Mental and emotional independence

The core/essential teachings and practice of yoga is about purification of the mind transcending the human egoistic nature/worldly thinking and belief/feelings and emotions/behavior/action and reaction, the impermanent condition, ability and limitation of the physical body of birth, growth, changes, sickness, weakness, old age and decomposition (death), the selfless function of the mind, the states of the mind, the modifications/activities of the mind, the mind perception of names and forms through the senses, the egoism, the impurities, the veil of ignorance and attaining liberation from the suffering of the mind perception of a worldly life existence that is subject to impermanence and selflessness.

In the process of the transformation from the lower human nature (selfishness/tendency to hurt oneself and/or others) to the higher human nature (unselfishness/tendency not to hurt oneself and/or others), and then transcending even the higher nature to go beyond the lower/higher or the bad/good human nature (selflessness/attributelessness), the thinking mind needs to be disciplined for developing certain essential qualities that allow the mind to go beyond the impermanent and selfless mind perception of a worldly life existence of qualities of names and forms.

These essential qualities are the basic foundation of both the practice of Yoga and Buddhism for mind purification, such like dispassion, correct understanding, right view, right effort, right livelihood, truthfulness, honesty, simplicity, austerity, contentment, non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-judgment, non-comparison, non-expectation, intentionlessness, patience, perseverance, determination, acceptance, detachment/letting go, forgiveness, tolerance, forbearance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, one-pointedness, right concentration, care-free, fearlessness, renunciation, solitude, seclusion, calmness, self-discipline, self-control, self-inquiry, self-effort, self-realization, or being unaffected/undisturbed/undetermined/uninfluenced by the mind perception of pleasant/unpleasant, agreeable/disagreeable, likeable/dislikeable impermanent qualities of names and forms through the senses.

All these qualities existing in the mind are also reflecting as mental and emotional independence in a being. One will know how to deal with challenging or difficult condition and situation equanimously and solve problems by oneself.

One doesn’t need to rely on or depend on attaining/possessing, or experiencing, or coming in contact with the impermanent quality of names and forms of good condition, good environment, good life experience, good livelihood, good standard of living, good relationships, perfect unbroken family/society, good image, good reputation, social status, health status, possessions, knowledge, skill, gratification of desire (of getting what I like/not getting what I don’t like/not losing what I like/losing what I don’t like), achievements, physical and mental abilities, or getting attention, love, liking, agreement, support, appreciation, acknowledgment, kindness, respect, comfort, friendship, companionship from anyone or anything, to feel good, happy, confident, love and meaningful, or to perform necessary actions that would benefit oneself and/or others.

One is peaceful as one is, being mentally and emotionally independent, where the mind processes all the mind perception of names and forms or thought activities/feelings/emotions as it is, uninfluenced by egoism or worldly family/racial/social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking and belief, being open-minded to inquire/question/investigate the truth of everything, including the teachings of Yoga and Buddhism, without blind-believing, blind-following, blind faith, or blind-actions and reactions, and being free from emotional exploitation/burden/blockage.

This is also what and why most people fear of – Mental and emotional independence in people could also means that those impure selfish greedy ambitious minds are losing the ‘power’ or ‘opportunity’ to control/influence/manipulate/exploit/threaten other people to be the way that ‘I’ like it to be, to help ‘I’ to get what ‘I’ want, or gratify ‘my’ desires, or achieve ‘my’ ambitions, or create the life/relationship/family/parenthood/business/career/community/society/politic/nation/world/security/enjoyment/situation that ‘I’ desire, that would help me to achieve what I want to achieve. Regardless whether this ‘I’ is a partner, a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling, a friend, a teacher, a student, a member of the community/society, a citizen of a country, a leader of a country, a business person, an employer, an employee, a politician, a political party, a society, a group of people, an association, an affiliation, a company, and etc.

Whether people are aware or unaware of themselves having personal goal/ambition/agenda, they don’t like the idea of mental and emotional independence, as it would threaten/obstruct their personal goal/ambition/agenda.

Most parenting methods and children psychological development/training and education are mostly about empowering egoistic human nature that is empowering/encouraging mental and emotional dependence, as mental and emotional independence is ‘threatening’ the egoistic worldly family/cultural/social/religious/political/commercial thinking/belief/values/behavior of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion and expectation in all the relationships/dealings among people.

