Discussion Forum Discussion Forum

Morality and Daily Life

Relationship with my Mother.

Toggle
Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 2:44 PM
Friends:

How do I deal with maintaining Equanimity in the midst of a challenging relationship with my aging Mother (I am 43 years immature)? 

Massive gratitude for all and any tips and chunks of Wisdom regarding this highly challenging arena of experience.

Metta.

RE: Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 3:10 PM as a reply to I Dream of Jnani.
Consistently maintaining equanimity in that context seems like a needlessly high bar. What about maintaining a friendly attitude toward your mother and yourself when difficult emotions arise in the future? Could lessening the burden of lofty expectations help increase your access to equanimity?

RE: Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 3:13 PM as a reply to I Dream of Jnani.
What is the problem? She makes you upset?

RE: Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 3:19 PM as a reply to Michael V.
Michael V:
Consistently maintaining equanimity in that context seems like a needlessly high bar. What about maintaining a friendly attitude toward your mother and yourself when difficult emotions arise in the future? Could lessening the burden of lofty expectations help increase your access to equanimity?


Yes, expectations of both sides are unreasonably high. In an effort to acknowledge and release tension on this I have tried to suggest we create space. On "my side", I merely suggested that these "debates" and arguments that have historically occured between us aren't all negative, and are in fact not likely to ever subside completely.

I was suggesting acceptance, yet we still interrupt, control, and fail to take turns as always.

On my side, I am trying to implement a habit of Right Speech which involves a mindful pause every 3 or so sentences, awkward or not. It's helping but mastery of this is probably a ways off. She likes to interrupt and not listen much, and my acceptance of this is poor, even with years of practice. I lived in her home for waay too long, and even though I live elsewhere now, keeping in touch and remaining a kind presense in her life is a challenge.

RE: Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 3:30 PM as a reply to ivory.
ivory:
What is the problem? She makes you upset?


I'm not the best communicator.

Neither is she apparently. We get upset together. She reveals all the things about myself that are still present, causes of suffering that I am interested in facing and addressing, but it is not right for me to rub her nose in such things, or say that she "ought to be interested". At age 76, she is highly optimistic, often via a mechanism that appears to be denial.

She was a teacher for many years prior to retirement. As the mother, the default is the assumption that she is "right". As her son, I often forget that I'm not a teacher, and try to point to things that are really not my responsibility to be finding.

I guess one answer is to be happy for her and not question her highly optimistic claims? For some reason I tend, while conversing with her, to pull out the terrible sword of logic. Not happy.

RE: Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 3:53 PM as a reply to I Dream of Jnani.
Thank you for the thoughtful words...

...the reason I finally started posting on here after "lurking" for a couple years is that I desire sangha and challenge. Being the only practitioner in a relatively small town is both a boon and a bane, and it's high time people start calling me on stuff.

For me, being isolated from other practitioners tends to deepen Nikanti (and Grandiosity) and makes me soft in a way that lacks self-skepticism.

This short-circuits inquiry.

Thank you again, and keep it comin'

RE: Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 4:08 PM as a reply to I Dream of Jnani.
As I was reading your replies my mother -- who is staying with us for the week -- yelled upstairs, "Mike, when are you going to fix this towel rack?" I answered that question this morning and she clearly doesn't respect the answer emoticon

Acceptance is way more difficult in these situations than it probably seems to an observer. But can I remain relatively friendly in the face of that lack of acceptance? To me that is a difficult but potentially valuable training.  

RE: Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 4:27 PM as a reply to I Dream of Jnani.
I Dream of Jnani:
She reveals all the things about myself that are still present

I think you have unrealistic expectations for practice. She may always trigger you. Those emotions that are "still present" may always be there. Be kind, be assertive, and note thoughts and emotions. That's the practice with all relationships.

RE: Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 4:53 PM as a reply to Michael V.
Michael V:
As I was reading your replies my mother -- who is staying with us for the week -- yelled upstairs, "Mike, when are you going to fix this towel rack?" I answered that question this morning and she clearly doesn't respect the answer emoticon

Acceptance is way more difficult in these situations than it probably seems to an observer. But can I remain relatively friendly in the face of that lack of acceptance? To me that is a difficult but potentially valuable training.  


We came up with an elegant solution this afternoon. It's almost like diad practice....we now say "you're turn" prior to the other person's turn in conversation. Our primary problem was not listening and going on useless tangents in content. It already worked like a charm, and engenders silence and listening. This is great! Thanks again for the support!

RE: Relationship with my Mother.
Answer
7/16/18 6:15 PM as a reply to ivory.
ivory:
I Dream of Jnani:
She reveals all the things about myself that are still present

I think you have unrealistic expectations for practice. She may always trigger you. Those emotions that are "still present" may always be there. Be kind, be assertive, and note thoughts and emotions. That's the practice with all relationships.

Yes. Being simultaneously kind and assertive is a high challenge for me. Thank you for highlighting that difficiency.  

Edit: I should add to this, that our relationship is not the usual obligatory exchange of superficiality. We are actually persuing a friendship which not only involves being kind to each other, but sometimes discussing "worldly" issues like politics, nature, science, philosophy, religion, and mysticism. Magesteria which are not easy to discuss between any two humans.