It takes growth and maturity to be able to be less critical of one’s parents and to be able to understand they were on a personal journey themselves. It took years for me to understand that people can’t give you what they don’t have within themselves and that sometimes you can only look inward to get what you thought would come from without.
As a the youngest of 4 girl’s, I felt the love even if it wasn’t verbally expressed a lot. Once I was older it became more natural to hear my parents tell me they loved me, but it was because I often initiated the dialogue. When I think back over my childhood, love wasn’t expressed so much as it was shown, at least not in the home. As an adult as I look back on their upbringing, I can understand that’s the way they were raised up. Children were mostly seen and not heard.
Although my maternal grandfather died when I was 10 or 11, I can’t remember him ever saying much to me at all. I can’t truly recall 1 conversation. I would hear him talk to my parents, but not to me. So, I can only imagine that he didn’t speak much to children in general. He worked hard and after work had a few drinks, came home ate dinner and prepared to do it all over again the next day. And as far as my paternal grandfather, he passed when my dad was 13 years old, thrusting my father into the role as man of the house. He was more of a doer and a teller of what needs to be done than to talk about emotions and feelings. As an adult, I see how that shaped them, and at the same time how it may have affected me in ways I didn’t even realize.
Looking back on friendships I had, I see I didn’t always express gratitude through my words and conversations, but I felt I expressed them through my loyalty and protective nature. I was very much my fathers daughter, meaning I sometimes came off as gruff or uncaring but I still provided for and protected my friends. In the immaturity of our youth we are often self-centered and don’t often consider how others’ experiences have shaped them. We react and do not fully consider others in the realm of consequences.
In hind sight, I see that I could have been gentler with some friends and I can see that others should have been gentler with me. Yet it all proved to shape and mold me into the woman I am today. We must learn from others what their love looks like and accept it as their truth. Perceptions guide experience, it’s the reason people raised in the same household can have a vast and varying degree of differences in character and personality.
We must understand that even in a family you are a singular person, among a group of people, journeying, learning and evolving. We all function at different vibrations and frequencies, when we can accept and respect this fact then static becomes less frequent and acceptance becomes a rule versus the exception.
As you grow to love and have more compassion for yourself, you learn to do the same for others. Everyone isn’t meant to vibrate at your frequency and sometimes through the acts of empathy and compassion, you simply and gently, meet them where they are.