Today is Father’s Day. Days like today could be really happy for some. And days like today could be days of high conflict and high pain. I’m not certain what made me want to post on Father’s Day, but I just felt that I needed to.
There’s been many questions from people being raised by toxic parents on how to live and breathe in that environment, and beyond that environment into the future. I, myself, was not raised in a toxic environment. I was a happy girl, raised in a loving home. I’m not going to say it was normal (I was there!). There was a lot of craziness and loudness, but it was very loving. I will say, however, that there are several people in my life who have been raised by toxic parents. One of them being my very close friend, who is able to give me great insight into many situations that I cannot relate to. I have seen with my own eyes the effects of growing up in an emotionally unhealthy situation. From decision making to confidence issues to putting themselves last all the time without even knowing it…all are painful for me to see, yet I will tell you that all our lessons can be learned and overcome.
A very freeing quote in my life came from my dad. Since it’s Fathers Day, I think it’s an appropriate day for me to quote him. The reason this is such a personal quote for me is because it helped me release a lot of things that I was holding onto. He said, “One of the ways to find inner peace is accepting people the way they are, not the way you want them to be.”
Wow! Really? That is a powerful statement. When dealing with toxic people, we often spend half of our time wishing they were different, hoping they would change, and wishing and waiting for things to get better. News flash! You are wasting your wishes.
Now, I’m not saying that they cannot change or that someday they won’t change. I am just saying that you cannot control them into changing. Or wish them into changing. Or wish them into accepting you. They will do what they do and they will be who they are regardless of who you wish for or what you hope happens.
The minute you learn to accept the people in your life for who they are, you are free from the wishing and wasting of your time on hoping they will change. This goes for anyone! This does not just go for unhealthy people or people who are unhealthy in your life or people who may not build you up and make you feel good about yourself. I don’t like it when someone thinks I need to change. Do you?
My advice to you is to accept them as they are, expect them to continue to act as they always have, and remind yourself that you cannot and will not change them. Sad as it seems, you are opening your door to freedom when you do that. Let the toxic person, parent, coworker, or friend be who they are. Expecting them to act differently only affects and pains you. It does not affect them.
Accepting people for who they are does not mean you are excusing them for mean, manipulative, or abusive behavior. It only means that you understand that you can’t help who they are. Their behavior has nothing to do with you. It is not going to any longer affect you, your day, your mood, or your life.
It allows an emotional disconnection when you accept them for who they are. It allows for a release from the pressure valve. It allows a legitimate reason to set them on the shelf and leave them there.
For those who are struggling for the approval or the acceptance of a parent or another person, and you want a little dose of peace…accept them the way they are and not the way you want them to be. Disconnect emotionally. Move on with your life and the things that you have going on.
Don’t waste any more of your wishes on those that will continue to let you down. Expecting them to act or be different is expecting way too much. Let’s focus on what we can control, which is us and how we react. If it is the same old act and dance, it should not surprise you when it happens.
When you accept and allow them to be them, you will see very quickly that the toxic person or the person who is unhealthy for you does not change their playbook. They just repeat it over and over and over. As soon as you can accept that that’s what they are going to do, you will feel the freedom!
Now, to you, Dad…thank you for all of the wonderful quotes and endless wisdom and all of the wonderful prayers throughout the years. You have taught me more than you know, when I am sure you thought I wasn’t listening. I love you, Dad! Happy Father’s Day!
For all of you who may be new, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram @coachingwithdrheidi. You can message me through either of those places. I did have a few people log on and take the Toxicity Profile Analysis. That you can find on my website! It is a series of questions that tells me what type of toxic characteristics have been affecting you in your life and the severity of the toxicity in your life.
Again, Happy Father’s Day to all of you out there, and bless you!