Spotlight on Our Sangha: Tamara

Jun 21, 2020

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After my dad passed away, my mom moved in with me for a year. Having her in my space really began to stress me out. It got to the point where I didn’t even want to go home when I knew she’d be there. Not because we were arguing — it was because of her pessimism. My mom has always been pessimistic, whereas I’m on the other end of the spectrum.

Eventually she was driving me so crazy, I asked someone at the Center for advice on what I should do. They suggested I needed to be more compassionate, to really listen to her and try to understand her. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear as the solution, but I decided I’d give it a try.

I got home that night and my mom started complaining. I suggested we have some tea and talk. Then I asked her why she’s so pessimistic. She broke down and cried. She said she doesn’t do it on purpose, it’s just that she doesn’t know how else to be. It’s what she really feels. She then went into a whole life story of difficulty.

I was so shaken. I could really see that this eats her up inside, and even though she doesn’t like being like this, she doesn’t feel she has any choice.

Having compassion towards her allowed me to gain new insight into things. I see she’s in pain, I see she needs to be nurtured like anyone else does. This has given me an understanding and love for her rather than a feeling of “ugh, you’re ruining my day.”

Before this, I had never seen her situation as painful. That was the real revelation.

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