Not everyone is going to agree with what I’m about to say, but it’s something that I personally believe, and it’s something that is worth considering for yourself—especially if you have found yourself in a situation in life where it has become very much a struggle for you to be the kind of parent (and spouse and person) that you want to be and that you know you are.
Our psychological and physical struggles are sometimes manifestations of a spiritual battle going on, and one of the ways to overcome the battle within us is to increase our awareness and understanding of the issues we face. Knowledge is power, and the truth about things as they actually are will set us free.
To use Christianese (excuse it if you can), Satan gets in there (our life, our relationships with other people) and messes with us. He wants our soul, and he will stop at nothing to have it. Pardon the scripture quoting (and from the King James Version, no less), but “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). We need Jesus—because siding with him (as he is God with Us) is the only way to withstand spiritual oppression and to be victorious through it all.
Whenever we become aware that the things we are going through in this life are more than what may be taken at face value (and there are some people who think that everything fits this bill—which I am not exactly sure that saying everything is accurate, perhaps it’s more like “many” or “a great deal” of things we face have spiritual implications), then we have to put a stop to this demonic influence by saying NO to it in our lives. NO, GO, STOP, LEAVE, ENOUGH. This is all it takes. We follow Jesus’ example in this.
It may take a while for things to even out in the natural realm, but once we say no to it in the spiritual realm, we can be assured that all of it (the spiritual adversity) is and will be “no more.” As soon as we are no longer active participants in it (and passivity qualifies as participating), we are free. Other people might not be on the same wave length with us on this. Especially when we are making a break from our family of origin because of toxicity (for example). But remember that they are equally able to make their own decisions about the direction of their lives and the relationships in their lives. Losing us may be the catalyst for their own recovery, but not necessarily so.
It saddens me greatly that losing me wasn’t enough for my parents (individually or together) to choose to change for the better so that I could be a part of their lives again (and doesn’t that say it all?). Telling, indeed. And quite confirming of the conclusions I have drawn about the type of dysfunction I come from. But you know what, we all have the same types of choices in life. And if we want the hurt to stop, then we have to keep digging and digging until we get to the root cause of our hurt. And once there, we have to be willing to do what we have to do in this life to eradicate that root cause—which requires nothing short of pulling it up and out of our lives so that something good and wonderful can grow instead.
And that’s not to say that it’s our parents (for example) that we are disposing of but rather their behaviors towards us. They, as people, can stay. Their behaviors cannot. Huge difference. But often what we find is that people (including ourselves) have a hard time separating themselves from their behaviors (enter: recovery), and if losing us isn’t enough, then something else will inevitably come along to help them see what needs to change (and that there even needs to be a change). Not that they are unacceptable. But that their behaviors are (and most specifically, their behaviors towards us and how their behaviors have intruded into our lives to unnecessarily complicate our progress towards health and wholeness—both as it relates to our own life and our own family (read: spouse and children). This (drawing and enforcing boundaries with regard to behaviors and interactions) is the key to (and a classic and effective healing strategy for) finding relief from abusive treatment. It’s the last course of action, a lot of times, (a last resort of last resorts) because it is so drastic (initiatives like “no (and low) contact”).
In any case, wherever you are on your journey, I wish you the best as you move towards your better, happier self and as you seek to grow as a person and live a free, real-love-filled life.