Many of our difficulties stem from the fact that we treat our parents as though life came from them rather than through them; as though it were in the hands of our parents to bestow life, to posses and bestow life. This is really a crazy idea. It hinders one from being free from one’s parents.

Keeping our eyes focused beyond our parents, far away, whence life springs, empowers the parents on the one hand and also frees us as children to take life fully from them, as it comes to us, from far beyond. On the other hand, the parents gain dignity because they are connected to a long chain linked through generations to the present. This frees us all, both parents and children.

Accepting life in this way is a spiritual act. It is like bowing and receiving life. In that moment we renounce all reproaches against our parents. Their relative guilt or innocence is no longer relevant. These profound acts are meaningful only if conducted with a sense of awe for the secret of life. But if we reproach our parents, then we are behaving as though we could order life according to our own wishes or as though we could pay for it, for example, by becoming ill. Therapy can’t help when reverence for the greatness of life is denied.

Bert Hellinger