist says:

    This is so beautifully put – thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Julia Putzke says:

    I’ve seen what it’s like without God at the center. It’s so up & down. But I’ve also seen His love. For my parents, for our whole family. There are days where I wish I learned about God in the beginning. When I was little, instead of believing He was a stickler for rules, instead of interested in me. Now, I only He would touch them and show His face in an unmistakable way. I think the fear of becoming apathic towards God and how much He cares for all of us scares me most. Bring unable to forgive, too. I don’t want to make this comment too long, so I’m going to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Julia, feel free to write and write and write! Let it all out. No comment is ever too long if it is what is on your heart ❤ Thank you for sharing. It's so true what you said "There are days where I wish I learned about God in the beginning." I grew up in a "Christian" family.. but I didn't fully turn my life to following him until I was in college. Knowing who He is and really knowing Him for Who He is really are two different things… Confusing, but true. Learning to love like He loves us is scary, and the most freeing thing. When we learn that He is our All… there is nothing to fear. What an amazing amazing God we have. Family is such a tough thing. But always keeping our focus on Him makes family a little less complicated. 🙂

      Like

      • Julia Putzke says:

        You may have to tell me that a few times. I almost wanted to delete the comment after I wrote it. I feel like I’m betraying my parents in some way by talking like that. So much pain, I know I’ve only gotten through with God. This also made me tear up for reasons I don’t know. Did you turn your life completely as soon as you were there?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lightthelie says:

        I am so sorry for the pain you have felt! That is all a part of this broken world and we can rejoice in the hope for His return 🙂 I absolutely didn’t just turn my life around .. But with My gaze on Him, He has been showing me the areas of my life that I need to give over to Him (every area). There are still parts I find all the time that I have been trying to take care of myself and wondering why I feel so much pain. Then He will remind me that He sent His Son to take this burden from me. He loves unconditionally, and there is nothing more I could do for Him to love me any more. Same with you 🙂 So I think it is a continual process as we battle our flesh and the demonic spiritual world. Someday there will be perfect healing again and what a glorious world that will be!

        Like

  3. jisbell22 says:

    Another great post. What a tremendous observation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you! I had to realize this for myself, and many teens I have mentored have the same fear… if only we can differentiate a generalized comment “You’re just like your dad” from a specific meaning…. We have a similar love for a football team.

      Like

      • jisbell22 says:

        I had never truly thought of that before your post. That is so true on so many levels. That comment may mean that you both love watching football yet your dad may have been abusive or any other negative impact. This statement can really undermine the self esteem of a child, even an adult. GREAT Insight!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lightthelie says:

        Bingo. That is exactly what I was trying to get at. When we hear something like “You’re smart,” we believe we are smart… so when we hear “You are just like your dad” we take it too literal not realizing that we are in full control over our actions. While we might have tendencies because we have seen that in our parents… doesn’t mean we have to follow them. How freeing! And it’s good to realize that just because our parents chose to do something doesn’t mean that they are happy with a choice they have made. Pride can get in the way too.

        Like

  4. You are right on! *smiles bigly*

    Liked by 1 person

  5. beingeternal says:

    Bravo! You have put it brilliantly. I loved the inspiring thoughts in the post. Everything is certain to change and so are the people. We cannot expect a person to be the same throughout his/her life. Things change, we change and they do change with time. Just because of one bad trait, you cannot tag that person totally bad. The wisdom is in taking all the good from others which nourishes you. We need not bother about carrying the bad vibes. Give yourself a change and a chance to grow and let others have their fair chance to live their change.
    I must say dear that you are honestly good at lifting up low spirits. Stay blessed! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you so much Reva. There is nothing I love to do more than to put a little hope back into a heavy heart. It’s really easy to over generalize an action and it’s hard to compartmentalize an action from the person. We are so blinded sometimes by the pain we feel in our heart. Our heart will scream for protection but if we allow it to be hardened we will also miss all of those lovely love moments 🙂 I like to think of our heart as a muscle- the more we use it- the stronger it gets and the bigger it grows filled with more room for loving (and to be loved)!

      Liked by 1 person

      • beingeternal says:

        You are too kind, Emily. Stay the same……….Prayers Assured.

        “I like to think of our heart as a muscle- the more we use it- the stronger it gets and the bigger it grows filled with more room for loving (and to be loved)!” – This is so brilliant……….a thought only a wonderful heart can think of. Hats off! I’m thinking in the same lines now……..of course, after reading your thoughts on heart.

        Stay smiling! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lightthelie says:

        I am smiling for sure! I hope you are with me. There are some people we come in contact with and you just know they have the most beautiful heart…..and you my friend are one of those people!

        Liked by 1 person

      • beingeternal says:

        Me too smiling reading your beautiful words. Yes, I’m all smiles with you dear. I’m feeling honored to learn your kindest feelings towards me. Thank you very much sweetie. I will treasure this tender relationship between us. Stay blessed. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Vernon says:

    Great article. A lot of times children put high expectations on their parents that no human being can live up to. They become bitter and then it manifest into resentment when they don’t live up to them. Hopeful you shedding light on this will help children and their parents understand the importance of being human. I know it helped me. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you so much for your comment Vernon! I agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s very unhealthy and unfair to have the view that our parents are perfect. But when we can see them as human… we too are allowed to be human 🙂 But if we expect them to be perfect… the expectations we put on ourselves are just as bad if not worse!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bettina says:

    I think we all have this fear, I fear I will become a perfectionist with my children as my mother was with me, but at the end I agree with you, we are who we are because we decide to be that way. Thank you for your words!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you for sharing your heart! It is something I fear often as well.. But it is not a very loving fear to have! We have the choice to break patterns and start new ones 🙂 our children I’m sure will see things we do when we mess up and think how they will never do those things. So at the same time it is important to apologize when we mess up, allowing them to see our heart. We are not perfect and it’s when a perfectionist can’t admit a fault when expectations become unreachable. Sorry for going off a little bit! I’m so passionate about communication 🙂

      Like

  8. Natalie Brenner says:

    Somehow missed this one!
    Love love love. Song of my heart. Also. So happy to see these pictures being used!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Surviving Divorce as a Teenager | Light The Lie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s