Contemplate on these familiar worldly thinking/belief/practice/values -:

“Of course I want my children/my partner/my friends/my teachers/my students/my community/my employee/my employer/my clients/my followers/my disciples/my supporters to attached onto me, to hold on to me, to need me, to rely on me. They need me to be there for them. They need my presence, my attention, my love, my care, my affection and my guidance/advice/approval/agreement/consent/opinion/support/help/service. I am needed by them. I will feel so worthless, lonely, bored, unloved, demotivated, depressed, empty and meaningless if I am not needed by anybody.”

“I love my children and my children will love me.”

“I am nice to you and you will be nice to me too.”

“I am giving you something nice and you will give me something nice too.”

“I will be disappointed, unhappy and angry, and I won’t be nice to you, if you don’t love me, or are being ungrateful/unappreciative, or are not nice to me.”

“This is who you are. Don’t forget or abandon this. This is your root, your ancestors, your name, your gender, your role, your obligated behavior, your thinking, your belief, your culture, your spirituality, your religion, your God, your parents, your family, your friends and relatives, your community, your nationality, your motherland, your dignity, your pride, your duty and this is your life. All these are who and what you are. You need love and consent from all these that make you who you are, or else you will be sick and die due to lack of love, loneliness and meaninglessness. You need to attain love, support, agreement, acknowledgement, cooperation, companionship from them. You must love them and they will love you and bless you with your desires come true, happiness, goodness and prosperity. You should fight/hurt/destroy the threats upon you and them at all cost to protect all these values of what make you who you are.”

The impure egoistic possessive minds want and expect strong attachment and dependence among family members, community members, parents and children, siblings, friends, citizens, human beings, and etc. They encourage the development/empowerment of a strong personal/cultural/religious/family/worldly/community/national identity that build on mental and emotional dependence among each other. Mental and emotional independence appears to be something ‘wrong’, ‘unhealthy’, ‘bad, ‘crazy’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘sickness’, or ‘impossible’ for many people even though different people come from different backgrounds of culture/thinking/belief/practice. Reasoning, or analytical thinking, or questioning the truth of things are being considered as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ for many people who have personal goal/ambition/agenda that depend on the ‘support’ from other people.

There is no doubt that physical, mental and emotional independence can be limited and restricted due to circumstances. Such like infants and young children/physically or mentally ill or injured or disabled people/old people/emotionally or mentally disturbed people will need special attention and care, physical help, mental help, emotional support from other people to support and help them in their everyday living, to go through difficult moments, or need to be physically depending on other people for many things during the time of young age, sickness, injuries, weakness, old age, immobility, or suffering from mental or emotional disability.

One can be mentally and emotionally independent even though one is physically depending on other people for many things in life, unless one is suffering from mental and emotional disability. Just like those who are not suffering physical limitation or disability don’t need to rely or depend on others physically, so as, those who are not suffering from mental or emotional disability don’t need to rely on or depend on others mentally or emotionally. But then, how come so many people glorify and advocate mental and emotional dependence among each other, thinking that it’s not possible or it’s not good for human beings to be mentally and emotionally independent?

Be free.

Untruthfulness and dishonesty

Whether we like it or not, most people have been being untruthful or dishonest every once in a while or regularly. It’s a habit that has been building up since childhood where the children are being brought up by their parents or elders with the habit of fictional and fantasized stories making and telling (untrue), joking (untrue), white lies (untrue), hypocrisy (untrue), boasting (not necessarily true), pleasing (most probably untrue), or acting (untrue) as something ‘normal’, ‘appropriate manners’ or ‘play safe’ to be interacting with other people in the family, in the relationships, in the society, in the social media, in the politics.

The children are being taught to be untruthful, dishonest and hypocrite by telling (white) lies, boasting, joking, pleasing or acting so that they do not upset or offend other people, or they should please other people, as one of the manners/politeness/appropriate behavior in their cultural and social practice.

A lot of time, untruthfulness and dishonesty is the by-product of fear.

Whenever the children are being aware of they might have done something they shouldn’t be doing that they think it would upset their parents or their friends, and most probably, out of fear of being criticized, or scolded, or punished, or unloved by their parents or their friends, and fear of losing the supportive treatments from their parents or their friends, children would tell lies to hide the truth, being untruthful or dishonest. And this untruthful and dishonest behavior becomes a natural habit to ‘play safe’ and to ‘please other people’ in their childhood and continue to follow them into their adulthood.

