Do you love your parents? If yes, that’s beautiful. But if you are faking it out that you love them, just because it buoys up your good personality or keeps your means greased while in your heart, deep inside, you want to blame them for so many things in your life, unconsciously, you are fueling a feeling of “rejection” inside you. I used to love my parents in my childhood, before entering into this complicated life, when I didn’t even know what did the word love mean because it was so natural and was the essence of living then. As the time rolled by, I got deeper and deeper into the abyss of life, struggling, pretending outside that everything is moving awesomely fine while fearing inside to pip out of my conditioning and know my heart and live a life that quenches its desires, a life that is extremely unique in its expression, not comparable even to the most successful or enlightened person in the world. Gradually, somewhere I started to relate some of my problems to my parents. It was very subtle, but it was there and a feeling of apathy towards them kept growing in me. The love and compassion for them was fading out while I was totally busy in my own bubble shaping my future, solving my puzzles and aloof of their pain. It was so difficult to put both I and my parents in my measurements and move ahead. Career, love, life, friends, search of meaning, social contribution, and parents among all of this, what a bitter concoction to taste, as it seemed then!
It might be astounding to know that most of us live very unconsciously, acting as per our programmed mind, struggling to fit in the patterns and deriving our dreams and desires based on the race we feel we are running in. It so happens then that whatever we pursue, be it profession, relationship or entertainment it becomes a mean to find a sense of completeness that we always feel we are missing within instead of pursuing them for the simple joy of their experience. A sense of neediness arises in us and we become slaves to our external experiences or expressions for our happiness without realizing that they are very impermanent in nature. This grips our parents too, and generally, what feels like love from our parents is actually their unconscious attachment and their dependency on us for their happiness. Sometimes their world becomes so constricted to us that they compromise their lives to fulfill our dreams and at the same time oppose everything that seems to be risking their sense of security in their relationship with us. In fact, parents have more share in our risks than our rewards. For an example, suppose you get a good hike in your salary, your parents get very happy while when you go and ask them that you want to go for sky-diving or you want to marry a girl or boy whom you love but they hate, they will stand on their toes to prevent you in doing so. Though their intentions are never bad, they are always as innocent as they are, but without awareness even those prove to be lethal and act as a bottleneck to what aligns to your true desires. At a point this nosiness and clinginess starts to evoke a sense of rejection in us towards them, that’s why we come to know so many cases, specially outside India, where people leave their parents altogether or put their aging parents in outside care facilities. What happens to our capability to love and be compassionate in such cases? I wondered sometime ago.
What should we do with our parents then? I was troubled with this question, and for the fear of being frazzled of not being able to find an answer, I always avoided it. How could I forgive them for all that they did and do unknowingly? As a human, I did not have enough compassionate space in me to accommodate them. I could not love and accept them as they were with all their silliness and infatuation for me. I tried to love them, but love is such a deal that we can not force it, we can not pick things and start loving them one by one because then it becomes a matter of maths and we are always going to leave few things in counting. We can find love only within, love that is all encompassing and then it does not remain a commodity of our entertainment which we keep losing and finding every once and while. If you allow me to digress slightly, I would say that it happened only when I turned inward out of some fierce life situations, which now in hindsight seems like blessings, and realized the completeness and spaciousness that I already was, that my whole perspective towards everything and my parents was shifted. I felt a sense of oneness among all the things, and found them to be very unique at the same time. Realizing the fact that from absolute perspective, everything is a play of consciousness, life became less serious, but at the same time, from relative sense, I knew that we are here to participate fully in life by being open to all the aspects of our humanness, be it happiness, sadness, anger, hatred etc. Everything that is happening in this world is already deeply accepted by life, otherwise it would have not even been happening. But it does not mean that we should become zombies and become unable to respond. In fact, when we are aware of us as consciousness and also know that we are breathing and engaged in life in reality we become fearless to participate in it and are also gracefully endowed with all its innate qualities like love, joy and peace, they do not remain something to chase then. With only this change or rather knowing my true nature for the first time, my feelings for my parents were alchemized drastically, all the rejection was swallowed by the compassion that flowered within, I started to listen them more than reacting, the pinch was changed to pleasure and I started wanting to be with them and spend some beautiful time together. Yet there was an inner freedom to pursue anything even amidst all the expectations and resistance they were trying to impose. May be initially they will feel disappointed if I break their expectations, but with time they will know that I’m more with the truth and I have changed, and I still love them, even more than before. I can be with them or without them, it becomes a conscious choice based on my heart calling, it does not remain a compulsion because now I know that what is good for each of us is also good for the world. We are not existing here independently, it’s all weaved in one, connected, tangled and functioning with an unshakable harmony.
I love my parents and I love everything else too. Life is happening here and now, as it is, beautifully and beatifically. Don’t resist or repress anything, wear an attitude of brash openness to your thoughts, emotions, events, ideas and actions and they will start to fall in balance as they come in close contact with life. We must realize that we are not here to “fix” our lives, we are here to enjoy it with all its shades. Sit with your parents sometime, shedding all your ideas and concepts about them and touch their innocence. Get consumed sometime in their love that is beyond their words and intentions. Can you open your heart beyond your imagination? Did something knock in your heart reading the lines below?
“Love Your Parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.”