Relationship With My Parents
Posted by Kunal Chawla on Apr 22, 2016
I want to share a short reflection on an experience I'm having. So, I am 34 years old, and for the first time in my young life I am truly experiencing happiness. It has come to me because a relationship that I care about very deeply is spectacular right now. That is the relationship with my parents.
My parents and I always had a pretty mediocre relationship. Just average. There was a lot of tacit love, but there wasn't the kind of overt emotional support that they wanted or I wanted. Few months ago, though, something changed. I quit my job, and I went back to India. In fact, I moved back to India. I started living with them because I wanted to consciously invest time in that relationship. Being in a privileged position to not be sitting in a car commuting to and from work and not spending 10, 12 hours at work, I had the time to think about the kind of son I wanted to be. Previously, I just did not have that time. I would come back at 8:00 pm, and I would be spent. I was on a trigger. Any small thing would annoy me.
And then, something else happened. My parents and I found a mechanism to share happiness -- through music.
I went into their bedroom one day. They were both there. I was sitting down, and I turned on the radio (which is actually an app on my iPad). There's a radio station called The Golden Oldies, which are songs from the 50s, 60s and the 70s! My parents love them, and I love them too. Two hours would pass by before dinner, and we would be listening to this beautiful music in the background. Without saying anything, we would be bonding. A really beautiful moment was when I observed my father -- a very stoic, serious man, sitting crossed legged without saying anything, with his feet tapping. I knew that the music was getting to him. Similarly, my mother would start telling me these stories about a song and the movie. "Oh, when it came out your aunt and I, we went to this movie theater. It still exists." These beautiful stories and conversations emerged because of the music.
Our relationship isn't squeezed tight anymore. There is slack built into it, which helps during those times of the day when we end up annoying each other. :)
My biggest reflection here is that this happened to me because I found the time for it to happen. I think when Eckhart Tolle is talking about space for relationships, he's also talking about time.