“If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family”

Vaibhav. My mind is yet in the “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family”-category of restlessness…

Dear one,

I am sorry it has been tough for you….
I hope you do what you need to come to a safe, non-judgmental place within, of your journey. 

Having lived with my family for a while I know it can be tough and our reactions and responses to situations can make it seem that we have spiritually regressed. But the body of enlightenment never gets touched…. it isn’t affected by judgement, by self or other. Neither is it affected by extreme negativity. It rests in silence… a dispassionate, impartial and constant companion to the movement of the psyche. Whoever wrote the line you sent me, simply doesn’t understand that which is called enlightenment. 

It doesn’t take away our problems but the recognition of the impartial witness heals us by helping us realise that the situation we are in is a choice. (Initially this recognition may be purely intellectual knowing. The embodiment of this knowing is meditation) There simply is no compulsion to remain in a negative situation except for our own psychological needs.

Recognising biases picked up in early childhood is very difficult as they rest in the collective subconscious of the family structure and often isn’t just a physically embodied mind block. Which is what makes healing familial issues tough. We simply cant see it as it doesn’t rest within our individual brain. It is a bubble of projections that we live within. It requires us to take the position of other family members in order to see all angles and all projections. “When we learn to hold these multiple positions are held simultaneously, the position of our inner child is seen to be only one possible view of the situation”. There is now space. As if suddenly we can breathe. If the inner child was an asshole it continues to be so but it doesn’t paint the whole picture anymore. Wisdom and compassion for other’s position has now relegated the child to a small corner of the drawing board. 

Therapy can help identify what our psychological needs and projections are by systematically taking the viewpoint of different family members during trigger situations. (Tip: there are a few critical trigger memories that if we can resolve, the whole structure begins to be seen. The family bias is built on these memories….. hmmm, actually there are unconscious impressions to deal with as well but that is left to time, grace and embodiment of the impartial witness ) Once these are seen clearly,  it is fulfilled fully. And that can help remove the projections we make on our family and relax the negativity bias. Once we see clearly the tradeoff we have been making, we then have a more conscious ability to choose our relationship with our family of birth. 

Our deep need for parental love cannot be fulfilled by spiritual practice. An early stage awakening can make it seem we have been released…. but that is only a glimpse… a gift. The hard work is brought to us when we are ready for it. 
It takes time to recognise that the parents have given what they can and that we have “already fulfilled” our duty to them. They have fulfilled theirs. These expectations are held within the family bubble but closure can arise individually. We have to SEE the tradeoff we have bought into. Accepting this brings closure to those relationships. We are then no longer bound by the “idea” of a family…. and we can now enjoy them for who they are or simply walk away. The mother is no longer a mother but just another woman playing the role of a mother, maybe well or maybe poorly. Same for the father. The relationships are redefined when the bargaining chips and control triggers are eradicated. The mind then moves naturally, efficiently within this structure as well. Using tools of positive and negative reinforcement as needed.

Just sharing. It isn’t easy but definitely doable and actually not as impossible to surmount. For the inner baby or child everything seems huge and monstrous… getting over this is important. Once we embody our adult, we may find the situation to be very different. Simpler, clearer. Getting a good therapist for a few sessions can accelerate the journey. 

Again…. dont take your mind so seriously. That poem is absolutely true. However your mind moves, your nature is freedom. 

Best of luck!