If you have read Louise Hay’s story or watched her movie, You Can Heal Your Life, you know that she suffered terribly in her young life due to her parents’ action and inaction. Many people have significant challenges in adulthood around healing their past, specifically around what they feel their parents did to them or did not do for them. Louise and others (e.g. Dr. Wayne Dyer) offer many ways to engage in what I call full-body forgiveness of our parents, and in their (and others’) advice you will often hear the phrase, “they did the best they could do at that time”.
This concept – that they did the best they could – can be hard for some to reconcile. Some things just shouldn’t be tolerated,…and for heaven’s sake – they were the grown-ups,… and YOU knew better, even as a child!
No one can argue against these points, but recently someone shared a metaphor with me that helps to explain parental behavior and how to view it so you can move forward. This is perhaps the BEST metaphor that I have heard in trying to explain this complex issue. I hope you find some good in here to take for yourself.
Think of a little boy who finds a frog out in nature. He LOVES the frog and brings it home with him, putting it in a box in his bedroom. He feeds it, he gives it water, but keeps it in that small box in a corner of his bedroom. Oh, how the boy loves his frog, but unfortunately,…after a bit, the frog dies.
The boy was not intentionally negligent; he LOVED the frog, but he was not capable of understanding the bigger picture of the frog’s needs, and so loving the frog was not enough. The boy is quite sad that the frog did not live – and perhaps a bit confused – but without maturing, and learning more than a small boy knows, he would make the same mistake again.
Parents who have acted in ways that appear to be against your best interest are like that boy; naive, maybe even foolish, but well-intentioned in as much as they could be at that time. If you can’t forgive your parents for the things they did, or the things they did not do, think of them as naive little children,… and remember the story of the frog.
Due to privacy issues, I will not attribute this story but want to acknowledge that it is not my original idea.