By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
It would be nice if we all had loving and supportive parents. Some do, Alhamdulillah. To have kind, caring parents is a great gift.
But some have parents who are critical, demeaning and harsh. Do you have an abusive parent who tells you that you are worthless, stupid and good for nothing? If so, you can’t spend your life waiting and hoping for that parent to love you and be proud of you. It’s not going to happen, my friend. Most likely your parent was raised harshly himself/herself and doesn’t know how to act any other way. Accept that reality and learn to value yourself, no matter what anyone says.
You will have to be strong and independent in spirit. You will have to find validation of your worth within yourself. You do have worth, after all. You are as unique and beautiful as the sun and the moon, the sea and the stars. You are special and gifted and you will need to realize that on your own, even in the face of external abuse.
Seek your support from Allah.
“And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created…” – Quran, 17:70.
Allah has honored you. Dignity is your birthright. It’s okay if you’re not perfect. No one is. You can still love yourself, with all your special gifts and funny habits, and whatever is lacking, well, you can work on it. That’s what all of us do.
“I Know Who I Am”
It can be very hard to resist the negative labels that parents put on us. Nothing wounds like an insult from a parent. Their words have a way of worming into our brains even when we know better.
We must be patient with them without buying into their negativity.
This is not to say that parental abuse is acceptable. Not at all. Respect goes both ways. Parents have a duty to raise their children with kindness and love. If your parents are physically abusing you, then that’s a situation that you should try to get out of. Separate yourself from them if possible. Be safe, and know that they too will face God one day in judgment, and will be called to account for their deeds.
This article is focused more on the issue of verbal abuse. The truth is that even if you are accomplished, well behaved, and devoted, some parents will continue to abuse you verbally. Even if you have moved out, married and have children of your own, and only see your parents occasionally, they might continue to find fault with everything you do, and generally devalue you. I’m not saying it’s okay. I’m saying it’s an unfortunate reality with some parents, and you cannot allow it to define you.
Write some positive affirmations about yourself. Affirmations are true statements that express your best qualities, and also express what kind of person you strive to be. They represent the ideal you.
I personally have a list of 29 affirmations, and here’s number 12 on my list:
“12. I am a good son to my parents. I am patient and loving with them. When speaking to them I maintain a positive, independent and calm spirit, knowing who I am and confident in my choices.”
Read your affirmations every day. Even if you don’t quite believe your own affirmations at times, even if you feel inwardly skeptical, keep reading them. When you speak to your parents, breathe deeply and slowly. Don’t let anything they say make you anxious or excited. Tell yourself silently, “I know who I am.”
Allah loves you and has a plan for you. Believe this and move forward, and when you have children, shut down the cycle of negativity and do better than your parents did. It’s okay to be better than your parents. Any good parent wants their children to surpass them.
Show your own children patience, gentleness and endless love.
May Allah bless you and fill your heart with self-knowledge, self-dignity, and hope for the future.