We are aware that a family unit provides the early conditioning of a person’s personality. How we behave and what we become later in life is deeply connected to our family life. Psychologist like Erik Erikson talks about the psychosocial development in 8 stages through which a healthily developing human should pass from infancy to late adulthood. Each stage builds a successful completion of earlier stages.
In the Vedic tradition, the first 14 years of a child’s life is crucial in his or her development. Till the age of seven, a child is like a sponge. Anything that the child is exposed to, the child absorbs. His/her mind and body grows at an amazing rate. In this phase, the child is in the visualization phase. Whatever the child sees is imprinted and embedded into his or her unconscious. The embedded memories start replaying as the child grows into an adult. These embedded memories drive many of the adult decisions. Between the age of eight and 14, the growing child is in the verbalization mode. The child starts learning languages and verbal imprints, not merely visual images, start getting embedded. Using words like happiness, suffering, etc., instantly evoke appropriate pictures and therefore emotions. During this entire period, the child is controlled by its parents or parent substitutes like grandparents or nannies. Most of what is embedded in their unconscious comes from the elders close to them. Hence the parents from which a soul takes birth from play a major role in a child’s upbringing. Fundamentally, as parents we have a huge responsibility in creating a loving and stable family for our children so that it brings less suffering and depression to them.
However, in today’s world it is becoming a social problem where the basic family units are slowly breaking up and the divorce rate is rising. We can see that the value of a family unit is slowly losing its importance in the modern generation. Life has become very unstable, many relationships have lost the strength of commitment. In the USA alone, there are 13.6 millions single parents bringing up 21.3 million children. If this trend infiltrates into other parts of the world, we will face a huge social problem since family unit is the fabric of the social unit. A higher divorce rate means more broken families where more innocent children are suffering from insecurity hence making them unstable as a person.
Many modern parents do not fully understand the importance of a stable family to a child’s development. They do not realize constant arguments and fights between spouses bring tremendous damage to children. Firstly, the parental fights make the children go through major fear psychosis. Secondly, this fear psychosis is destructive for the children’s development as the trauma creates tremendous insecurity. Most importantly, whenever kids see their parents fight, they feel incomplete whereas when they see parents sharing love, they feel fulfilled. Lastly, in the stable family, a child would have at least one trusted relationship in his or her life i.e. not feeling betrayed, this trust is important in forming a foundation for feeling connection in the spiritual growth.
From my personal life, I did not come from a stable family as my parents used to fight a lot over financial and family issues when we were young. It created so much insecurity and fear in me at a very young age until I had to undo this fear as a part of my inner work. However, one thing I was very grateful for, that is, my father held the family together despite many trying times which could have destroyed my trust in the sanctity of marriage & the family concept. He held on to the family unit so that he could provide a stable environment for his 6 children. Now, I truly appreciate his sacrifice with deep gratitude.
I had also struggled in my own marriage with my unconscious mental patterns from past conditionings, non acceptance and ego. But I feel fortunate that I always find the solutions from spiritual knowledge and by continuously being aware of my wrong mental patterns.
According to Paramahamsa Nithyananda, a living incarnation, he said that “God has created a system to evolve everyone, that system is called marriage”. A great marriage is when 2 individuals have taken a commitment to help each other grow spiritually in this birth. Whether you know it or not, believe it or not, we are all here to evolve our consciousness. To live in a stable family as householders, we need tremendous intelligence, understanding and acceptance of the spouse as well as other members of family. That is why marriage is just another path to evolve our consciousness.
Finally, I like to share with my readers some gems of wisdom I learned from my Sadguru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda on creating a stable family:-
Add friendliness. Friendship is the best relationship to enjoy life. Treat your spouse as your best friend whom you share a life with and that both of you are here to help each other in evolution.
- Bring Understanding & Acceptance. We are nothing but a bunch of mental patterns from our past conditioning. See the wholeness – the Eternal Spirit, the wholeness in each one, bring this understanding and acceptance of their engrams and mental patterns that they are also on their own journey.
- How can you contribute to other person’s life? Instead of asking what you can get from them, consciously decide how you can contribute to your spouse’s and children’s life. This thinking will change the entire relationship and transform your whole life into a sweet fulfilling experience.
- Do not force your children into your image. Children are also human beings, they are here to fulfill their life purpose. As parents, we can only provide the right environment and a safety net for them to take risk and make mistakes in life. Love them unconditionally. We are there to give them confidence to explore with a deep trust in Existence. Let them be natural, let them grow into beautiful adults – radiating confidence, creativity, compassion and consciousness.
- Do not pass your suffering to the next generation. If you have suffered from a broken family or traumatic life, do not feel guilty or ashamed. The pain and suffering should not be passed down to the next generation. In everyone of us, we have the capacity to swallow the negativities with our Buddha’s heart and transform the suffering into compassion.
- Be honest & communicate. Instead of telling lies or blaming your spouse or yourself, bring understanding and communicate honestly the truth about life to your children so that they can also learn from your life.
- Bring Completion. Do not leave any conflict or unresolved issues in relationship, take the responsibility to bring completion with other person by sharing the situation and your feelings. Apologize and ask for forgiveness even though he or she may not appreciate. The completion process is for you so that your inner space can relax into peace.