If I can do a particular thing for my parents, why is it that they can’t do the same for me? I stand by them when they are hurt, BUT they do not stand by me when I am hurt.
Your situation presents a wonderful opportunity for self-reflection and growth. Growth is painful, and not easy to do. Most people avoid pain, and seek pleasure. So if you are willing to take this step to look at your wounded place, as the poet Rumi says, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” If you can find the courage to look at what you are doing and thinking that is hurting you, these self-introspection efforts can provide you with some clarity and relief. Ask yourself if there is some reason why your parents are not supporting you when you are hurt? It would be helpful to find out why your parents do not reciprocate. They must have some expectation from you which you have not fulfilled or are not fulfilling. Instead of looking at the situation about what they are doing to hurt you, try to figure out what you are doing that might be hurting them and also what you are thinking that might be hurting yourself. Sometimes when we are blinded by our own pain, feeling rejected, hurt, and isolated, we do not realize that we are also inflicting pain on those we love. We also do not realize that it is actually our own thoughts and feelings about a situation that causes the emotional hurt, not the situation itself.
Also, it is natural that you want to feel the love of your parents standing by you when you feel hurt. It must feel very lonely and painful when they are not there for you. Especially since you have been such a good daughter to them, by supporting them when they are feeling hurt. It only makes sense that you expect them to reciprocate. However, true love is of a different nature. We never really were taught about true love in school, or by our parents. If there were such a school, called, “The True Love Institute,” here are some of the lessons it would impart. True love does not keep count, and has no expectations. In true love, you just love for its own sake. Just like how the rose gives out its fragrance for free to any passerby. Even if someone rips its petals, ignores it, or spits on it, still, the rose pumps out its beautiful aroma for all to enjoy. It does not expect anything in return. In this kind of love, there is no doubt, fear, hurt or anxiety. The rose feels immensely happy just by giving, not by receiving. And so it is in true love that your greatest pleasure is when the other is pleased. Not when they please you.
One way to think about your situation is that as their daughter, it is your duty to be kind, loving and respectful to your parents. Just as Krishna instructs Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, to perform his duties and do not be attached to the result. Whether your parents appreciate you, criticize you, or don’t reciprocate, no matter the case, you just perform your duties and remain stable in your mind. You can practice being like the beautiful rose, giving your love freely to your parents, and not expecting anything in return. Your parents are giving you a special opportunity to practice the art of true love. It is up to you if you would like to embrace it.
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