From the moment we take our first breath, the love and connection we share with our parents begin to shape us. This foundational bond is akin to the first brushstrokes on a blank canvas, setting the tone for the masterpiece that is our life. Yet, the reality is that not everyone receives these strokes of love and care in the hues they need. Some canvases are left with patches of emptiness, longing for more vibrant colors. Let's explore the profound impact of parental love (or its absence) on our lives and how understanding and forgiveness can help us fill in the gaps, transforming our story into one of growth and fulfillment.

The Imprint of Parental Love

Parental love is the first mirror in which we see ourselves reflected. It teaches us about worthiness, love, and how to interact with the world. When this mirror reflects warmth, acceptance, and support, it lays a foundation of security and self-esteem. But when it's clouded or fractured, it can leave lingering questions about our value and place in the world.

Coping with the Void

The absence of parental love or its inadequacy can carve a void within us, a space filled with echoes of what could have been. Coping with this emptiness often becomes a silent quest for many, seeking to find what was missed in the arms of others, achievements, or even in the pursuit of perfection. Yet, the key to healing isn’t in external validation but in turning inward and cultivating self-love and acceptance.

1. Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the kindness and understanding you wished to receive. Acknowledge your pain, but also recognize your resilience and strength.

2. Seek Healing: Therapy can be a transformative journey, offering guidance in exploring and healing these deep-seated wounds. It's a space to understand your story from a new perspective and learn healthy ways to fulfill your emotional needs.

3. Build Your Support System: Create a chosen family of friends and mentors who see and appreciate you for who you truly are. These relationships can provide love and support that nurtures your growth and fills your life with the warmth you deserve.

man carrying daughter in black sleeveless top
Photo by Caroline Hernandez / Unsplash

Understanding and Forgiveness

Understanding that our parents, too, are products of their own upbringing and experiences can shift our perspective. They may have given us what they had, which, in many cases, might not have been enough. Forgiving them is not about excusing their shortcomings but about liberating ourselves from the weight of resentment. It's a gift to ourselves—a step toward peace and closure.

Reimagining Parents as Coaches

What if we reframe our understanding and see our parents not merely as providers of love but as coaches who have prepared us for life? This perspective doesn’t diminish the importance of parental love but allows us to recognize the broader role they’ve played. They’ve set us on a path, equipped with lessons—some taught through absence or pain—preparing us for our mission in life.

Embracing Our Mission:

Armed with lessons, love, and perhaps wounds from our first coaches, our task is to navigate our journey, discovering and fulfilling our true mission. The challenges and voids become parts of our story that we can own and transform. They do not define us but rather refine us, shaping us into individuals capable of love, resilience, and empathy.


The journey through understanding the impact of parental love, coping with its absence, and moving toward forgiveness and self-realization is deeply personal and unique. It's about finding beauty and strength in our story, recognizing that every experience has contributed to the masterpiece we are today. By filling our own voids with self-love, seeking understanding, and embracing forgiveness, we step into our power, ready to live our lives with purpose and heart.