Sunday, August 10, 2008

Buddha says...

"A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden."
- Buddha

This quote weighs heavily in my mind. I was raised in two families, living mostly with my mother, and living with my father on the weekends.
My father's family was full of alcoholism, cigarette smoke, verbal abuse, cable tv on all day, lots of animals, old books, long sunny days by the lake, watching my dad constantly build and add on to the house, turing a cramped weekend cabin into a moderately sized home. The nights were long and loud, either with fighting or laughter.
My mother's house was large, white, spacious, cold. My sisters married young and moved a gtand total of two blocks away. They came over often, usually with all their children in tow. No one smoked or drank or swore, the tv was usually off, the nights were quiet. My mom and I were moderate chrisitans, my sisters were far more conservative, one to the point of evangelicalism.
In other words, my two homes were complete opposites of each other, and I really didn't fit into either of them. My relationship with some of them is rather shaky, though somewhat improved from years past. I've slowly managed to forgive and get over ym step-mother's abuse, and I have managed to hide certain aspects of my life from my mother's family in order to keep the peace. I wish I could be myself around them, honestly I do, but that would create more havoc then good.
I love them, and they love me, or at least, their perception of me. I fear what would happen if I told my mom and sisters that I was Buddhist. My mom discovering that I was bisexual did enough damage, I don't wish to further strain our relationship.

Because of this, I have adopted a third family, my friends. They have their own flaws, and they are accepting of mine. I can talk, laugh, hug, and cry with them without fear of judgement, and the really good ones will be there for me and help me when I need it, just as I try to help them. I consider them my family, but that is no reason for me to distance myself from those who are related to me by blood and marriage.

I need to spend more time contemplating this verse and my current situation with my family. The good thing about this quote is that it's meaning, a harmony of minds, can apply to both family and friends.


They call him James Ure said...

I sure can relate with this post. I don't fit in with my family much either. My family is part Mormon and part not. I fall on the side of not--being a Buddhist now but I don't get along that much with my fellow "heathen" sibling.

I'm not big on family stuff. My family has always fought each other and still do. I always somehow ended up in the middle, mediating the sides. I don't do that anymore though.

I feel the same way about friends. They are my family for the most part. I like how (as you said) they accept you for who you are without drama like family often does.

If you ever need someone to talk with or just want another friend, send me an email.

Inner Oddness said...

thank you james

David said...

If they can't accept you for who you are.

If they don't love you for who you are.

If they only love the false veneer the sugary coating you present them.

They don't love you.

Family obligation is a trap.

Last I checked love doesn't have obligations.

Love accepts you the way you are.

Love doesn't judge you.

Oh and your two families sound like classic superhuman and subhuman shame based families.