Thursday, November 26, 2009

BE: Parents and Love

I am dedicating today's missive on parental conflict to my parents who are together today, but in another country. Even though I am not with them and they don't celebrate Thanksgiving or really understand it, I know they are thinking of me and turkeys and mashed things. My parents are the greatest remote parents on earth. This is me, giving thanks, while I talk about the anxiety and conflict that their mercurial love and poor judgement cause me every day. Having said that, my parents are the best parents anyone in the world could ask for. Not just parents, but my best friends, my karma doctors, my essence. Below is a conversation I had with Sanjay Witherspoon, who teaches ancient parental conflict resolution philosophy in his awesomely decorated yurt in Shoreditch.

Question: SW, why is it that our parents can bother us so much, even as adults, by just being there for us?

SW: This is the wrong way to ask this very important question. The correct way to ask it is, why, as a pre-born spirit, you choose parents whose very existence would drive you crazy. This is the question. Any other way of asking it shifts the blame to someone else. And, it is important as a child, to stay true to the idea that you are the center, the core and all things start with you. If they drive you crazy it is, in the end, your fault. Or your mother's.

Question: If all things start and end with me, the child, why do they result in withering exchanges when all I want is world peace?

SW: Do you? Do you really want world peace? Or, is your quest one of holistic unification with the womb? Something you can achieve only through systematic vedic annihilation of the parent as other. In a peaceful way, of course. If you can recognize that your parents are on the same quest in a never ending infinite path of parental conflict and irresolution then you can come closer than they have to achieving your goal.

Question: What?

SW: If you can recognize that your parents are on the same quest in a never ending infinite path of parental conflict and irresolution then you can come closer...

Question: Nevermind. But, where does it end? Do I exist in a penumbra, consigned to always labor as a child to understand how my parent's ineptitude will affect my diet and my skin?

SW: Diet and skin are the most important facets of your relationships with your parents. These things are not negotiable. Emotional instability, episodic depression. These you can live with. If you cannot maintain healthy diet and skin the right course of action is to walk away.

Question: Walk away. This is one of the core tenets of your philosophy, but it is easier said then done. I tried to walk away last night but after my parents yelled at me and then at each other I had to stop in my tracks. The shift from their yelling at each other to yelling at me was startling. I realized that who they were yelling at made a huge difference. I mean, I really don't like it when they team up and yell at me. Where does it end?

SW: In the fetal position.

Question: Is that a yoga position?

SW: No, it's the actual fetal position: a tightly wound ball of infantile immobility and insecurity.

Question: Could we make it a yoga position? Because then I could wear my friend Stella M's new line of not-too-pricey-if-price-is-no-object line of yoga clothes sold at the Gap.

SW: I suppose so.

Question: If my parents wear the same clothes will it make us feel better?

SW: Maybe, but it's doubtful.

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. Kayahaleh.

SW: Kayahaleh.

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