The last two days have been a wave of emotions.
My meditation has become stronger. And in becoming stronger, I found stronger and deeper emotions held within my psyche. As a kid, I was molested. Also, I had to watch my brother receive the favoritism of my father and mother. What is important to understand about this ‘favoring’ has nothing to do with love. It is quite simply the raw truth that there will always be people in this world, whether related or otherwise, that you mesh with more easily. Sometimes, these people you mesh better with, or against – are your very own children.
Still as many know, the consequences of favoritism toward my brother were mostly bad. I say without hesitation, I experienced more depression, lower self-esteem, and poorer academic performance. These repercussions are far more extreme than any benefits the favored children get out of it (negative things just have a stronger impact on people than positive things). Unlike some, I do not resent my brother but rather I now understand the problems he had to face. I am sure he had his own struggles.
In my adult years, money was always a big issue for me. While I have for the most part had outstanding jobs, I had had several years of rough periods where I purchased many things I should not have. Every new iPod version, every new cell phone, every new computer, tablet or otherwise, I bought. Something inside me pushed me and no matter how hard I tried to control the urge, the feeling of buying came forth and annihilated my life in the moment.
Thus, over the last several days I have been meditating – going back to the child of my. I met my former self, who was left behind to deal with the pain of childhood. Whose self-image was so low, he could only make his presence known through havoc. He bought things, because when his brother purchased things, he was honored. When his brother had friends, he was honored. Yet for me, when I bought things, I was rebutted, told not good enough or simply ‘ok.’
Finding my way around in an adult world where one is honored for his ‘toys’ was very damaging. I found that while I still bought things, I was never truly liked as others would see fit. I remember once in a California store I spoke, “If I buy this, then they will like me.” They never did. And they never will.
Through meditation, I have learned to understand the child left in the past. I went back, not to kill this child, but to hold comfort and integrate this child into my current life. My thought was to not leave him behind. I needed to embrace him, coax and cajole him into the present life. There is a saying; “Nature creates the body of a man while the parents shape the habit and conduct of a child.” The body of a child is a product of all the things given by the parents. As for the mind or habit, it is a product of the training by the parents as well.
Painters by trade know that a freshly painted canvass remains wet and they do not allow anything or anybody to touch it because anything sticking to the surface will’ simply stay there and can never be taken off. The same is true for the children who have innocent ability; they will easily absorb anything. After it was absorbed it would just stay there for a long time and it, may be harmful to the children in the future.
Each of us may choose to follow either one to suit our needs as a householder or a lay person. There is the Dhamma especially for ordinary people such as those that teach us to have the right belief, reasonable belief, i.e., to be honest, to be tolerant, to have self-control, and to have generosity. The four virtues are needed and they are important for lay people in general because a group of people if they stay together and have no honesty among one another, then they will be suspicious of one another.
My inner child may always be untrustworthy, but I am up to the challenge.