The third step in the process is gratitude. It helps to be grateful for the little things. Let these build till there are larger streams of gratitude. One man started with the simple fact that he was thankful that his mother didn’t abort him. It took a long time to come up with other things he was thankful for about his mother. So start with the basics and build with specifics.
Gratitude gets easier when we stop demanding perfection from our parent and start being thankful for the things we did receive. Eventually we realize there are things our parents will never be able to fulfill that seem normal for any parent. Maturity comes when we realize that we may never get our parent to do or be the parent we needed. If we turn to God and ask Him to fill the gap, we give Him permission to meet our needs. In doing so, we can collect our needs from various other sources till we are filled. We can receive healing in healthy community, and sometimes directly from God. There may always be a longing to get what we need from our parent. But if we allow other people to accept us, encourage us, nurture us, compliment us, support us, and believe in us, then our needs can get met. God Himself may meet the need directly. No parent is perfect. Allow God to fill in the gap. His loving and surprising ways bring healing and wholeness.
To continue, see Learning How to Honor a Difficult Parent – Part 4