Imagine you are alone in front of a mirror and try to think about how you feel.
How is your relationship with yourself? What do you see when you look into your own eyes? Do you feel love and compassion? Or do you feel anger and hatred?
Take note of your thoughts.
The relationship with mother and father
Now, sit down, and visualize in front of you your father and your mother.
Then, go through the same questions again:
- How is your relationship with your parents?
- What do you see when you look into their eyes?
- Do you feel love and compassion? Or do you feel anger and hatred?
Take note of your thoughts again.
The relationship with our parents is a mirror
Compare the feelings you have toward yourself with those you have toward your parents; you will probably discover remarkable similarities. For many of us, if we grew up in a conflictual relation with one or both of our parents, we may involuntarily extend that conflict to our own person and to others.
If you think that your parents did not or do not love you enough, I invite you to meditate on the following questions:
- Is it possible that your parents gave life to you because they were looking for someone to hate and to punish?
- Do you think your parents behaved with you with the purpose of making your life painful and sad?
- Are you sure you would be more skilful than your parents in the matter of raising kids?
Rethinking the relationships to our parents
If we all understand that our parents are human beings who, like us, try their best in the best of their knowledge, we can maybe try to put ourselves in their shoes, and think about the following questions:
- Was it really easy for them to rise kids?
- How was their own childhood and their own relationship with their parents?
- If my parents did not give me enough love or understanding, do I give them enough of those things?
After meditating about these questions, you must recognize that our views and feelings about ourselves and our parents are not only highly related, but can also be very exaggerated, not to say totally wrong.
Now do another type of meditation.
A loving relationship with mother and father
Sit down and visualize the image of both your father and your mother in front you. But this time, imagine them as if they were very small kids.
Imagine they are only about four years old, they did not know each other yet, and everyone is totally innocent, playful and happy. Visualize the laughter of your father playing in his house.
Imagine the beauty of your mother as she is running after her brother or her sister in her house.
- What are your thoughts and feelings as you visualize your parents as they were kids?
- Do you feel love and kindness? Or do you rather feel anger and hatred?
Note your answers.
A loving relationship with ourselves
Now, let’s do the same exercise, but with yourself this time. Sit down and close your eyes.
Visualize your own image when you were a child, around three or four years old. Imagine what you looked like, and imagine you are so joyfully playing and laughing with your brother, your sister or your dog.
Look at yourself at that moment and see what your thoughts and feelings are.
Do you feel love and kindness? Or do you feel anger and hatred?
If you repeat this kind of exercise on a daily basis, you will create new positive thoughts and feelings. You will develop self-love and self-compassion. And you will also let go of the past, forgive yourself and your parents, and build with them and yourself a loving relation, where there is no place for anger and blame anymore.