Navigating Family Relationships When Times Are Difficult

“Don’t wait for the world to provide you with certainty. Become the certainty for the world.”

Thom Knoles

Family relationships aren’t usually simple or straight forward.

This is a matter of design, because our karmic blueprint brings us into family situations where we can play out the dramas necessary for our evolution.

In this episode, Thom answers questions from listeners about the dynamics of family relationships during times of difficulty. 

He discusses how to cope with family relationships that have broken down, and how to show adult children how they can make the most of their world, even when outer circumstances appear tough.

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Episode Highlights


Q – How Can I Find Peace of Mind After My Adult Son Has Abandoned Me as His Mother?



A – A Wry Sense of Humor



Accepting the Reality of Your Child’s Consciousness State



Expanding Your Sense of Self After Abandonment



The Transcendent Influence of a Conscious Mother



Q – How to with Emotionally Abusive Family Members?



A – Guru Deva’s Message — You Deserve the Best



Soma — How Our Responses Feed Bad Behavior



Dealing with Soma Bandits in Relationships



Good Behavior Gets Soma



Not Available for a Hold-up



Q – How Can I Communicate with Discouraged Adult Children?



A – The Uncertainty Principle



Creative Intelligence Always Finds Employment



Be the Guru



An End to All Uncertainty


Jai Guru Deva


Navigating Family Relationships When Times Are Difficult

[00:45] Q – How Can I Find Peace of Mind After My Adult Son Has Abandoned Me as His Mother?

My adult son has abandoned me as his mother. How can I find peace of mind?

[00:50] A – A Wry Sense of Humor

It’s a very good question that you ask. And one of the ways we find peace of mind is that we have seen our son grow from being a tiny, little, highly dependent child, to being whatever he is today. As you’re, you seem to be experiencing it right now, abandonment of, from his perspective of, you being his mother.

And I can imagine that if you allow it to be so, it could be quite a painful experience. But also, if you allow it to be so, and you maintain what it is I’m going to suggest you maintain, which is a wry, and that’s spelled W-R-Y, a wry sense of humor, with a little bit of “as if” attached to it, and let some time go by,You’re going to find that this is just part of his individual expression.

We have, as Vedic meditators, we have a fundamental idea, that we allow all of our experiences to go in orbit around our social experiences. And this fundamental idea is that you cannot stop someone from behaving according to their state of consciousness.

That we think that people behave in all kinds of ways for all kinds of reasons. In fact, all that’s being expressed at any given time is a consciousness state.

A consciousness state has its own reality. Inside that consciousness state, if you think of it, like, you put on red glasses, then you look around, and everything that you see is red. It’s absolutely red. A white wall is a red wall. White snow is red snow, and so on.

[02:54] Accepting the Reality of Your Child’s Consciousness State

And there’s no talking anyone out of it. You can’t say to them, “That’s so funny that you think that that’s something other than it being white, that you say it’s red.” And they’ll just look at you and say, “You must be absolutely stupid because it is red. I’m seeing it as red.”

Now switch the glasses to blue. And now everything’s blue. Blue snow, blue walls, blue everything. Everything has a bluish tinge to it. Green is bluish-green. And everything’s blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue state of consciousness.

That state of consciousness cannot be talked out of seeing everything blue. And so whatever is the state of consciousness of a person, that is their reality. That’s their reality.

Now, as a parent of many children, I can tell you that as children grow from young age up to older age, they go through all kinds of phases. Some of these phases are caused by the sorts of influences they’ve allowed into their lives. Some of these phases are a result of their own sense of what they are.

We can talk about that in another regard. My new course on the subject of habit goes into quite a lot of detail about this. That my habit of what it is I think I am. Ultimately, I’m experiencing a world that is a product of whatever it is I think I am.

[04:36] Expanding Your Sense of Self After Abandonment

So if you think of yourself as merely an abandoned mother, then you’re going to construct a very sad universe around that, a very blue glasses phenomenon.

Let me suggest to you that after all the years of putting so much effort into the rearing and raising of your son, from being a highly dependent little baby to being whomever he thinks he is now, you finally have an opportunity now to have some peace and get some things done that you didn’t have opportunities to get done when there was this constant demand being made on you, to perform all of the functions that a mother is considered to bepivotal too.

I would take it as an opportunity to expand your own sense of what you are. I would take it as an opportunity that has liberated you to grow your own sense about what you are, because you’re not merely a mother of a child, of a son. You are something else. You are the one indivisible, whole consciousness field that played the role of mother for a period of time.

And if your son decides in later years that it would be wiser to take natural advantage of your availability as a mother, when he comes back to you, which he will, then he’s going to come back to someone who has transformed into Mother Divine on Earth.

[06:22] The Transcendent Influence of a Conscious Mother

The wise, trusted counselor, the one upon whose counsel one can rely for wisdom and evolution. The one who has attained to enlightenment, who has attained to a state of complete peace.

