What is something that you did today that you wish you did earlier?
My mother and I have not been perfect since I was young. As far as I can remember, rather than words that support and praise me, it was a word that puts a sense of responsibility, such as taking care of my younger siblings because I am the eldest. I grew up thinking that my mother was probably a stepmother or I was an orphan. When I graduated from high school and got a good job, my mom hoped to continue working and taking care of my younger sisters and brothers and marrying a decent guy. However, I abandoned my mother’s expectations and quit my job about a year later, and started going to the academy to go to college. I entered college without support from anyone in the family. I received a scholarship and earned pocket money by working part-time in college. I had no bus fare to school some days, so I broke my piggy bank. I thought my mom hated me because I didn’t live as she wished.
After graduating from college, I passed the entrance exam and got an excellent job. I left home and moved to another city. I thought I had to provide for my family financially since I had the ability, so I tried my best. However, I felt I was not good enough. I wished I should have helped them more. Even after getting married, I was talking on the phone with my mother was always a formal talk. How is the weather, whether you are healthy or working out today, etc.? After hanging up the phone, I felt terrible that I could have done better.
I looked back on the life lived through meditation. In the early days of reflection, I focused on abandoning negative memories such as resentment, hatred, and wounds against his mother. The more I threw it away, the more I realized that it was all an image of my mother I had made in my mind. After abandoning it, it became easier to talk to her.
Now my mom is in Korea, and I am in Africa. I talk on the phone on Skype about twice a month. While meditating yesterday, I thought of my mom. I felt comfortable talking to my mom, but I ended the call by asking how she was doing. I need to have a sincere conversation before it is too late because she is old.
I talked on the phone today and asked about my mother’s life. ” How did you meet my father and get married? How did you struggle to feed and dress five children when you were poor? How could you buy a house when my father’s business was not going well living on rent? ” asked I. Mom talked about her life, so honestly.
I understood, like most women, she became a parent unprepared, and she had lived in difficult times supporting her family day by day. When life was difficult, my mother was a fragile human being who went to the temple alone and prayed for the Buddha to open the way. She was a human being who had lived faithfully, enduring and pioneering the life given to her. I was very ashamed of how much I’d closed my heart and resented her, thinking that she didn’t give me enough of what I expected just because she was my mother. I sincerely said I was sorry to her. Mom cried, and I cried.
How great would it be if I had talked to her like this earlier? But I’m so grateful that I did it even now. It’s incredible how much meditation can change a person. Thanks to the meditation. The next time I call, I will take a step further and tell the story of my hurt. I have no feelings left, but I want to express how I felt at that time. “Thank you for giving birth to me and raising me. But there was a time when I got hurt by you, mom. I couldn’t express my hurt properly, but it hurt a lot. I just wanted to tell you. It hurt then.”
Thanks for your reading.