------- waddafak: Honour Thy Parents

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Honour Thy Parents

Isn’t there an ancient saying in the Hindu tradition that unless we receive the blessing of our parents, we cannot progress on our spiritual path? This saying may conjure images of an elderly parent dressed in long flowing robes laying their hand upon their child and blessing their journey. Few of us will ever receive this type of blessing, yet there is much wisdom in that saying that applies to us today.

Rather than waiting for something to come from our parents, we receive their blessing when we come to an inner peace about why we were born to them and the lessons and gifts that come from that experience. To truly progress on our spiritual journey we must attain this inner peace about our mother and father. This peace will give us more motivation in our lives, allow our relationships with others to deepen, strengthen us as parents, enhance our career and bring more energy and health to our personal lives. Coming to this inner peace is not often easy, but is so worth the inner effort.

Some people have had difficult childhoods with parents that have behaved inappropriately. Some of us may have heard unbelievable stories of inappropriate behavior. There are Parents who have sexually, physically and emotionally abused their children. There are Parents who have abandoned them, never to be heard from again. One friend told me about his Father who once gave him a severe beating when he was a child and threatened to kill him if he tried again to interfere while he was beating up his Mother. These can be very traumatic experiences. How does one ever come to peace with a parent who could do such a thing to their child?

The peace doesn't come from condoning or accepting the behavior, nor does it come from hating the parent. The peace comes from understanding the spiritual lessons and gifts and that come from having a parent that behaved in such a way. Sometimes a person has to fully experience or even express their hate, anger and resentment in order to find this understanding. The ultimate goal, however, is to find the lesson and gift rather than to remain in the angry unforgiving place.

Some of us have grown up learning the Ten Commandments. I'm sure we have all heard, "Honor Thy Father and Mother." Does this mean to honor everything our father or mother does and listen to all their advice? I don't think so.

I feel that the deeper meaning is that we are to honor the soul essence of our Mother and Father, and the spiritual gift and lesson that is ours to learn by being their child. This is deep and worthwhile work on oneself. It is much easier to simply say my life is no good because my parents did such and such to me. Therefore I have an excuse to fail in relationship, career and life in general. Rather than this powerless victim approach, a more mature way of living is to learn the lesson from having been with our parents and then make that gift part of our strength and motivation as a person. In this way we are truly set free to become the person we want to be.

So there is no need to wait till Mother's Day or Father's Day when you are sending off that card or any other time. Try to understand the lessons and resulting spiritual gifts from having this person as your parent. Feel the ways your relationship with your Mother and Father have strengthened you and caused you to grow spiritually. In this way too don't you think we will be receiving the blessing of our Parents?
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