And then the onus is on him to come and take advantage of that. And he’ll feel it anyway, because connection between mother and child is biologically eternal and, from a consciousness perspective, cannot be transcended.

As you grow in your consciousness, you’ll have a transcendent influence on him. And as you grow in your consciousness and gain enlightenment, he’ll feel it.

And it’s not that we’re waiting for him to come to his senses and come back to mother and show appreciation. We’re not waiting for anything. It’s incumbent upon him. The onus is on him totake advantage of a wonderful status that right now he is… he’s not partaking of something which could benefit him tremendously.

So make it even more attractive. Make it even more attractive. This is my counsel to you. And don’t worry. You know that you’ll always be his mother and he knows that too.

What he does about it is up to him. But what you become in the meantime is up to you. So while you have some freedom from those responsibilities, get yourself enlightened. This is my counsel to you.

[08:14] Q – How to with Emotionally Abusive Family Members?

Do you have any advice on how to deal with an emotionally abusive family? Is it better to walk away and limit contact, or continue to be loving and kind in the face of pretty bad behavior?

[08:28] A – Guru Deva’s Message — You Deserve the Best

In my experience, as a counselor for the last 55 years, of people and their families, meditators and their families and so on, I think it’s important to live up to the ideal given by Swami Brahmananda Saraswati. This is the proper full name for the man who has become known as Guru Deva, G-U-R-U D-E-V-A. Guru Deva is the proper pronunciation.

My teacher’s teacher, my teacher was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and his teacher, Guru Deva, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, gave a lecture which really wraps up our responsibility in this regard that you’ve raised.

And the quote goes like this, “You deserve the best. Never feel unworthy or not justified in having the best. I tell you, this is your heritage.” Parenthetically, by heritage, he means your birthright. “I tell you, this is your heritage, but you have to accept it. You have to expect it. You have to claim it. To do so is not demanding too much.” That’s the quote.

“You deserve the best. Never feel unworthy or not justified in having the best. I tell you, this is your heritage, but you have to accept it. You have to expect it. You have to claim it. To do so is not demanding too much.” Beautiful quote from Guru Deva.

[10:22] Soma — How Our Responses Feed Bad Behavior

Now let’s analyze it with regard to your family. You deserve the best means, you deserve the best regard, the best greetings, the best communication, the best of everything. Alright, let’s take that as a given.

To what extent are you accepting this fact that you deserve the best? When you kowtow to people who do not give you the best, then what you’ve just done is confirmed, verified, validated that whatever behavior they’ve just shown you is what you expect.

So, if we accept I deserve the best, then it should be that we’re not available for behaviors that are less than the best. So you deserve the best, but you have to accept it. You have to expect it. This is our expectation.

If someone is not able to rise to our expectation, then once again, to what extent are we really accepting what Guru Deva says, which is, we deserve the best? And so people need to rise to our expectation if they wish for us to be available to them.

When we make ourselves available to people who behave badly, we feed them with a product, which in Vedic language, we use the word soma. S, as in Sierra. O, as in Oscar. M, as in Mike. A, as in alpha. Soma. S-O-M-A.

Soma is fluid consciousness. Somebody behaves badly, we feed them with soma. When we feed them with soma, it’s like rewarding someone with sweets for having behaved badly to us. “Oh, you behave badly. Here, here’s some sweets.”

[12:33] Dealing with Soma Bandits in Relationships

What are they going to do when they want sweets again next? You’ve encouraged them to behave badly. You’ve trained them to behave badly. If they behave badly, they get your consciousness flow. This is not where we want to be.

And so, they can have plenty of soma provided that they behave within the range of expectation. You have to accept. You have to expect. You have to claim. Claim means, when people behave well, then you give them soma.

When behavior is good, people can have all the attention they crave, give them all the soma they want. But if they are soma bandits, like, standing out on the highway with their six shooters out and performing a hold-up, where they’re demanding soma, this is soma banditry.

We’re not into going on that highway where we know they’re waiting for us to ambush us, and we’re not available for an ambush, particularly when we’ve been ambushed along that particular trail many times before. Why would we go down that trail and be ambushed and then have our soma robbed of us?

Now as meditators, it’s a great thing that we can replenish our rich, very nectar-like consciousness every time we meditate. So even if we’ve been robbed, we can replenish it pretty quickly just with one meditation session.

But we prefer not to have our soma, our nectar-like flowing consciousness, misused to encourage and to fund negative behaviors. And so, it’s not a question of black and white, do I walk away or do I just give them everything they want, let them rob me?

[14:43] Good Behavior Gets Soma

It is going to be a variable answer depending on what their behavior yields. But eventually, they’ll get the point without you having to make the point in a way that is spoken explicitly.

You don’t have to make the point explicitly. You can make the point implicitly that good behavior gets soma, gets attention and time, and bad behavior doesn’t.

And it may be that periods of time of them fasting,, fasting from your soma may need to occur. When people get hungry for soma, generally speaking, they’ll muster up some good behaviors and be able to keep those good behaviors going for a period of time, in which case, you can reward them with lots of soma flow.