When the children have the initiative to tell the truth or admit to their parents that they might have done something that they think it might upset their parents, and if the parents react with anger and aggressiveness towards the children or the incident, or inflict punishment onto the children, the children will tend to be untruthful or dishonest from then on. Instead, if the parents react with calmness, acceptance, forgiveness and letting go, knowing that by getting upset and angry won’t undo what had happened, then the children will tend to be truthful and honest from then on. It also allows the children to learn to appreciate truthfulness and honesty, and learn about acceptance, forgiveness and letting go. Children making mistakes is a great learning process for both the parents and the children, to become responsible compassionate people, who accept and love themselves and other people as they are, even though they are not perfect.

Truthfulness and honesty is one of the important basic practice in yoga. Without it, numerous of other yoga practice are meaningless. But for many people who grew up under that kind of parenting or upbringing to behave ‘appropriately’ and ‘politely’ in their relationships with everyone, in the family, in the school, in the workplace, or in the society, being untruthful and dishonest is something ‘right’ and ‘good’, while being truthful and honest is something ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’. They think that it’s needless to abandon untruthfulness and dishonesty when they take up yoga practice, thinking that it’s the ‘normal’ and ‘correct’ way of living and interacting with everyone in the society in order to have ‘healthy’ and ‘happy’ relationships with everyone.

How many conversations between people don’t contain any untruthfulness or dishonesty?

Many people who are under the influence of the ego are either don’t like the truth or being afraid of the truth. As most of the time, the truth is something difficult or unpleasant or painful for the untrained minds.

When people try to tell the truth of a ‘good son’ to his parents that their ‘good son’ isn’t really good, the parents say, “No. Don’t tell us (the truth). We don’t want to know about it. Our son is all good. We brought him up to be good. He is a good boy.”

People can’t live and interact with other people ‘normally’ in this world without being untruthful or dishonest a little bit here and there.

While yoga is about the truth. No matter how difficult or unpleasant or painful is the truth, one has no fear of the truth.

And hence, those who truly practice yoga, they stay away from the society and observe seclusion and solitude, to avoid unnecessary untruthfulness and dishonesty.

Teach the children to accept and love themselves as they are

If we want to help to build a more peaceful and compassionate society, it’s very important to have young generations that are selfless, peaceful, wise and compassionate, and hence, how the parents or caretakers and the influence of the surrounding environment for the children growing up to be adults/leaders that are endowed with awareness, self-discipline, self-control, independence, truthfulness, honesty, peace, wisdom and compassion is very crucial.

We need to teach the children how to accept and love themselves as they are, to develop awareness, independence, self-discipline and self-control, to inquire the truth of everything, to realize the truth of impermanence and selflessness, to be free from craving and aversion, to have unconditional peace and compassion, so that they don’t need to depend on the qualities of names and forms that are impermanent to be who they are. They don’t need to depend on receiving other people’s love, kindness, acknowledgement, compliments, supports, friendships, relationships and companionship, or depending on a wishful desirable perfect world, to be who they are, to be proud, to be confident, to feel meaningful, to be happy, and to perform actions that are wholesome to themselves and others, out of free-will, out of compassion towards oneself and others, without attachment or identification towards the actions and the result of the actions to be who they are.

They know what are their ability and limitation. They are not defined by their ability and limitation to be who they are. They do their best to achieve what they want to achieve, but they have no attachment or identification towards the ability or limitation, the achievement or non-achievement. They allow other people to think, to judge, to compare, to expect, to like and dislike, to agree and disagree with towards their ability and limitation, but they are not affected or defined by other people’s thinking, judgment, comparison, expectation, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements.

Being free from pride and arrogance, they know how to take consideration towards other people’s advice, but without taking other people’s advice blindly, and they know how to make use of the opportunity that is available to make decision and perform actions that they think are the best, without attachment or expectation towards the outcome of the decision made and the actions performed.

They can work in a group, cooperating with all levels and respecting all levels as equally important, without the sense of superiority or inferiority, knowing that the entire system requires every levels to work together for it to be functioning, but at the same time, they can work independently as well, when cooperation from others is not available.

The society will naturally have more peace and harmony by having less personal, family, relationship, social, political and religious problems if the children grow up to be adults/leaders in the society who are endowed with peace, wisdom and compassion, being free from ignorance, egoism and impurities.

Unfortunately, most people who became parents are not free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, and are being conditioned and influenced by worldly, cultural, social and religious thinking and belief to live their life and how they bring up their children. Many children grow up to be adults/leaders living in the society with some sorts of psychological issues and behavior problems, full of discrimination, pride, arrogance, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, selfishness, aggression, violence, corruption, untruthfulness, dishonesty, offensiveness, defensiveness, animosity, depression, low self-esteem, hurts, regret, guilt, fear and worry. And then, when they try to runaway from or cover up what they think is not good or bad or negative or imperfect about themselves, that they don’t like about themselves, that they don’t want any others to know about it, they might create further and deeper problems for themselves and others, in their life and relationships, and in the society.

