Friday, June 01, 2012

Ammi and Abu

The most influential people in my life are, without a doubt, my parents. I've minored in psychology, and although that doesn't mean much, this realization came to me during lecture one day in Personality Psychology. I must have known it unconsciously all along but it just somehow dawned on me that day as Professor Atwood described the single unifying theme present in each person's life which forms the foundation around which all their other actions, thoughts and experiences are based.

Every single important decision I have made involves me thinking about what my parents would think. I know all of this should be done for God and I think as I grew up it did become for Him. But how can I throw them and their teachings to the side? How can I not credit them? Everything I am is due to them, if I had been anyone else's child I would not be me. Apart from just morals, literally in everything I do I hope to please them. All throughout my academic career I was  focused on giving my parents the pleasure to say their daughter was intelligent. I became an accountant because my father is one and he was pleased to hear that I took interest in it. And even at times when I wanted to give up on passing the CPA exam I kept treading forward  because I knew the pride it would bring to him. Because in my mind, if I failed this I would disappoint them. Honestly, whether it was about dating a boy or dressing immodestly or failing the CPA exam I always feared disappointing them. I still do. I still juggle all the balls of life with marriage, motherhood and a career, because I know it brings them pride to see my success. And as a parent myself now, I understand that pride. I PRAY to have that sort of pride one day iA.  But you see, it was not that my parents were extremely rigid people who had harsh rules which made me feel suffocated and fearful of them not loving me if I disobeyed. School friends and people of other cultures would often ask me that, how I lived within such "overbearing limits"? But to me it wasn't that way at all. They didn't actually openly dictate to me how I should live my life. They had set rules and they encouraged us with positive examples in a certain direction, but it wasn't ever that I felt their parenting was overbearing. In fact, with time I learned that even if their rules were pushed or broken, their love was never ending. That's what it was. Their love. They still accepted and stood by us no matter what. I have always been so deeply overwhelmed with just HOW much they love me (and all my siblings), how selfless and unconditional it is that I feel the only way to express my own gratitude and appreciation is to continue to make them proud. If I keep that thought in mind, I never ever feel that pleasing them is a negative element in my life. Honestly, obeying them and trying to please them is just natural to me. I enjoy it. There are so many other things in their life giving them so much to worry about, I thoroughly revel in the fact that they don't have to worry about me, because they know I have a good head on my shoulders and will do the right thing.

And now as I am in my late twenties and life is teaching me a thing or two about wisdom and parenting I can't help but fall more and more in love with the way they raised us. I am finally understanding that unconditional love and selfless devotion that only a parent can understand. 

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