My Parents

the_classic_of_filial_piety_4This past weekend I got to meditate on my parents and their role in my life.

In doing that I was reminded of a conversation that I had in college with my best friend at that time.

As children, we actually want what is best for our parents. Even the most rebellious, most self-destructive, most un-childlike children that there is care about their parents at the subconcioiusly level. We may not show it or admit it, but the love is there.

At the subconscious level, we as children want to see our parents happy. I think it has something to do but the fact that these pairs of people have done everything that they have done to ensure that we–the kids–have to best future that they can provide. Or as my friend put it “it’s caring for those who love us – even love that is grudgingly done”.

I remember the conversation taking a tangent into this part. At what point do we as children care more about our parents’ happiness then our own?  Especially when we– the children–are sacrificing our own happiness/goals at the expense of our parents. 

Don’t get me wrong; my parents had the best of intentions for me. However I’ve come to realize that the sad truth is that my family was unable to provide little else other than the essentials because of unresolved issues on the part of my parents.

It recently dawned on me that in some ways my parents were living their own lives through me and my sister. It was as if they were subconsciously using us as crutches to keep their sanity.

That might explain why I am still living at home at age 30. Maybe subconsciously I – as the most emotionally mature one here –  provides some semblance of a “family” even though this notion has always been a porous one at best.

I get it coming from an Asian family – Filial Piety is a big thing (in fact, it can be the only thing). But the the weight of having sacrificed my own dreams to ensure that my parents were happy haunts me to this day.

Maybe it’s my way of showing that despite all the failings in our lives I still somewhat care about them. Like how my friend said back in college, we all care about her parents and wish them nothing more than all the happiness in the world…

Regardless of our views of them.

My dream ever since I was 10 years old was the leave this family and never look back. I’m beginning to wonder that perhaps the goal was not to leave this family, but instead to ensure that I don’t repeat the same mistakes that my parents made in their 20s and 30s.


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