YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOVE YOUR PARENTS
You don't have to love your parents. They may be jerks or worse, abusive. You may have grown up under a pitched roof of unnecessary criticism and sarcasm. I know I did. I was always being criticized for my emotional behavior and was criticized for my lack of diligence in my schoolwork or tasks around the house. I never received positive feedback for anything I did until I dove into a swimming pool and started setting records. At one point, when I was a junior in high school, I was ranked sixth in the world in the 100 meter freestyle. While that may sound pretty cool, those rankings were upset weekly by others in the world who clocked better times than I did. Then I would catch up, be ranked higher, or lower, depending on my performance that week. Times were authenticated during swimming meets. Officials at the colleges where my high school team went for swimming meets must have kept track of those times and reported them to an international swimming federation.
Did I love my parents? I was fond of them, and of course I depended on them to clothe, feed, and shelter me, yet if I look back today on how I felt emotionally about them, I'd have to say I probably didn't love them in the way that I define love today. I did love my grandmother. She and I had a special bond between us. We enjoyed each other’s company and made sure we got together on most weekends, even if it was during a snow storm or mind numbing below slow zero Minnesota winter temperatures.
When she passed away, I was locked up in a private psychiatric hospital. Shock treatments blew away much of my short term memory, I asked the nurses what my reaction was. They said I cried that day, and several weeks after. I didn't cry when either of my parents died. For years before he died, I didn't see much of my father. Fortunately, before he died, we reconnected and I believe that much of my ability to write has a direct correlation with my father's contributions to my genetic makeup. My ability to perform on the radio is no doubt due to my mother's contributions. She was an accomplished actress, both onstage and in film.
The fact that your mother and father hopped into bed and created you doesn't mean that owe them your love or devotion. While the Christian bible says to honor thy father and mother, it doesn't say you have to love them.
I had several emotional issues with both my parents and those issues linger today. I didn't love them. Several years ago when my guru taught that we were under no obligation to love our parents, it made sense to me. It may also make sense to you. Decide for yourself. Do you or do you not love your parents? The answer to that question can be liberating and give you a sense of self you never felt before.