On a Friday afternoon, the obvious plan used to be going out with friends to celebrate the arrival of the mighty weekend. The past couple of years, that expected plan went through a major metamorphosis. After a long and exhausting week, all I can dream of on Fridays is being alone at home… Becoming one with my couch that’s been softly waiting for me with open cushions and indulging myself in the comfort of take-out food and frivolous tv, in a hopeful, and rather desperate attempt to leave the burdensome week behind.
This Friday, my mother picked me up from the metro station to drop me home. On these rare occasions, I always ask her if she’d like to come in and she always has an excuse/reason not to. This time she said, “why not?” Alright, my eager plans to dive into my guilty-pleasures would have to wait.
I prepared a bowl of pistachios and opened a bottle of red. We kicked the cats out of my balcony and took a seat on the bench. The conversation began with day-to-day chit chat and gradually evolved into a conversation much deeper. About how our ancestral emotional inheritance effects our mental and behavioral patterns. How difficult self-awareness is. About Eckhart Tolle‘s teachings on the power of staying in the moment. How we struggle to do so.
This brought me to the realization that we tend to judge our parents not as individuals, but based upon the complexity of our personal, and usually dysfunctional, relationships with them. Yet once we are able to stay in the moment, free from the pre-programmed perceptions of who they are, and who we are with them, a different kind of space is created. A space where each of us stand as individuals, holding a cup filled with our own human experience. How does that African proverb goes?
I am a human being. Nothing human is foreign to me.
So here I was with my mother, drinking wine listening to her like a friend and being heard by her like a friend. The dynamic we create with them as children generally continues into our adulthood and becomes a comfort zone on to itself. It takes great effort to get out of it, but once you do, it is wonderful to re-discover the person they are beyond our own perceptions.
Sometimes it doesn’t even take that much effort.In my case it was just allowing it to happen.