The dilemma of visiting home
Ram Dass once said, “If you think you are so enlightened, go and spend a week with your parents.”
I have always found this quite poignant and funny. No matter how much meditation or deep breathing I do, I never feel fully prepared to go home and be with my parents.
Visiting home brings a mix of conflicting emotions within me.
I dread it. But I also welcome it.
I dread it because I am apprehensive of older patterns, memories, subtle childhood traumas, and conversations bubbling up to the surface once again.
I feel icky about mentioning trauma here because it has taken me a long time to accept the possibility that there might be some childhood emotional neglect at play behind some of my troublesome tendencies. I always used to tell my therapist that my parents love me and I had a happy childhood.
Of course, that is largely true but now I am aware that childhood trauma can be due to the smallest things and not necessarily because parents don’t love their kids. Anyway, that is a topic or series for some other time!
Coming back to the dreadful feelings when I am at home. I always become more conscious of my weight. It reminds me of the first time when I became aware that I was overweight and it was not good because of the worried, cautious look on my father’s face.
I am also wary of the increased frequency of conversations around settling down. In theory, my parents are ‘actively looking’ as in towards my arranged marriage. Normally, I have to deal with those chats once or twice a week. But I know at home, I would have to go into that topic in detail. And I just don’t feel up for it.
But, I also welcome the idea of home as there is a certain comfort, certainty, and warmth.
I no longer have to escape difficult emotions by ordering junk food online. I don’t crave dessert after dinner. I rarely crave extra food after a full meal. I never feel these urges at home for some reason. Maybe it is because of the inherent safety at home or something else, I feel more physically and mentally full after the usual home food.
I am usually more proactive and disciplined at home. Partly it is because I don’t want my parents to think I am lazy. But it is also because my parents do everything on time. The breakfast is between 9-9:30 am followed by a coffee, lunch at 1 pm, evening tea at 5 pm, and dinner at 8 pm. I secretly like that certainty and schedule. Maybe I should try to replicate it more often in my usual life too.
I also like to wake up early at home and go to the garden where I used to go when I first wanted to get fit. I love driving my Activa with the cool air hitting my face in the morning when everyone is asleep. Just being around those trees and the walking track makes me feel healthy and lighter.
Anyway, I’d be encountering a mix of these emotions once again and maybe a lot more.
I would be spending time at home for the next 7 days and then again for about 20 days in the month of November.
The November month could be extra explosive because I’d have to deal with a lot of relatives too due to the festival season and a few family functions. And relatives are going to be another deal altogether. Who knows I might be dragged to those dreaded arranged marriage meetings under the pretext of formal festival greetings! (secretly cries for help, “God please no”!)
Anyway, if anything extreme happens, I’d be writing about it. This is the only way I know at present to make sense of my usually boring, uncertain life. So, stay tuned if you want in on that drama! 😀
If you have any tips on how to visit home without feeling overwhelmed, do hit reply and let me know!
Until next time,