The beginning of a new year fills me with joy, hope, expectation and gratitude. It signals fresh opportunity to turn over a new leaf and rewrite my story. My desire is to travel light in life as I leave behind the weight of pain, hurt and unmet expectations from friends, loved ones and society.
Do you have unfinished business with a significant person in your life? Say parents, siblings, spouse, friend or even a colleague who was once very close to you?
In this article, I would like to focus on unfinished business with the people who took care of us. Our relationship with our parents/caregivers is, in many ways, a metaphor of life. Those who feel like they have received adequate love and connection from their parents often feel they get a lot from life hence live with an ‘abundance’ mindset.
Think back in your own life.
Did one of your parents struggle emotionally, physically, or psychologically? Did it hurt to see them suffer? Did you take their pain away? Did you try? Did you ever side with the feelings of one parent against the other? In your life today, do you struggle? Do you recognize your parents’ pain in you?
Were you afraid to show your love to one parent for fear of hurting another?
A child depends entirely on adult caregivers for all its needs. The child has no resources to defend itself from harm or abuse by adults. A child is usually at the mercy of caregivers, and the world. Feeling that we receive little from our parents can translate into feeling short-changed by life and experiencing a ‘scarcity’ mentality.
A Mother’s Role
When we feel rejected by our mother, we unconsciously experience distance from the comforts of life: safety, nurture, comfort, unconditional love and care. These are needs met by a mother. A mother is the most important figure of attachment for a child. No matter how much we have as adults, it can feel like we never have enough.
Falling in love can unleash intense emotions, as it naturally transports us back in time to the early experience with our mother. We tend to experience similar feelings toward our partners as we felt toward our mother. Many of us unknowingly expect our romantic partners to fulfil the needs that could not be fulfilled by our mother. If our partner does not satisfy our unmet needs, we can feel betrayed or neglected.
A Father’s Role
An individual who feels rejected by the father can experience discomfort and can become self-conscious in the company of others. Lack of fatherly love creates a hole in the heart. A father provides structure, security, stability, and self-esteem. An individual with an unfinished business with a father goes through life angry, apathetic, and lacking a sense of direction.
Unfinished business with either parent can cloud our work life as well our social life. By unconsciously replaying family dynamics, we are likely to create conflicts instead of authentic connections. With old projections aimed at our romantic partners, friends, bosses or co-workers, it can be difficult to thrive and flourish.
No human can live a life of impact without coming to terms with the men and women who raised them. When we heal our emotional pain, we forgive our offenders unconditionally and release them. We recognize that humans are imperfect and every day we strive to know better and do better.
Emotional healing is powerful, it improves health and relationships, prolongs life and catalyzes financial and career success. Choose to heal from any unfinished business today!
Dr Rose Misati, Certified Family Trauma Professional