Last week, I mentioned that I wanted to use Thursday’s post to share with you some thoughts sent to me by the website Daily Om. Although some of these articles may not hold any particular relevance to your present life, I hope that others offer tidbits of wisdom that help as you negotiate the answer to some of life’s more complex questions. At the very least, I share them in the hope that they unearth an issue that, thus far, you’ve never contemplated or even considered. In my case, some articles provided me answers to questions that I was unaware existed, and I hope that they do the same for you. If nothing else, an article may offer insights into the thoughts or feelings of someone dear to you.
Breaking Ties That Bind: Parental Fears
“When we really examine our fears about something, we sometimes notice that the fear we have is not based on our own experience. Often, if we trace our fear back to its source, we find that one of our parents may have handed it down to us. For example, your mother or father may have had an intense fear of lack of money, stemming from their own life experiences. If that fear was not resolved by the time you came into the picture, chances are you inherited it. Meanwhile, you may have no actual experience of lacking money, so being fearful doesn’t make sense, and it may even block you from doing certain things you want to do.
Keeping in mind that your parents were only trying to protect you, and that most of the errors in judgment they made were made with the best intentions, it might be time to release this fear symbolically. You cannot resolve someone else’s fear for them, but you can decide to let go of it on your own behalf. Whether your parents are still alive or not, it is best to do this in a symbolic way, using visualization and, if you like, ritual. One simple visualization involves inviting your parent to sit across from you in your heart space and sharing your desire to move on from this fear, letting them know that you will not carry it anymore. You may be surprised at the response you get, because it’s possible they will be proud of you, grateful, and proud of your courage.
The more we do this deep inner work with our fears, the better we will be able to parent our own children without burdening them with fears that don’t belong to them. Some of us will do as much of this work as we can before we become parents, while others will be working on this even as our children become adults. Either way, the effects will be felt, because once we break our ties to the fears of the past, our children’s ties to those fears are greatly weakened, so it’s important to remember that it’s never too late.”
I think that this article speaks not only to the “whys” of our fears; it also encompasses our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. It is a crucial question, because it invariably dictates our actions and the results of those actions. Obviously, not all of our fears are traceable to our parents, but as we take the time to sit with and examine those fears, our childhood is as good a starting place as any.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.