Landmark Education and the Landmark Forum

July 26, 2010

Compassion for our Parents

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 3:42 pm

Life is still crazy, and it’s been a while since I’ve had much of a chance to write anything Landmark Forum related or otherwise, but I saw a recent Landmark review that I thought was notable in the comment it made about our parents.

As anyone who has taken part in the Landmark Forum knows, getting ‘complete’ with and being at peace with one’s parents is a key part of the course, in that it’s hard to have a great, free life if one is trotting around a lot of baggage and resentment towards those who are responsible for you being alive.

This review/share of Landmark discusses a particular moment in her course I found moving:

“Jan asked everyone in the room age 25 or younger to stand up. Perhaps a dozen of the approximately 100 people in the room stood up. ‘These are your parents when you were born,’ he said. In my head, walls fell down, lights went on, my heart broke open. I ‘got’ it. These people looked like children to me.”

The reviewer goes on to share how she reached out to her parents after decades of estrangement. I think the point is very powerful: we think our parents made careful decisions about how they raised us that reflect their feelings about us, when in many cases they were young kids who had no real idea what they were doing. If you let that sink in, it makes forgiveness for supposed slights much easier.

The full review at Sojourner in the 21st century.

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October 27, 2008

Let it go

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 3:52 pm

I was recently reading a blog about a man sharing about his relationship with his father. It is both deeply moving and valuable–I think the world would be a better place if people took his advice to heart. If you feel the same way, please forward this story or a link to it on to someone you know.

500 marriage

Last week I had a bit of a scare. I got a call from my mom that my dad, whom she has been divorced from since I was 8, had been rushed to the hospital for suspicion of a heart attack.

My dad is 59 years old. Never had any major medical challenges and other than needing to shed about 30 pounds, in fairly good health.

The good news is that he is just fine and the doctors think it was just a stress attack.

For me it was a bit of a moment because I have never really thought of my dad’s death. Not in a real way anyway. My mom has had some medical issues so I have contemplated her passing away before but never my dad. So it really hit me.

My dad and I have not had the smoothest of relationships. After he and my mom divorced I really felt that he would rather move on with his life and his new family and that myself and my siblings we just a constatnt reminder of the burden he had to pay child support to every month. There was even a time where I did not visit him or talk to him in my teen age years. Eventually we started a basic relationship again. One where we would share pleasantries and a few disscussions but nothing really deep. Then when Shannon and I started to have children I saw him become this really great grandfather. I actually got a bit jelous of the way he acted and treated my kids. He was so good, caring and loving to them that I wondered why he wasn’t that way towards me as a kid. After a few discussions with Shannon, I realized that my dad never learned how to be a dad. His father died when he was 16 years old and wasn’t that close of a guy when he was alive. So how was my dad supposed to know how to or how not to act? It was a bit of a break through for me.

The biggest breakthrough came during a seminar I attended called Landmark Forum. I was able to really release my dad from the Story I had created in my head about him and why he did the things he did and why I react to him the way I did. It was really liberating. I actually called him and talked to him about it. I have never been in a situation where my dad and I had a real conversation. Where the two of us were telling the other how much we love each other through the tears we were shedding. It was quite a event for us.

The point is this. After receiving the call about him being rushed to the hospital I shed more tears. This time out of concern for his health and for the potential loss of him in my life. I did not, however, worry about the things not said that so many people worry about. I really felt great that I was able to talk with him and release the feelings I had. That my dad and I now have a relationship, a real relationship, where I can talk with him and laugh with him with no guard up whatsoever. Knowing that if he did pass away tomorrow, I would be at peace with what has been said between us.

If you have an issue with one or both of your parents it’s time to clear that up. In other words, let it go. There is an old saying when it comes to holding on to resentment and anger, “It’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” It’s costing you more than it’s worth. NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION, when you let “the story” go it frees you to become whatever you want and allows you to get on with your life.

Here’s a link back to the 500 Marriage blog. The mission statement of his blog is about people having “eternally joyful and exuberantly passionate marriages”–You’ve got to love that!

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