This is due to many parenting are influenced by the worldly, cultural, social and religious thinking and belief that emphasizing on empowering the ego of the children to boost their self-esteem or self-confidence or self-image by giving them praise and compliment and rewards to motivate and encourage them to be what the parents expect them to be and by giving them criticism and threat and punishment to discourage them to be what the parents don’t want them to be, telling them that they need to do well and be good but also always be better and better, so that they can please other people, to attain praise and compliment, love, support, approval, agreement, acknowledgement and friendship or relationship from others to be who they are.

Whether they are aware of unaware of it, many parents bring up their children by emphasizing on the empowerment of the worldly egoistic nature with great attachment and identification towards the qualities of names and forms, to be somebody that the children and their parents and other people would be proud of. This empowerment of egoism generates separateness and discrimination, that give rise to many personal, family, relationship and social problems in one’s life and in the society.

If children start early to develop correct understanding towards the thinking and behavior pattern, actions and reactions, craving and aversion, feelings and emotions, all sorts of mind activities and impurities, the ego and egoism, and train to eradicate egoistic thinking and behavior that give rise to restlessness and the impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy, corruption, untruthfulness, dishonesty, violence, animosity, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, regret, guilt, fear and worry, they can be kind and compassionate towards other beings, but without expecting or craving for love and kindness and appreciation from other people in return, without clinging onto other people’s love and kindness and appreciation to be who they are.

Children growing up suffering from low self-esteem is because of the parents make them think and believe that they have to be in certain ways and achieve certain qualities, in order to be accepted and be loved by their parents and other people. They were told that they don’t deserve love and they shouldn’t love themselves if they are not good enough, that they shouldn’t accept themselves as they are, as they need to be better and better, and never stop being better. There will never a point that they are good enough so that they can accept and love themselves, as they are. Because the parents are so afraid that their children will stop improving themselves if they think they are good enough. And so, the parents make sure that their children never think that they are good enough.

When these children couldn’t be in certain ways or achieve certain qualities, their parents will show dissatisfaction, disappointment and aggressiveness towards them, and this make them think and believe that they are not good enough, that they don’t deserve acceptance and love from their parents and other people, or even from themselves. They don’t know how to love themselves and they also don’t know how to accept or love other people as they are, as they will also be like their parents, that they will also have expectation towards other people to meet up with their expectation towards other people, that they have to be in certain ways and achieve certain qualities, to be good enough, but they will never be good enough, as they need to be better and better.

If the children grow up knowing how to accept and love themselves as they are, unconditionally, they will always accept and love themselves as they are, regardless they are being in the way that their parents or other people expect them to be, or not, and whether they achieve the qualities that their parents and other people expect them to achieve, or not. And they will also know how to accept and love other people as they are, without expecting other people have to be the way that they think they should be, or to achieve certain qualities that they like and agree with.

It’s not easy to guide children. Parents or caretakers who devote their time, effort, patience, love and acceptance towards the children unconditionally, is a great yoga practice. They don’t need to be regularly doing some forms of yoga exercise, or breathing exercise, or chanting and prayer, or ritual, or to call themselves yoga practitioners or yogis, but by nurturing young children to grow up becoming responsible, peaceful and compassionate members of the family and the society, without egoism of attachment, identification and expectation, just do their best, and let go of the outcome, allowing the children to learn and evolve as they are, and love them as they are, unconditionally, is a great yoga practice and great contribution to humanity.

Be free.

The connection between low self-esteem and parenting

There’s a huge connection between low self-esteem and the way of the parents bring up their children.

Low self-esteem is a form of mental illness. And there are quite many of the world population are suffering from some forms of mental illness, especially low self-esteem.

The main element that contributes to low self-esteem is the family brought up of how the parents bring up their children, where people are being influenced by the trends of the society on how they bring up their children, where the society emphasize on appearance, performance and achievements to be the important values of a society.

People feel that they need to look and behave and carry themselves in certain ways so that they will be accepted and respected by the family and the society. Their perception towards themselves of what they think is who they are and their life existence is very much being defined by their appearance, performance and achievements that is determined by the expectation, opinion, commentary, judgment and criticism from themselves and other people towards them.

Proudness is the shadow that follows low self-esteem. If low self-esteem is absent, proudness doesn’t exist.

