One of my Buddhist friend confided in me. She said she couldn’t help being nasty to her parents. On the other hand she is known as a super nice person to her associates and friends. She felt something is deeply wrong.
Guess what? Me too!
This short discussion made me reflect.
I am always behaving the best with strangers, friends and acquaintances because I want their acceptance and approval. So I say nice things,be extra helpful etc. I wear a mask.
On the other hand, love and acceptance by my parents are unconditional. So I couldn’t care less. I can take off that mask at home. That is wonderful for me. If I feel grouchy then I am grouchy. Stay clear! Door shut. DO NOT DISTURB.
I asked around and many friends have the same “issue”
But I don’t want to wear a mask at home too. I want to be myself.
Are we wrong?
I think we can still be ourselves without being nasty. That is when practicing Buddhism really makes a different. My folks noticed it.
For example, when we practice patience and right speech, we watch what we say. We become mindful. We do not blurt and regret.
After a while, the “mask” is no long a mask. It becomes our face.
A face of peace and serenity.
Another Buddhist teaching that I found meaningful is ‘IMPERMANENCE’
Most of us do not like to be reminded about it.
However, if we remind ourselves about life’s impermanence, it become easy to cherish our love ones. Instead of waiting for impermanence to strike and then regret taking those previous moments for granted. Why not remind ourselves that our family (including ourselves) have a limited lifespan and start cherishing them now.
When I learnt Vajrayana Buddhism, a lot of emphasis is placed on the Guru. We are taught to be respectful and appreciative to our religious teachers. Then it occurred to me, my very first guru are my parents!
Basic daily skills that we took for granted. Walking, eating, cleaning, talking, etc are all taught by my parents. Without these basic skills, we won’t be able to go far in life, not to mention studying Buddhism.
So if I can be super nice to the monks and nuns, shouldn’t I be ultra nice to my folks?
If not, my buddhist education is wasted right?
Between each relation, there is a karmic connection. Especially those relation that last a lifetime. To become family, we must have a deep connection in our past life. This basically is a belief of karma. A belief of how our actions affect each other so much that it carry over to the next life.
Not all family comes together as a result of good karma. Sometimes sworn enemies reincarnate as family to create sufferings for each other. From a Buddhist perspective, we should try to overcome such ill fated connection by love and compassion. Loving kindness meditation can be utilised to change the mental animosity. In success cases, the hostility changed for the better.
Basically, cherishing of family is no different from cherishing other living beings. Logically speaking, we should be able to cherish our family more than others. Unfortunate for some of us, our ignorance made us behave otherwise.
I guess, it is never too late to become a better person. Starting from today…..