Thursday, May 14, 2015


The other day, we were somewhere and my son wanted us to buy him something which he really wanted. And we did not because it was beyond our budget. We explained our stance to him. He was still very upset and angry. For a long time he did not want to see us or talk to us. Then later, on his own, he said that he was ready to talk about it.

I asked him how he was feeling, and he said that he was angry. He was angry that we hadn't got him what he wanted. I listened to him express his frustrations. We explained to him why we could not, and suggested other ways of planning for such things, so that both he and we were prepared. He agreed to make a list of things he wanted and then sit down with us to see what was possible, when etc. And then he told us this: "Why is it that you grown ups have so much freedom and not us children? Why can't we do what we want to? So many times I have seen grown ups not give their children freedom...." Of course, that was said in a moment of anger and frustration, but I felt that there was some truth in it.

Often we don't want to see the truth that is staring at us. We do (seemingly) have more freedom than they do, because we are often able to exercise control not only over our choices, but over their choices too, and we often attribute that to our belief and value systems.....but do we stop and question those and see for ourselves if we are holding on to them too tightly? Do we stop to see another point of view and the larger picture that is emerging, which often has nothing to do with our beliefs and choices really? These are questions I ask myself, and I don't know the answers to any of these, but I am learning to stay with these questions more and more and loosen the grip over my beliefs, a little at a time, being gentle with myself....simply because I do not know....

Two days ago, this whole thing about freedom came up again and we were talking about it on our way home. I shared with him how much freedom I think we gave him. He agreed. I then shared with him why I thought his father usually never said no to him and got him most things that he wanted. I told him how when he was a child, he was hardly ever given things that he wanted, hardly ever allowed to buy things he wanted, because his father could not afford it. I told him how I thought that was the reason why he wanted him to have what he asked for. And how I felt that that was okay, but that the world and Life do not work like that.....that you don't always get everything that you want, whenever you want...and that I felt it was important to understand that and be with that feeling of not having as much freedom. He agreed, and then said this: "Amma, I agree with you. I have to be able to hear a 'no'...I know I cannot get everything I want. I know that appa should not simply buy everything that I want. He must be able to say no. I will be okay finally to hear that, even if it may be tough at that time. I will tell him that when he comes back."

And I smiled and wondered as to who was teaching who about freedom :)

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