January 19, 2008

Doing Your Best, and Self-Forgiveness

Today is my dad's 80th birthday. He was only able to celebrate 48 birthdays.

My father used to say that all you could ask from a person was their best. I've always remembered this and tried not to expect perfection from anyone, including myself. When someone does their best, that is their perfection.

I ran across this quote in a blog I read, and it really struck me.

"You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better." -Maya Angelou

This is a very self-forgiving and healing quote that I instantly fell in love with. I was very young and petulant while my dad was here, and my greatest wish is that he knew me now.

I did only what I knew while he was here, but I wish I had known better.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

I miss you.


Paul said...

Very moving and very sane advice to forgive ourselves and others each and every day at every opportunity!

Amy said...

Hey! Somehow I missed this post but ran across it in my Technorati ratings. Thanks for linking me and I'm glad you found something of worth in my blog. I think it is very pertinent to what you're saying. I have similar difficulties with my dad but should be more forgiving of him as well. Sad to say I hold him to much higher standards than I really should; it's not fair.

Barbara said...

Paul: Thanks, and I agree that we should work hard to forgive both others and ourselves, for our own peace.

Amy: Oh, I'm glad you got a chance to read it. I was stopped in my tracks when I read this quote on your blog and I'll always be grateful for it. It alleviates a lot of guilt I had over what I "should have done" or "should have been." Thank you forever.