At Ease

| Sunday, January 26, 2014
We all have to learn different lessons in life. IMO - everyone come into our life for a reason. At the same time, each person has to come to their own realizations on their own time. This is also known as karma. However you view it, when we adopt a broader view, we're able to get out of our limited thinking.

Reason - Somehow, the thinking/researching/sharing/learning process of the purpose of life or my existence is somehow like food to me. Like the favorite food that has the capacity to stimulate the appetite, prompt me to eat more of it, and motivate me to pursue it. Through the course of it, the excitement of having found something that answers my deepest questions is unbound. Naturally, like a person in love, I wanted to share this love with everyone, especially my friends/family and closed ones. Hence it disappointed and frustrated me when they did not share that excitement. It took years for me to see the bigger picture – they have decades of conditioning behind them which might be standing against the concepts of spirituality that are very commonplace for us now. Though it is very common in India to have grown up with terms like karma, past lives, etc., these are “conditions” taken for granted, rather than conditions that can be consciously influenced. This understanding still feels as strange to them(excluding my western friends) as having cornflakes for breakfast.

Problem - One good example that I can put forth here is My Parents and their Married Life. It(Marriage)is often a status quo. While our parents may have got along very well (irrespective of whether the marriage was arranged or out of love) in our childhoods, as they begin to get old, they begin to reminisce a lot. Whether it is because of menopause, or a constant sense of a past weighing them down all the time, or simply a physical condition translating into irritability, parents can get into fights where they might bring up old issues and buried emotions that had no room earlier. It can destroy our perception of them as being “ideal” parents having an ideal marriage even if we are exposed to our friends’ families falling apart. It can disillusion us and leave us confused. I know I went through (still do) hell in my mind struggling to choose the right from wrong of my parents doing.

Understanding - The mirroring theory is the most artistically at work here. I’ve often observed that if there is even a single thought wandering in my subconscious against my decision to break a paradigm, it will get projected in their thinking. Like it or not, parents exist in the same thought field as you and are more sensitive to picking up thoughts from this field, especially when one is defensive or in conflict about a decision. Clean up your thinking and they certainly respond. Secondly, the goal of acting on something we deeply care about and the goal of rebelling against authority can sometimes get mixed up and the consequences can be very messy. To ensure that what you feel like doing is only for your sake, and not for the sake of proving something to your parents takes absolute courage – because it demands your total honesty to yourself. Ages ago when I was not ready to realize the depth of it my grandma (mom's mom) had wisely pointed out that this is where guilt can be a precise pointer –when there is guilt, the act almost always is being carried out as a rebellion against something rather than rising from a heartfelt intent. Thirdly, acknowledging the conditioning that worrying = good parenting in the realm of unconscious parenting. The only way I’ve found that has worked around this is to casually bring up the discussion and being a willing and open listener, providing a safe space for them to voice those fears out for themselves.

Practice - Parents have often rushed through life – through their careers, babies, investments, taking care of our schooling, then college and marriage and now the train of doings seems to have halted abruptly. Often things may have gone unexpressed between them at various points in time due to various reasons. Now the emotions and memories seem to be catching up. When I learnt to relate this way, their disruptions and issues didn’t seem personal to
me (even if I happened to be the subject of those conversations). I stopped interfering and just watched. These are two people working out their soul’s journeys with each other. Why interfere?” I remember my grandma saying. When they ask me to take sides, I check within if I can give them an authentic, balanced viewpoint. If not, I just tell them frankly that I don’t know what to say and won't be the best to judge either. To put in your confusion along with a train of emotions for “working it out” is to add to the mess.

Continuation - Maybe it is always best to give everything its well deserved time. But always remember, in the path of consciousness, parents are our biggest mirrors. At one point life asks us to stop viewing them as just caretakers and changes our roles into caregivers. For some this happens very early. For some, the change happens and takes us by surprise. Either way, the final step is to grow out of the roles and start viewing them as two unique individuals you are born to, so as to work out our lessons together with them. It is indeed a defining moment when you learn to love and be there for them as if you’ve completely chosen it, rather than as a chore or running in a default mode. While becoming a parent undoubtedly has its rewarding moments (which I have only heard about second hand), transforming into a conscious person in their midst unabashedly has beautiful rewards. And this I can tell by first-hand experience. The grass is definitely green on this side.


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