Do you feel suffocated by your parents’ expectations?
Can you differentiate attachment vs. responsibility in relationship?
How do you take responsibility in creating a loving and fulfilling relationship?

Many of us are confused with attachment in relationship instead of having a right understanding about responsibility especially when it comes to relationships with parents. After all, our parents are the first two role models in our lives and they have major influence in our lives. Not only we imbibe their body languages, we also are influenced by their thought patterns. This is further complicated by the societal expectations on parents. This is one relationship every seeker needs to complete with as he or she travels on the path of spirituality because the parental conditioning is the last imprint to leave our bio-memory which shows how deep-rooted the conditioning can be.
Relationship is a profound subject, however, I have been blessed to receive more clarity from the guidance of a living enlightened master, Paramhamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji).

  • Relationship with parents. I remembered Swamiji made it very clear in one discourse in 2009, he said that we are not bound by our parents to live our life the way they want. It is not our duty or responsibility to live their unfulfilled dreams through us. One wrong cognition that many parents carry is they think their child is their extension, so unconsciously they try to force their child to live a life they think is ‘best’ for the child. The truth is the moment we are born, we are independent beings with our own wisdom. We have come to fulfil our own life purpose and possibilities. Our duty to our parents is to give them emotional and moral support whenever they need it, love them and care for them but we don’t give them our life. Many times, we mistake our attachment to them and powerlessness as a duty and responsibility. If you are completely bound by your parent’s way of living and it has become a duty, there is then no possibility for growth and expansion. You will lose the courage to break through and upgrade yourself. Responsibility to your parents is giving them moral support but the highest responsibility to our parents is helping them to become liberated by living enlightenment. The same understanding applies to us when we become new parents, we are there to enjoy our children’s presence and support them so that they can experience their highest possibility.
  • Relationship with partner/spouse. The relationship with your partner is like doing penance (tapas) because it truly requires constantly working on yourself and making yourself settle with that person and making that person accept you as you are. To have a loving fulfilling relationship, there should be no hidden agenda but each person is willing to take responsibility in making the relationship work. By working on ourselves and evolving our space, naturally we will be able to align more and more with each other.
  • Relationship with teachers. The responsibility to our teachers is keeping the knowledge they have imparted to us alive and making it flourish and benefit humanity. Whatever knowledge we learn from teachers, we ensure the continuity of this knowledge to the next generation of humanity.
  • Relationship with Guru. A Guru-disciple relationship is the most mysterious of all relationships. All the other relationships have happened from the mental and emotional levels. But Guru-disciple relationship operates from the very core of our being. Actually it is not even a relationship, it is a connection between a realized one and the unrealized, the alchemy of merging into oneness. Then the disciples will realize that they were always realized, just that they were not awakened to it. So the only responsibility a disciple has to the Master is to achieve a completion with everything in life and experience oneness (advaita) with Existence.

In essence, we are a free being, we are not bound by anything in relationships. The courage to break free from all expectations and the willingness to take responsibility to stay true to who we truly are is the first step toward becoming integrated, complete and authentic with our being. Namaste: D