How far the apple falls…
Are we doomed to relive our parents’ mistakes?
You are your mother’s daughter.
Many of us have heard these sayings in regards to similarities between our parents and ourselves, whether it is a striking physical resemblance, similar likes or dislikes, or similar personality traits. But to someone who is haunted by the actions or flaws of his or her parents, what could this mean?
And when we see our parents taking part in the negative influences of the world, we are deeply affected. Society says our parents are supposed to be our heroes, and provide a perfect example of how we can live our own lives. We are supposed to want to be like them. But what happens when they’re not good examples? What happens if they’re actually the opposite, and are the cause of strife and sadness in our lives?
The truth is that for many of us being like our parents is our worst nightmare. The weight of the possibility of repeating the mistakes of our parents seems daunting when we think about the example they set for us and the role genetics play. Scientists say that our personalities are composed by 50 percent genetic influences and 50 percent social influences. That may seem like pretty good chances to some optimists depending on a healthy social environment, but could also be a complete shot in the dark.
The daughter of an alcoholic, she grew up in a sad home, and later became a depressed woman stuck in a loveless marriage struggling with her own addiction. Consequently, as a constant reminder of her failures in life, she took her struggles and imperfections out on me.
Eventually she told me she wished she never had me and our relationship progressed over the years into constant fighting and bitterness.
My father in addition was victim to many of my mother’s violent tendencies, and I watched them fight nearly every day of my childhood. My father was peaceful and passive, always singing and giving hugs. Consequently, I grew very close to him, and was always on his side during an argument. He was nearly perfect in my eyes, until one day I discovered the sad truth of his secret life.
He had been having a gay affair.
I felt as though he had completely deserted me, my family, and anything he had ever taught me in life. However, what disappointed me the most was that he was my example. He was the one I was I was supposed to look up to.
Now, I’ve been told repeatedly just how strong the correlation is between alcoholism and heredity. I’ve been told repeatedly that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, many of those resulting from affairs, and children from what people have labeled “broken homes” are even more likely to end up with failed marriages just like their parents.
Yes, it is something that I will always have in the back of my mind as I choose to socially drink or choose a spouse, but it is not what regulates my life. Instead, I choose to focus on the ways in which I have been set free from these chains or restrictions in life.
Scientifically, I have been given 50 percent of my personality to factors other than genetics or heredity, and that is the 50 percent I choose to focus on. 50 percent of my personality is my environment: my choices, my social interactions, and my decisions. More importantly, I have been given a savior to overcome worldly addictions, failures, and anxiety.
There has been a man who has already fought the battle for me, and has freed me from ever having to fight this battle on Earth alone. Simply knowing that Jesus has already fought the battle and overcome the world (and everything terrible in it) reminds me that the war has already been won. Because I know that I have a savior and the price has been paid. My destiny is already been set for me.
And because He is good, I know that it is looking bright.