I did a reading today where the client's mother came through. I could tell she had a hard personality, a little rough around the edges. She kept saying, "Tell her I did the best I could." My client chuckled and said, "That was her best?"
Louise Hay in her book You Can Heal Your Life discusses how hard and wonderful it was to realize that, yes, her parents had done the best they could in raising her. She was terribly abused by them, and that abuse shaped most of her life. It wasn't until she could release them through this forgiving thought - they did the best they could -- that she was able to find her true peace.
Parenting is the hardest job out there, and sometimes the treatment we receive from our parents is the best they can give us. Our job is to try to realize that and find the blessings awaiting us there. I believe we choose our parents. All of my children have, at one point, talked about picking me out from up in heaven. They've said things like, "I saw you from up in heaven and picked you." Or "Thank you for agreeing to be my mommy." One of my daughters said, "I asked if you could be mom and God said, 'She already is.'" My youngest often says, "You're the best mommy I've ever had." And I always laugh and say, "Well how many mommies have you had?" She just laughs back.
I'm not always the best mom. I get angry and testy and impatient. But I try, and I know that I really am doing the best I can. Is it possible that your parents -- with all their flaws, warts and all -- were doing the best they could too? Maybe. Perhaps. Probably.
It's an interesting fact to wrap your head around, isn't it?
For those of you who read my blog where I discussed my grandmother, she expressed the thought that she really hadn't known the effect of her negativity and had done her best. And you know what? I really believe her.
Sometimes our best isn't good enough, but should we get credit or give credit to someone who's at least trying? Extending the olive branch of forgiveness is scary and wondrous and fraught with questions:
If I forgive my parent(s) does that mean I'm saying what they did is okay? (No)
If I forgive my parent (s) does that negate all they did to me? (No)
Sometimes, what we're really asking is this -- who will I be if I let go of all this?
All you can do is try. Nothing good comes from holding on to anger and everything great comes letting it go.