Those who suffer from low self-esteem need to feel proud of oneself. This is mainly the responsibility of how their parents brought them up. The parents have expectation towards their children and whether they are aware or unaware, whether intentionally or unintentionally, they are influencing the thinking and belief of their children to become the person that they want them to be and the way that they like it to be, and the way that they think is good for their children. They try to motivate their children to be they way that they like them to be by giving them praise and compliment, and they try to demotivate their children to be the way that they don’t like it to be by giving them criticism and punishment. There’s always assessment and judgment coming from the parents towards their children for how they look and behave, how they perform physically and mentally, and what they achieve or can’t achieve. They will be happy and be nice to their children when their children fulfill their expectation, that they behave and achieve something the way that they like it to be. They won’t be happy or be nice to their children when their children didn’t fulfill their expectation, that they didn’t behave or achieve something the way that they like it to be.

The parents hope that their children are ‘good’ enough and be competent to be able to compete with other people in the society to excel among the others and to be able to fit in into the higher or better class of the society. They want their children to be successful to be respected by the society and live life meaningfully, according to their thinking and belief about what is success and live life meaningfully.

Many parents will say this to their children, whether they are aware or unaware of the consequences of their action and speech, and whether they really mean what they say, or not. But the children will take it seriously, even if the parents didn’t really mean what they say.

“You need to have some sorts of expectation towards yourself to improve and be better. Set up your goal and expectation and strive to achieve your goal and expectation. Then you are considered successful and well-deserved lots of love and happiness and respect from everyone.”

“Good boy/girl! Well done! You make us so proud, mummy and daddy love you so much. Keep it up and be better and better.”

“You are so bad and terrible. Can’t make anyone proud of you. You don’t deserve love from anyone. Mummy and daddy don’t want you anymore. We are so disappointed in you.”

“If you are like this, mummy and daddy don’t want to love you. Look at your sister/brother/friend, they are so much better than you.”

“If you achieve this result, we will give you this and bring you there. If you don’t, we won’t give you this or bring you there. Let you stay at home by yourself. We only bring your brother and sister.”

“Say please and thank you, or else, I won’t give you what you want.”

“Come on, you can do better than this, and you will make everyone proud of you.”

“Are you a good boy/girl, or not? This is not good enough, you can be better than this. If you are very good, then people will love you. If you are not good, then no one will love you.”

This is how the parents nurture their children to grow up becoming people who suffer from all sorts of mental illness.

They always feel bad and dissatisfied with themselves towards the ability, performance and achievements of their physical body and their mind. They always feel that they need to compare and compete with other people, including their siblings, their spouse, their friends, their classmates, their colleagues, their neighbours, and anybody. There is an instinct to constantly judge their and other people’s appearance, ability, performances and achievements to compare and compete with one another. They were being told by their parents to think and believe that they are always not good enough and will never be good enough, that they always have to be better than what they are now. They want to be loved by their parents and everyone, but they think they must first be good enough, and they always afraid of being not good enough for their parents and other people, even though they know they are good enough for themselves. They always longing for praise and compliment, liking, support, agreement and acknowledgement from other people, especially the parents, siblings, friends and spouse. Or else, they will feel very dissatisfied, disappointed and depressed about themselves and their life.

It’s so tiring to try to fulfill the expectation from their parents and the society and themselves, to be good enough that they can be proud of themselves in order to love themselves, and to please everyone expecting people will like and love and be nice to them, for their whole life, in the family, in love relationship, in friendships, in the school, in the workplace, or in the community. They are defined and determined by their actions and the result of their actions, and other people’s reaction and treatment towards them to be who they are, to be happy and feel meaningful, or not.

Those who are free from low self-esteem don’t need to feel proud of anything. They don’t feel bad or dissatisfied about themselves for being what they are, as they are. They know what they can achieve and what is their limitation. But they are not defined or determined by their achievement or limitation to be who they are. They don’t need praise and compliment, liking, support, agreement and acknowledgement from anyone. They are not affected or disturbed or determined by other people’s expectation, opinion, commentary, judgment or criticism towards them. They are not determined or affected by their actions and the result of their actions. They don’t need to be good enough the way that how the world think and believe as good enough in order to love themselves. They love themselves as they are, and they love everyone as they are.

This is the essence of yoga.

There are yoga practitioners including some yoga teachers are not free from the suffering of some forms of mental illness, and it’s okay. There’s nothing to be ashamed about if the mind is not free. Everyone takes their own time to practice and realize the truth and be free.

