Reply To: Can you really "Love" your family?

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Deepak # Posted on August 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

@mitchapalooza, I have thought about the same question a lot of times earlier. Generally when society or external authorities impose anything on us, free thinker personalities tend to immediately rebel against it or play the devil’s advocate. I was kind of like that in my early adult days and I just didn’t understand how can it be a objective moral that you HAVE TO LOVE your immediate family, extended family, relatives etc. Whenever I asked people about this question, the question itself would make them squirm and they would give very emotional responses and look at me in a weird way like even asking that question is a sin.

In my childhood, I had a highly abusive and strained relationship with my sister. It started getting unbearable, so I tried to entirely weed her out of my life in-spite of staying in the same house. I stop all direct communication with her for 5 years. In the first year of doing this, there were some very unpleasant side effects. I was involuntarily ignoring all the people I came across, which I think is because I was rejecting such a big part of myself (I may say I am rejecting her, but if you see it more deeply, you are rejecting the personal experiences that this person has evoked in you, those experiences are ultimately yours, which is why I say it is actually a rejection of yourself)

Then I thought to myself, let me put society, whatever I have read, external authorities and all other people aside. I tried to introspect and apply pure reasoning to find the broad perspective behind this matter. I noticed that the external objects by themselves are quite inert. Its our projections on them that creates experiences. For e.g.: When you are sick, everything looks miserable and when you are elated, everything looks wonderful. The experience is because of your projections and not the things themselves. The things are immaterial :).

So if you had bad experiences with your mother, sister, relatives etc., one common tendency is to simply reject them and get them out of your identity definition. As you try to weed them out of your identity, you wonder how is love possible. But look at it from another perspective. You self is almost entirely defined by your memory. The frequency of memories and first experiences is far higher in early childhood years and then in adulthood it is much lower (which is why time appears to move faster as we age). So a majority of your identity(memory based) would be tied to your childhood experiences.

If you reject large parts of these experiences, then you are creating a divided mind within yourself. Your identity would become fragmented. If you want to self actualize and use your full potential, you would want to completely heal yourself from everything. I realized the best way is to forgive and accept everyone for whatever they did. At a larger level, forgive life itself for whatever it has given you and will give you. After all everything is a passing experience and nothing can touch the real you unless you hold on to it.

So yea, that’s my perspective to you.
Let me know if that helped :)