I never thought i would be sharing this but I took the courage to do so.
- My mom’s journey was to become independent and free from all sorts of abuses by my dad who was alcoholic and to lead a life of dignity and purpose of serving family with a service attitude.It was challenging for her to generate an income , manage the house hold and her mind after she went into extreme state of depression.
- I learnt from her that If I want to maintain a positive attitude and optimistic view in life, in order to not become a victim to life’s circumstances mainly – dependency on anyone for supply of money, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs like food , shelter and physical needs ,then I might need to create a new reality for myself and somehow overcome the challenges and obstacles that she and me together have been through along with putting my entire family at risk and societal shame /deep layers of guilt for having them to take care of us at their old age. I resolved then and there in my life’s timeline maybe in early teenage phase that I needn’t be like this. I deserve something better than this. I do not want to put anyone in trouble or shame because of my circumstances ever after.I resolved to become a matter of pride and honour for society and family and transform the situation or perception of others by transforming my life and my lifestyle.
- Finally , in 1994 , we took the courage to leave the house with bag and baggage and move back to under the guardianship of my maternal uncle , his wife and my grandparents who were like God to us.
- I learnt the lesson later during my sabbatical in 2014, about my mothers tendencies to blame my father or her parents for who she became a victim or felt powerless and learned that sadness came from observing her patterns.She had dreams and fantasies that were seldom achievable by herself and would express her needs that couldn’t have been realised under the present circumstances.
- She could make one feel guilty and would be stubborn enough to get that done in their capacity.I learned that lesson when I noticed I was mirroring some of those in respect to when it came to meeting my material and emotional needs,maintaining boundaries in relationships and their needs. When she would realise that there was no other coping mechanism then she would get into pleasing mode. Now it’s helping me to learn to live minimalistic and discern every need and question the same. I think and ask myself is this really important for me or this can wait? Slowly I have become cautious about my thought process and thereby my reactions to situations and victimhood.I take charge of my life and I am totally accountable for the decisions and choices that I made in my adulthood.
- I learnt for sure from her parenting style that I have to cater to my own needs and not sacrifice my desires, requirements before anyone else -to put on my oxygen mask first before I can fully be present for her,my spouse and others around me.I also learnt courage and determination and going thru pain and emerging a winner with religious belief systems and now spirituality as the essence to knowing one’s true nature.
- She is very good at cooking and helping everyone remain positive and humorous.I have imbibed those qualities of putting my passion when I cook even simple food for that matter.I try and keep my voice chirpy and positive, so that I can help someone else feel positive and motivated at the need of the hour.
- The rituals I have established amongst us is to allow her to do the simple chores of the home and minimise the movement while my spouse & I took over the kitchen management. As she is the only senior citizen in our home , we are keeping her safe- emotionally,spiritually , physically and mentally.
- Having said all this – I am thankful for her story that helped shape mine and I am grateful to her for bringing me up and teaching me the values of life – “Just for today I will treat all elders,parents , living beings with respect”