Children grow up without a ‘proper’ family is NOT something terrible, bad or suffering

In the conditional worldly thinking and belief, people normally and naturally think and believe that if children grow up without a ‘proper’ family, it MUST be something ‘terrible’, ‘bad’ or ‘suffering’.

Children grow up without a ‘proper’ family is NOT something terrible, bad or suffering. Growing up without a ‘proper’ family might not be easy and it might be more challenging and requires more effort and self-discipline than other children who grow up in a ‘proper’ family, but it is not something terrible, bad or suffering.

There’s nothing wrong with people being sympathetic or empathetic, and to show sympathy or empathy towards other living beings who experience something that they believe as ‘terrible’, ‘bad’ or ‘suffering’, but it doesn’t mean that this type of ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ thinking and belief and sympathetic/empathetic reaction will benefit the children who unwittingly having such ‘abnormal’ growing up condition.

Most people react with “Oh! This child is so pitiful for having no father, or mother, or both parents. What an unfortunate and suffering life this child has.” or “Oh! So sad. This child must be so unhappy to not having a father, or a mother, or both parents, or family, or siblings, or relatives, or friends.”

People have the freedom for what they want to think and believe, and how they want to feel and react. But if people really want to help the children without a ‘proper’ family, people should stop ‘feeling sorry’ for the children. People need to stop making the children think and believe that people should be or are ‘feeling sorry’ for them because it is something terrible, bad or suffering for them to grow up without a ‘proper’ family. By making the children to think and believe that it is something terrible, bad or suffering for having no ‘proper’ family, that they deserve ‘special treatments’ or extra love, attention and support from other people, it will only encourage the children to develop stronger attachment/desire/craving for ‘love’, ‘attention’ and ‘support’ from other people. This doesn’t help or benefit them at all.

If people truly want to help the children who don’t have a ‘proper’ family, they can teach and guide the children how to love themselves without the need of self-pity, self-blame, sympathy and empathy from other people, or envy towards other children who have a ‘proper’ family. It will be good if there are people being there to show sympathy, love and support for them, but if there’s no sympathy, love and support from other people, it’s fine. It’s totally okay for not having a ‘proper’ family, if one knows how to love oneself, being free from ignorance and egoism, being unconditioned by conditional worldly thinking and belief. There’s no bitterness, sorrow, anger, hatred, low self-esteem, defensiveness, offensiveness, envy, fear and worry for having a more challenging growing up life condition than other people.

People can be peaceful and happy as they are, with or without a ‘proper’ family, or parents, or siblings, or relatives, or friends. But if people are being conditioned to think and believe that children grow up without a ‘proper’ family, or parents, or siblings, or relatives, or friends, it must be something terrible, bad or suffering, that they should feel bad about themselves, that other people should feel sorry for them, or people need to have a ‘proper’ family, or parents, or siblings, or relatives, or friends in order to be happy and live life meaningfully, or else they will be suffering from loneliness and they are ‘doomed’ to be unhappy and live life meaninglessly, then that is what the children will become – Restlessly craving for ‘love’, ‘attention’ and ‘support’ from other people or ‘somebody’, for them to feel loved, happy and meaningful. Or else, they will feel unloved, unhappy and meaningless. They will always be dissatisfied and disappointed either with themselves for being ‘not good enough’ or with other people for being ‘unloving’, ‘unsupportive’, or ‘unsympathetic’, when they are not getting the right amount of love, attention and support that they think they deserve to be getting from other people.

When one knows how to love oneself, one will be free from restless desire/craving for love, attention and support from other people, and this freedom from desire/craving for love, attention and support allows one to be happy and peaceful as one is.

Or else, children might grow up having a ‘proper’ family and receive lots of love, attention and support, but they might not be free from attachment/desire/craving towards something that will make them feel happy and meaningful, as they think they need to have or they expect ‘love’, ‘attention’ and ‘support’ from other people for them to feel loved, happy and meaningful. They are not free at all, as they don’t know how to love themselves.

Be free.

