I love You, Mom and Dad
Ye Jia Jun, Malaysia
My relationship with my parents used to be full of conflict. My strong rebellious streak meant I disagreed with whatever they said, and we would argue after exchanging a few sentences. It was difficult for me to control my emotions during arguments, to the extent that I used profanity, punched the tables, and even had the urge to strike them. Though I knew they loved me, as I grew older I started to resent their strict approach to parenting.
Cold War at Home
There was once when my phone rang and just as my mother was passing it over to me, I shouted at her, “Why did you take my phone?” Also, I did not allow people to enter my room and if my mother did so, I would tell her off, demanding, “What are you here for?”
I would typically reach home at 4 p.m. after school, but once I was not home till past 6 in the evening. When my mother called to inquire as to my whereabouts, I was irritated and started arguing with her. When I reached home, my father asked about the argument with my mother. I replied angrily, “It was just a usual phone call, no big deal!” He was furious and gave me a tight slap. From that day onwards, a cold war between my parents and I ensued. No longer did I have meals with them and we rarely spoke — it seemed that a thick block of ice was permanently between us.
Though I felt troubled by the poor relationships with my family, it was difficult to break the barrier.
Best Gift Ever
After graduating from university in July 2016, I spent three months looking for a job without success, much to my dejection. One day, my mother gave me a registration form to attend a Bodhi Meditation Chanting Retreat. Unthinkingly, I blurted, “I don’t want to!” I sensed her great disappointment and registered merely to make her happy.
During the retreat, I didn’t feel like speaking to anyone. On the fourth day, we were asked to chant for our parents. Initially, I was going through the motions, chanting without feeling. But as I continued to chant, memories of past fights with my parents surfaced in my mind.
I felt deeply regretful for my actions, and tears fell uncontrollably.
It was as if a great weight had been lifted off my chest and I felt a brand-new sense of ease. When I heard Grandmaster JinBodhi’s teachings about children honoring their parents, I was even more remorseful and was determined not to cause my family pain anymore.
Turning Over a New Leaf
I began taking the initiative to speak to my mother every day, asking her how her day had been. At mealtimes, I would help out in the kitchen and set the table. One day I saw my father doing his morning exercises. I approached him and greeted, “Good morning, Dad!” My father smiled, particularly pleased.
Reflecting on the past, I realize I was never happy. I detest the person I once was — one who would get worked up over minor issues. It was only when I started to appreciate my parents’ efforts, to understand and care for them, that I became happier. Today, I am glad to accept the care and concern my parents shower on me and we frequently watch television programs together and chat. There’s a sense of warmth at home. Now, I don’t hesitate to tell my parents,“I love you.”
I am most grateful to my mother for giving me the registration form; it is the most precious gift I have received on my journey of personal growth. Without Bodhi Meditation, perhaps I would still be at war with my parents. It has also helped me to expand my dreams, which include becoming a lawyer who fights for justice.
The intent of the testimonial is to offer wellness information of a general nature. Individual results of practice may vary.