[15:39] Not Available for a Hold-up

If, on the other hand, they begin behaving badly again, then you know it’s time for you to withdraw, and withdraw until good behaviors succeed the bad behaviors. And in this way, we can very gently see to what extent family members are willing to have their own needs served by our consciousness.

If it turns out that they don’t appear to have a need for our rich nectar-like consciousness, and they seem to be rolling in the mud themselves, rather self-sufficiently, and they seem to be happy with their unhappiness, their unhappiness seems to be making them happy, then we need to let them do that without reference to us.

And it’s only a period of time. This kind of behavior can’t go on forever.

And so we’re always willing to keep the lines of communication open, but whether or not we’re willing to show up and be subjected to soma banditry, that’s another question altogether. The answer is no. Not available for a hold-up. Jai Guru Deva.

[17:09] Q – How Can I Communicate with Discouraged Adult Children?

At a time of so much uncertainty in the world, how do I speak to my adult children, age 24 and 30, when they get discouraged about job security, money, and finding their place in the world?

I know how to speak to them about who they are, but I find myself at a loss of words when they are discouraged about current life circumstances. They’re great kids.

[17:32] A – The Uncertainty Principle

Your kids are great kids. And these questions are not new questions. I’ve been hearing these questions from people in my entire professional career of 55 years, and my own master heard these questions going all the way back to the Great Depression, and his master heard these questions going back into the previous century.

The same questions, uncertainty. Uncertainty about various employment. Uncertainty about the sustainability of a particular lifestyle. Uncertainty about, well, let’s look at it truthfully, uncertainty about absolutely everything. This is the uncertainty principle.

And the uncertainty principle is, there’s absolutely nothing certain about a world which is going through constant flux. We need to bring to that world certainty. The certainty can not come from the world. It’s never going to come from the world.

There’s never been a time, anytime in the world where there was certainty, where there was, the world is going to deliver to you beautifully, and you were born into a perfect time because now you’re in an era and take advantage of it quick while the world is providing you with certainty.

There’s never been such a world, and there never will be. What there will be, always, is a world that is responsive to you being the certainty. You, as the parent of these 20-somethings and the 20-somethings themselves, mirroring the experience of their parent, who is The Certainty.

[19:29] Creative Intelligence Always Finds Employment

What is The Certainty? “I am the one indivisible, whole consciousness field. I tap into the infinite field of creative intelligence twice every day. I have capability oozing from me.”

Whether the job, employment world, the world of politics, the world of of economy, the world of inflation, the world of recession, the world of contraction, all of these things that people apply to all this, there’s always somebody who succeeds.

 The misfortune of the many is the misfortune of all of those who don’t know how to be the fountainhead of creative intelligence. Creative intelligence always finds employment.

Creative intelligence, capability, stability, adaptability, integration, purification, willingness to grow, these things are always marketable in any time, in any environment, even in war-torn areas. One’s ability to be the answer.

So, “I’m not relying on the world to be the answer. I am the answer. I’m the answer to whatever it is that’s plaguing the world. I am.”

And how do I assure that? Practice Vedic Meditation twice every day, without fail. Strategically, systematically dive into that inner wellsprings of pure creative intelligence. And you will be the one who everyone chooses to have around because you bring value and you bring high-end consciousness to every proposition, through every interaction, through every conception, through speech, through just your mere presence.

So don’t wait for the world to provide you with certainty. You become the certainty for the world. Not that the world is going to give you certainty. This is the proper way of training these 20-somethings.

[21:52] Be the Guru

20-somethings are 20-somethings. They’re not yet fully adult. Even though they can engage in what we consider to be adult “freedoms,” like, you can go out and buy poison and pour it to your body once you’re 21 in most places. They’re really going properly to be adults by the time they reach 30.

And, that’s, that’s the point at which they’ll gain the ability to have a complete understanding about what it is they actually are inside, and what it is they have to offer to the world.

So still a good time for training in the twenties. Twenties is a very prime time for good training. But that training has first to be engaged in by the parent who’s going to be the guru to these 20-somethings. You need to be the guru.

[22:45] An End to All Uncertainty

And for that, just feast on my podcast material on all of the different courses that are available through my website. See if you can engage in deeper knowledge, deeper understanding of what this practice of Vedic Meditation is all about.

What is its source? What is its course? What is its goal? Where did it come from? What is it all about? This is a subject called Exploring the Veda, available to you through one of your local instructors in Vedic Meditation.

And if you don’t have someone locally that you can identify, make an inquiry on my website and my team will immediately come to your aid. And more advanced knowledge courses.

And in the end, there’s no greater advanced technique than becoming a teacher of Vedic Meditation and bringing an end to all uncertainty. Because when you’re a teacher of Vedic Meditation, you have access to the home of certainty, The Absolute. The Absolute, the unmanifest field of pure creative intelligence is there in your treasure box of consciousness, and you never lose contact with it.

Jai Guru Deva.

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