Children grow up without a father or a mother or both parents

Of course, it would be good if the children grow up in an environment that they are being loved and supported by both ‘loving’ parents.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, one of the parents is not there to love and support the children as they grow up, it would be good if at least there is a ‘loving’ father or mother being there to love and support the children.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, both of the parents are not there to love and support the children as they grow up, it would be good if they can depend on some other people’s charity, love and support until they become independent.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, there’s nobody being there to love and support the children as they grow up, that they have to depend on themselves and nature, it would be good if the children know how to love themselves and be independent without self-pity, self-blame and bitterness, no matter how difficult and harsh it can be.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, the children grow up in an environment where one or both of the parents or the care taker, is ignorant, unloving, selfish and abusive, it would be better if the children grow up without the parents or any care takers. Growing up in an environment surrounded by and under the influence of ignorant people with ignorant behavior can be worst than being alone not be surrounded by ignorant people with ignorant influences. Children grow up under the care of one or both of the parents are not necessarily well brought up to have the correct understanding of life and be free from unhappiness and suffering, who won’t hurt themselves or other beings out of ignorance and egoism, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

If life appears to be challenging and difficult, most important is that one knows how to love oneself, and has peace and compassion. It’s not a suffering or unfortunate if one grows up being abandoned or unloved or unsupported or being abused, if one has self-awareness and self-realization, be free from ignorance and egoism. There’s no need of self-pity, self-blame, anger, hatred, envy, bitterness, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear or worry.

Being alone, by oneself, of solitude, is not something ‘bad’ or ‘difficult’ or ‘hardship’ or ‘suffering’. It’s indeed a great ‘fortune’ to immerse into the silence of solitude, of peace and compassion, being free from ignorance and egoism.

Many people are surrounded by some or many other people, of family and friends, but they are not necessarily peaceful and be free from suffering.

Be free.

The relationship between the parents and the children

This article is about the relationship between the parents and the children in ‘conventional’ family affairs/relationships. It’s not about sensitive cases involve ‘unconventional’ single parenting out of sexual abuse and rape.

Before two people in a love relationship want to create/bring in new lives/beings/children to form a family, they need to know what is love. Real love. Unconditional love. If not, it is the main factor why there are conflicts/unhappiness/affliction exist in many families which create broken children growing up into broken relationships/family of their own.

When the parents create/bring a new life/being into the world, they never, and couldn’t ask the permission/consent of this being for creating this life and bringing this being into the world, as this life/being didn’t exist until the parents had created this life/being whether through sexual intercourse or higher technology, whether intentionally or unintentionally, whether wittingly or unwittingly. Children are being born without their own free will or consent, but unwittingly out of the parents’ desire to have children, or out of both or one of the parents’ act of lust even though they have no desire to have any children. And yet, many parents think and believe that these beings/children belong to them, where they think that they have the authority on the children about how they want to treat and bring up the children and whether they will love and care for them, or not. The parents also think that children are born with the obligation, duty and responsibility towards their parents and all the other family members.

There are many parents don’t have any intention to have children, but the child is conceived accidentally out of their act of lust, and these children are ‘unwelcome’ in their life/relationship. Maybe some parents might change their minds to ‘welcome’ the child into their life/relationships, and will love and care for the child, but some parents might ‘perceive’ the child as a ‘burden’ to their life/relationship, and they don’t love or care for the child. Some even abandon the child to their relatives, or children homes, or on the streets. Maybe the abandon child will get love and care from some other people, maybe not. Meanwhile, some didn’t abandon the ‘unwelcome’ child, but they don’t love the child at all and this generates great damages to the child’s overall well-being. The parents don’t see that it’s their own responsibility for conceiving the child out of their act of lust whether wittingly or unwittingly, and yet, they blame the existence of the child for ‘giving’ them ‘problems’.

Most parents who intentionally and wittingly to create lives/children to form a family think and believe that it is because of love. Two people love each other and want to create children/family that ‘belong’ to both of them, that they share together. Some parents create/bring in children to build a stronger connection/relationship/bond between the two of them, or as fuel to keep their relationship alive. This is a complete selfish desire to have children, but people don’t see it as selfishness. Children are being born because the parents want to gratified their desire to have children to form a family to be the connection/bonding medium for their relationship.

Some parents do ‘love’ their children unconditionally, but some might not realize that their desire to have children is selfishness, and their ‘love’ towards their children is conditional/possessive love that comes with great expectation/condition. Some don’t even have the love, patience, effort and time to ‘nurture’ and ‘look after’ a child, but just because they have the basic instinct/desire to be a mother or a father, and so, they produce children.

Many parents don’t realize that there are hidden selfish intentions/conditions in bringing/creating new lives into their relationship/family. Many parents expect something in return by creating/bringing in children onto their life/relationship. They think that by having children it will ‘bring’ joy and happiness into their life. They think that by having children it will give them meaningfulness in life or take away their loneliness/boredom. They think that by having children it will ‘keep’ their marriage/relationship to stay alive and connected. They think that by having children, they will grow up to bring back money to support their life. They think that by having children, the children will look after them when they are old or sick. They think that by having children, they will be loved. They think that by having children, it will make their life or relationship complete. They think that by having children, it will make them become a real man and a complete woman.

