Parents and “doing the best we can”


Our relationship to our parents is foundational.  It is the first experience of bonding, connection and relationship upon which the future of our relationships is built.  Everybody has a mother, and everybody has a father – as a biological fact – that connects them also to their grandparents and to their ancestors from whom life has been passed down.  Although our experience may be different, this foundational fact has a power when we acknowledge what we did receive from our parents, even if it was only our life. Of course with that life comes our genetic and epigenetic make up that impacts who we are and what we face in our lives.  It is however, our decision what we do with what we have been given.  There are many spiritual explanations about why we are given hardships, abuse, difficulties in our families, and what we have come here to learn in this life. Knowing why does not necessarily help, on the deeper levels of longing, in the places where it is raw and confusing. Sometimes we can use explanations to escape from doing the healing work, which is to go there. This healing process takes time, and there are no short-cuts. In constellations we experience an acceptance of how things are – acknowledging and seeing the pain and the entanglement. There is nothing that can be changed, the child is powerless to change or help their parents, even if that is their deepest unconscious wish – to have them together, to have them happy, to be seen by them both. To feel safe, heard and acknowledged.  And as adults, when there is no going back to change the past with our parents, can we change the way we have internalised their voices? Can we parent our own inner children with love and acceptance for who they are?  Can we find teachers, coaches, mentors, therapists, partners and friends with whom we do it differently and learn to give and receive?  Can we come into compassion with the short-comings of our parents, and start to understand that they did the best they could under their circumstances? Can we begin to connect to the gifts that have come, even through hardships?


The invitation here is to practice self-care and give space to your inner child.  Can you hear him or her? How is she?  What is needed to come into contact with his or her needs? What were his hopes and dreams and how can you support that now? Perhaps you find a picture of yourself at a certain age and put it up in a ceremonial way.  With a candle or an object in a place where you can see and greet her every day for a check in.  Spend some time there asking, what do you need?  What would be helpful?  And listen. Perhaps your inner child needs some re-assurance – I can give you what you need, you are safe. If I can’t do it now, I will find help. I will learn to give you what you need and make it safe. I will take care of myself, so that I can take care of you. What is your child’s language of love?  How does it feel seen, and acknowledged? What are your wishes for him or her?  And remember, children need to play.


(This blog is not a replacement for therapy, but rather a sharing of experiences and invitations towards daily life lessons. Should you require professional help, please book a session)

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website created by WebRabbit Media