Parents try very hard, against all odds, to raise their children in the best way they can. And parenting is very, very difficult. Here’s one of the chief reasons why parenting is difficult: being a parent triggers every aspect possible of your own broken, unfinished, painful, wounded childhood. It starts the day your kid is born and from there it never stops. And yet I know of no parent who would ask for a different path than to have this exact child at this exact time and to enjoy the privilege of getting to know this unique person who has entered their life. It’s a fact of raising kids that, no matter how they drive you crazy, once you’ve got them, they get into your heart and you don’t want to give them back.
Parenting is one of the areas of life that most people are extremely eager to get right and yet it’s also one of the areas of life that is most often pointed to when things go wrong. I suppose it began with Freud, this idea that whatever’s wrong with us stems from a bad childhood and that we should blame our parents for everything that’s broken in our adult life. This is actually a useful idea as far as it goes—it allows us to see our own wounding and attempt to heal it, and that’s an important path to walk. But when we are becoming the parent ourselves, we may find that the blame we laid at our own parents’ door makes it hard for us to even think clearly about how we want to accomplish the difficult and delicate task of parenting our own kids.
Why should that be? It becomes very hard to sort through the aspects of their parenting style that we want and don’t want in our own. In functional to moderately dysfunctional families, it’s a rite of passage when you sit down with your parents late one night and confess to them that now, finally, you get it. Parenting is hard. It is mysterious. It’s always in flux. And you become humble, even appreciative, of what your parents had to go through in order to raise you at all. Then you thank them for that and you feel more peace in your heart.
For those of us from very dysfunctional families, that rite of passage may not happen. If the way you were parented was such an unmitigated train-wreck that you cannot figure out how to forgive and move on, then parenting a child yourself seems daunting to the point of impossibility. In fact, you may decide not to take it on, and that decision may be a conscious or an unconscious one. In this sort of situation, what’s needed is a larger—much larger—perspective. A spiritual perspective. This is where astrology can offer powerful help, because a person’s chart is their life-plan, a clear map of the purposes they came into this life to fulfill. Your chart contains all the challenges you came here to face, along with the reasons for facing them. I call it the Owner’s Manual of your life, because you don’t have to see it as a rigid, dictated-to-you fate, but as instructions for how to live your own finest possible life. It clearly describes how to turn even most train-wrecked circumstances into evolutionary gold. And, read properly, it explains why you’d want to face the challenges you did.
When you look at your chart, your own Owner’s Manual, you begin to understand that you may have been drawn to your parents for reasons that go beyond just one lifetime. And when you look at your parents’ charts, you may come to understand that your family has patterns in it that have been passed from generation to generation, and that you decided to be the place where the buck stopped. You can actually see and deconstruct those patterns because they are right there in the charts. You can then understand your parents’ life-plan and you can see how it connects with yours. And once you realize there is a beautiful design behind it all—more than a plan, a purpose—even behind the pain, then you can relax. It enables you to engage in that purpose and take your family’s soul-group agenda forward into the next generation.
We all begin life heart-open, trusting in the wisdom and compassion of these beings we call parents. So when they mess it up, the betrayal sears deeply into our soul, leaving thick scar tissue. They say that living well is the best revenge. But revenge is no solution, because it heaps pain on pain and binds your soul and its path even more closely to the souls of those who hurt you. But if not revenge, then what? What can adequately express a soul’s anger at being hurt by exactly the people they began life trusting and loving the most?
If you feel hurt by your parents, I say that living your chart well is better than revenge—it is a fulfillment of your life’s purpose and your family soul group’s purpose. It goes beyond stopping the buck. Why survive when you can go on to thriving? And why stop there when you can unload the dumptruck of karma that your family is carrying and, by understanding and forgiving their need to carry it, take those beloved beings right along with you?
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