There are many people get married merely to form a family life and reproduce, which they think it’s a ‘solution’ or ‘investment’ for them to deal with unhappy relationship/marriage, loneliness, emptiness, old age and sickness.

Many parents have expectation towards their children that the children have to love and care for the parents in return for the love and care that the parents have been giving to their children. They expect/think that all children ‘are obliged to’ or ‘should naturally’ show love and care to their parents as it is the duty and responsibility of the children towards their parents. The children should appreciate and be grateful and thankful to their parents for bringing them into the world, feed them and nurture them, and so, all children should show gratitude by giving their love and care to their parents in return. This is conditional love / selfish love / possessive love. And when they think their children don’t love and care for them, or don’t love and care for them enough, they feel disappointed and hurt. They are disappointed and hurt by their own expectation towards the idea of having children. They don’t love their children. They love what they think they can get from having children.

Either they feel sad about their children unloving behavior, or they feel bad and sorry for themselves for being unloved by their own children, or they feel disappointed, hurt and angry with their children for not loving them or care for them after they have been showing lots of love and care to bring their children up, or after they have invested so much ‘time’, ‘effort’, ‘money’ and ‘love’ for the children’s upbringing, welfare and education.

It’s common and natural that the parents would feel disappointed or hurt or angry if their children don’t love them or don’t love them enough, but then know that this is because these parents don’t really love their children, but they only love what they think they should be receiving from having a family life by having children. And thus, when they don’t get what they think they should be getting from creating/having a family, they react in such way.

If the parents truly love their children, they will love their children as they are and won’t be disappointed or upset or feel hurt, even if the children are not good to their parents or don’t love their parents, or don’t behave the way that what people think all ‘good’ children should behave, or if they think their children didn’t carry out the duty and responsibility of being the children of their parents. People feel disappointed, hurt and upset in children/family affairs is because they think they love their children/family but they don’t really know what is love or how to love. This is absolutely nothing to do with how the children treat their parents, or whether the children are being good and loving to their parents, or not.

It’s normal for the parents to show love and care for their children, but many don’t realize that they have great expectation towards their children to be the type of people that they would like them to be, that the children are obliged to listen to and follow all their commands/wishes, and they must show love and care in return for the parents’ love and care for them.

When the parents want to be recognized as ‘good parents’, ‘good father’ and ‘good mother’, they put so much pressure onto the children to make sure they grow up to be ‘successful’ people that will make their parents, friends and relatives feel proud of. The parents feel proud of themselves to be able to produce and bring up children that appear to be ‘somebody’ that they feel proud of. Or else, they are frustrated/disappointed with themselves and their children as they couldn’t produce and bring up children to be ‘somebody’ that would make them feel proud of. Meanwhile, the children grow up becoming people who keep looking for acknowledgement from other people, to make people feel proud of them, to feel “I am good enough” in order to feel confident, meaningful, and being loved. Or else, they feel disappointed/depressed about themselves for unable to be ‘good enough’ to make their parents or other people to feel proud of. And this affects their relationship with everyone else. These are the ‘values’ that were passing down from generations to generations of what a family means and what to expect from creating a family.

If the children are born out of real love, where the parents have the unconditional love and knowledge of life to give to another life/being unconditionally, then the parents wouldn’t think/expect that their children are born with the duty and responsibility as children towards their parents and all the other family members, that the children are obliged to love and look after their parents and all the other members in the family. The parents will just do their best to nurture the children, teach them to love and look after themselves, until the children are independent, they’ll let them go and allow the children to evolve to be what they are. As well as the children shouldn’t be taught or feel that it’s a duty and responsibility for being the children of their parents and being one of the family members, that they are obliged to give something back in return and to love and look after their parents and the rest of the family members. But, out of everyone’s own free will, out of unconditional love, out of compassion, everyone do their best to be kind to oneself and each other, to love and look after oneself and one another without expecting anything in return. There’s no disappointment, hurt, anger, bitterness or unhappiness. Everyone loves and accepts one another as they are.

It’s not because it’s an obligation, duty and responsibility, that’s why the children ‘have to’ love and look after the parents and the other family members. It’s not because of gratitude towards the parents’ love and care for them, that’s why the children ‘have to’ love and care for the parents in return. It’s even without obligation, duty or responsibility, a being can show love and care for other beings. It’s even other beings don’t show love and care for a being, this being can still be loving and kind towards other beings.

May all families have peace and harmony, being free from suffering/affliction/unhappiness that derived from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desires and expectation.