Compassion for Parents

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Compassion for Parents

Postby Andie » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:31 pm

Hello this is my first post. I started listening to Eckhart Tolle on YouTube. I think I have watched just about every video made that features Tolle. I then went on to read The Power of Now and A New Earth. I am currently listening to Freedom from the World. Eckhart Tolle's teachings have helped me a great deal. I am much more content and can see where form and ego have caused me a great deal of misery. About eight years ago a coworker mentioned that she was a fan of Eckhart Tolle and recommended The Power of Now. I dismissed her and said that I wasn't into "New Age stuff". How funny. What a wonderful thing it would have been if I would have allowed Tolle into my life. I wasn't receptive at that time and that's the way it goes. I'm glad I can live in a state of presence now and have mostly let my ego go. I am in no way fully evolved (My ego creeps in a times with my husband and kids) but I have made a lot of progress and mostly live at peace, except…

I have some pain associated with my parents. They have caused me, my ego, a great deal of pain. I have let that go. I used to be a victim and would tell my victim story. I saw a therapist a few years ago and worked through a lot of stuff and my mental state improved a great deal. Since finding Tolle, I have even more peace and can see them as unconscious beings and usually harbor no resentments or judgments.

There is one little piece that still bothers me and it's this: My parents aren't interested in my kids. I have two boys, ages 12 and 14. They don't ask about their lives. They don't attend their sporting events or performances. They don't show much interest at all. I don't blame them for not attending performances but it does bother me that they are not interested in their grandchildren. They do not ask them about school or hobbies or anything of the sort. When we visit, I will sit in the kitchen and chitchat with my mother and my boys will play video games or do something with my dad, but that's about it. My mother has other friends with younger kids and she will buy little toys and trinkets for them but never buys my boys anything, except at Christmas. I do find it strange that she will buy things for kids she hardly knows but ignores her grandchildren. My sister has a son and she behaves similarly. It's not about the "stuff". I could care less about toys. It's about the lack of attention and lack of interest. My father is an alcoholic, has anxiety, and anger and there are times where he will fail to acknowledge my boys when we are in a big group. My father and I are not close.

As I write all of this out I can see that I am telling a victim story but I think what bothers me is that my kids will take their lack of interest personally. They will be hurt over it. Maybe they already are. My husband's parents are much more present and interested. My kids don't know about Tolle or the egoic mind and since they cannot understand and say, "Oh they are just unconscious". My mother has invited us (me, spouse, kids) to go out with them to a local sporting event. We have been several times before and my father will drink many beers and my mother will chitchat with me and the other adults around us but they don't talk to my kids much at all. Should I be bringing my kids around this kind of thing? Should I go and show compassion because my mother wants to see me? This is one part of me that isn't sure what to do or how to behave. A year ago I would be obsessed with this problem and ruminate over it. It doesn't bother me nearly as much but it's still there and I still view it as bit of a problem. My main resistance is not subjecting my kids to their unconscious behavior because I fear it will hurt their feelings.

Thank you for reading my question and thank you for any comments.
Andie
 
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Re: Compassion for Parents

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:35 pm

Welcome to the forum Andie.

Here's a suggestion that could be interesting to see how it unfolds. While your family is together, children, grandparents and you, begin to interact with your children in fun and loving ways. Show her what fun can be had by example. Don't encourage, just demonstrate a loving relationship. Tell your mother stories about them that demonstrates their best qualities. Gently get her to engage in uplifting discussions about them, the love you feel and the things she taught you that helped in your understanding of parenting.

You can't force anything, nor is it wise to have specific expectations. This should be a long term endeavor and not a one shot experiment. People respond to love and appreciation. It may be that she just doesn't know how to bridge the gap that has been created. Whatever happens happens. There is no right or wrong outcome. Your love for all is most important. That love is the best influence.

WW
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Re: Compassion for Parents

Postby rachMiel » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:11 pm

You sound very clear and conscious, Andie. This is great! Keep up the good work. :-)

In terms of your parents, I can definitely see why their attitude towards your boys causes you pain. It seems strange that grandparents wouldn't show interest in their grandchildren. It sounds like something is going on, especially with your mother, some unresolved conflict on her part, perhaps between the two of you?

I think you should talk with them about your feelings around this issue. Who knows, maybe they have no conscious idea of their behavior? Confront them, gently ... but honestly. A lot's at stake, your happiness, theirs, your kids. Ripple effect.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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Re: Compassion for Parents

Postby Andie » Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:41 pm

Thank you both for your comments.

Thank you for reminding me that people respond with love and appreciation. I know this, but when it comes to my parents I definitely had too many expectations in the past, such as they should me showing ME and my children love and appreciation. I have been better at showing them love and allowing them to be who they are but this thing with my kids is something that is difficult to let go.

I saw them last night. My mom asked me how my kids were doing and I suggested she should ask them, since they were right there. She said, "Oh they wouldn't care. They would say, fine." I said, "They do care. They may not act like they care but they do and would like to talk to you. And then she asked them a couple questions. My dad is very closed off. We disagree on a lot of things even though I try to appear open and have a let it be attitude. I think he feels defensive around me. He is a person who gets very defensive, angry, anxious in general. We barely talk. I have a better relationship with my mother.

I don't know how it would go down if I talked directly to my parents about their lack of engagement. I think they would get very defensive, even if I was gentle with my approach. I think I need to let it go. I think I may be too worried how my kids are going to be affected. There is a lot of pain surrounding my relationship with my parents and I think I have fear that my kids are going to suffer the same pain, but my parents are not their parents.

I think I'm looking for some magic way to behave with my parents so all will be well. :-) I want something different instead of what is.

Thank you again for reading. My question had nothing to do with Tolle.
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