Right Speech in a troubled house?

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TheTraveler0203
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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:47 am

Right Speech in a troubled house?

Post by TheTraveler0203 »

Dear Dharma friends

I was born and raised within a good home, however the family environment was never great
My father is a very quarrelsome person, he argues with everyone, my mother's family, his co-workers, his own family, etc.
We are now trying to kick him out of the house but today my harsh words to him caused him great suffering, because I confronted him with the truth, his professional laziness, the lack of family spirit, his lack of effort as a father and a husband
I know what I did created suffering (and my heart is at unease with that) but I am hoping for that at least with these temporary arguments he understands the situation and leaves our house, so the rest of the family can enjoy more peace in our everyday lives, with the current stress that any verbally violent argument will arise because of the most innocuous subject
Unfortunately, there are certain people that if we keep always peaceful will keep the same toxic behaviours that only bring more unease to the ones that are around this kind of person

With this said, honestly, was I right in my harsh actions, trying to create conditions for a more peaceful life for the rest of us? Or should I keep myself together and still leaving in the same suffering patterns caused by this person that brings suffering to the rest of my family? How should I apply Right Speech in this situation, knowing that for years I tried that without any success?

Thanks in advance
Pedro
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KathyLauren
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Re: Right Speech in a troubled house?

Post by KathyLauren »

Hi, Pedro.

I am sorry that you find yourself in this difficult situation.

The important question to ask yourself is, what was your motivation in saying what you said? Were you venting anger? Or was it a carefully thought-out speech designed to reduce your family's suffering?

Right Speech doesn't mean that you have to be nicey-nice all the time. It is your intention that determines whether it was right or not.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy
TheTraveler0203
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Re: Right Speech in a troubled house?

Post by TheTraveler0203 »

KathyLauren wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:33 am Hi, Pedro.

I am sorry that you find yourself in this difficult situation.

The important question to ask yourself is, what was your motivation in saying what you said? Were you venting anger? Or was it a carefully thought-out speech designed to reduce your family's suffering?

Right Speech doesn't mean that you have to be nicey-nice all the time. It is your intention that determines whether it was right or not.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy
Thank you for your answer, Kathy :D
Today was even worse. Today I made my father cry. The sad truth is that it had to be. It makes me feel very sad that it must have come to this situation, that in a argument the attitude and indifference of my father to the rest of us made me lost control of myself, and turning me in a beast. Today I doubted my practice and my path. I keep telling to myself that it is not my fault, I grew up in this situation and my father keeps saying he's leaving but he never has the will to get out of his comfort zone, to stop his professional laziness that is putting my family in a fragile economical situation and in top of this he doesn't do the bare minimum: trying to evolve and change a slightly bit the quarrelsome side that he has. My mother is a very hard-working woman that has two jobs to put food on the table and I am sick of growing up (21 now) in this kind of toxic environment seeing all the damage that he is causing to us with his behaviour. My sister is already in a severe depression and I worry about her. I have my own diseases to which my father didn't pay 1 cent for my medical interventions. In this year I will get my graduation and my father paied nothing for my studies. And no problem at all, the only thing that I needed to see was not money but effort. I tried everything, long conversations with him (too which he replied with false promises), offering him Stoicism books to help him out and getting new outlooks, helping him and giving advice regarding my father's precarious professional and economical situation. I tried everything, everything failed. It's sad that it had come to this situation.

Now I am thinking that perhaps the words I used were too harsh but as I said before, unfortunately it is the only thing that works with this kind of people. And unfortunately it works. Now my father is saying that he needs to leave the house.

I keep telling to myself that I used my anger in order to provide us peace, I keep telling to myself that my father put me in this brutal situation in which I had to react to achieve tranquillity for us and a better perspective for my father and confidence in his effort towards his independence as a grown up man.

But at this moment I keep doubting my practice, after some years practising Buddhism and Ashtanga Yoga, working on myself to be a better man and having this brutal behaviour...

