Posted byMeditation USAon June 26, 2020
Gichoon Im / Self-Employed
Three generations of my family live together. My wife and I live in a household with my son and his wife, and their two children, my grandchildren. They have a third child on the way.
I was always an authoritative person who, when the table was set improperly, would say, “You expect me to eat rice without a spoon!?” I eventually realized that if I kept that attitude, my family wouldn’t want to continue living with me.
I didn’t want to be like my father, but i was just the same
My father was of the 5th generation of the famous “Pillar Family” in Wanju City, Jeonbuk Province, South Korea. I was born as the eldest son of 7 siblings in the 6th generation. My father was very impatient and had a volatile personality. If he didn’t like even a small thing, he would flip the kitchen table. He never complimented his children. I always held my breath when he was around because I was frequently scolded. My father’s business failed when I was in middle school, and after that I lived with the heavy burden of supporting my family, as the eldest son.
After getting married at the age of 24, I started several businesses with my wife. The year after I was married I had a son. My tendency at the time was to point out only the negative things he did, with the thought that my son should be raised strictly and so I scolded him often. One time, I even took off his clothes and kicked him out of the house while he was naked.
He had a talent for art, and even though he wanted to study art very much, I just said no. I couldn’t permit it by my standards at the time.
I knew I didn’t want to treat my son the way my father treated me, but I’d become just like him. My son became more and more maladjusted. When he was in high school, he didn’t attend school regularly. When he was a high school senior, he left home. I broke down, I thought I’d done everything I could.
“That’s how I was treated… I’m sorry”, I apologized to my son
It wasn’t until finding this meditation that I understood how difficult it was for my son. As I practiced meditation, I let go mostly memories and pictures of my son and my father. Since childhood, I struggled to support my family, so I blamed my father and I wished I didn’t have any parents. I lived with that wish in my heart.
After meditating for a while, I was able to reflect on my life and something touched my heart, helping me to understand that with my father’s pride and his environment, that was the best that he could do. I could see the pain and sorrow my father went through. It was the only way he could express himself. It was the same with me and my son. Because of me, my poor son couldn’t even study what he wanted to. I realized he was wandering aimlessly at this point. My heart ached when I recalled all of my memories of harshly scolding him without ever saying a warm word.
I sincerely apologized to my son, “That’s what I saw, learned, and lived. I thought that was the right way to be a father. There were so many things that I did wrong. I’m sorry.” I cried together with my son. Gradually, my tone became softer and I began to listen to my family. As I, the head of household changed, so did the atmosphere in our house.
What is the secret of 3 generations living happily together? The whole family meditates!
My son had been dating for six years before getting married in 2004. My daughter-in-law also practiced this meditation. My son and his wife were the first to suggest that we live together. While living together, I have never heard my wife complain about her daughter-in-law. My wife always says,”I think the reason we can all live together is because we all meditate.”
My wife, son, and daughter-in-law do housework and run an internet cafe, often working until dawn. I myself wake up before anyone else, do some cleaning, wash my clothes, and take care of my own breakfast. One day, because they were getting so little sleep, I woke up my son and his wife with breakfast in bed. My daughter-in-law later laughed and said, “I was so surprised that I almost fainted!”
It’s a surprising change even if I think about it. I hug my grandchildren a lot. I’ve learned how important it is to give a lot of love and praise when raising children and because of that I tell my son that in any situation, don’t blame them, just try to help them to understand.
Without knowing what family strength is and what happiness is, I’ve lived with the burden of just feeding my family. Now I’ve removed the burden. I feel like this is happiness. I enjoy living my life to the fullest.