I don't know... anyway thank you for listening to me, I really needed to get this off my chest and seek better advice regarding my practise
I wish you many blessings, from Lisbon City with love
Pedro
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Ayu
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Re: Right Speech in a troubled house?

Post by Ayu »

TheTraveler0203 wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:12 am Dear Dharma friends

I was born and raised within a good home, however the family environment was never great
My father is a very quarrelsome person, he argues with everyone, my mother's family, his co-workers, his own family, etc.
We are now trying to kick him out of the house but today my harsh words to him caused him great suffering, because I confronted him with the truth, his professional laziness, the lack of family spirit, his lack of effort as a father and a husband
I know what I did created suffering (and my heart is at unease with that) but I am hoping for that at least with these temporary arguments he understands the situation and leaves our house, so the rest of the family can enjoy more peace in our everyday lives, with the current stress that any verbally violent argument will arise because of the most innocuous subject
Unfortunately, there are certain people that if we keep always peaceful will keep the same toxic behaviours that only bring more unease to the ones that are around this kind of person

With this said, honestly, was I right in my harsh actions, trying to create conditions for a more peaceful life for the rest of us? Or should I keep myself together and still leaving in the same suffering patterns caused by this person that brings suffering to the rest of my family? How should I apply Right Speech in this situation, knowing that for years I tried that without any success?

Thanks in advance
Pedro
I was in a related situation, when I was a little girl. I agreed to my mother and allied with her, although I was too small to be involved into the quarrel of my parents.
My father left and we said: "Now it's peace. Now everything is fine." That was true on a superficial level. And l don't think there was anybody to blame for it. For us it was good that he left and for him it was healthy that he changed the environment.

But what we neglected was: it was SAD.

I think, for me it was very unhealthy that I never learnt to admit the sadness. I believe, therfore I carried this sadness like a backpack through all of my life.

Therefore I think, more important than judging who is wrong, who is right, who is bad and who is better - is to admit what happened. Accept it without excitement.

To your second post: I often find a change of perspective helpful in order to gain a wider picture. In normal situations, (if your father doesn't act criminally against you and your mother), the blame is not only at one side. The assumed offender is not only the bad person you see. Often this is difficult to realise. But it is way easier to tell the truth to somebody who you see as a full person and that you are not so very angry with. I think, anger is no good ally in discussion.
Better is a good analysis and then you can stick to yourself and talk to the person from that stance.
Maybe you can even admit to him, how sad you are. I don't know.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
Bundokji
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:51 pm

Re: Right Speech in a troubled house?

Post by Bundokji »

Try to recollect the good qualities of your father. You can be certain that he has some. This could help you being less fixated about his short-comings, and would help you change your approach when you convey certain truths to him as you see them. It would also help him being more receptive to your feedback.

We are not meant to treat our parents in the same way we treat strangers. Think in terms of worldly truths, we do not equate our current understanding of the world with how it is understood 200 years ago. We can always see the shortcomings of how the world is understood, but by virtue of our relationship to it, we tend to be more intimate to what is closer to us. Such is our relationship with our families. Our relationship with the world begins there before it gradually expands through widening our perspectives.

This is why, the Buddha encourages us to venerate our parents without expecting them to be perfect:
"I tell you, monks, there are two people who are not easy to repay. Which two? Your mother & father. Even if you were to carry your mother on one shoulder & your father on the other shoulder for 100 years, and were to look after them by anointing, massaging, bathing, & rubbing their limbs, and they were to defecate & urinate right there [on your shoulders], you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. If you were to establish your mother & father in absolute sovereignty over this great earth, abounding in the seven treasures, you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. Why is that? Mother & father do much for their children. They care for them, they nourish them, they introduce them to this world. But anyone who rouses his unbelieving mother & father, settles & establishes them in conviction; rouses his unvirtuous mother & father, settles & establishes them in virtue; rouses his stingy mother & father, settles & establishes them in generosity; rouses his foolish mother & father, settles & establishes them in discernment: To this extent one pays & repays one's mother & father."
The cleverest defenders of faith are its greatest enemies: for their subtleties engender doubt and stimulate the mind. -- Will Durant
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