PARENTING WITHOUT BEING A PARENT

There was a girl whom we both had loved and cared for. Even she was quite fond of us as well. But it was very difficult to reach her as she didn't have a phone then. That was the time when big smart phones were very expensive and was in an introducing mode in India. Even the bar phones were expensive that time. All her friends had phones in their hands only this girl who used to call me Papa ji didn't have one. 

One day when she visited us with her boyfriend, we both gifted her a phone. She hugged me and was overwhelmed with joyful emotions. Now after 12/13 years, she is happily married with her boyfriend and already  a mother of two beautiful babies. 

Sometimes as human we display that excessive care and concern for another human exactly as parents would do to their children. I have seen people who have that love and concern for others even when they have enough engagements already. I wonder, how we do that in a self-centred world of today. I feel it is a heart’s matter which is instilled in us through our parents, elders, teachers and guardians over the years as we grew up to a compassionate and loving adult.

The more we grow as compassionate individuals, the more we transition better as caregivers.

I have written many times in different articles about how I was brought up in a very cosy family environment with so much care and love engulfing me from all sides and probably I grew up being a very compassionate human being. And I have noticed I become very authoritative and commanding like my mother when I offer my help to another. I would say it was like imposing than offering my help. I have seen my granddad, my mother’s father used to be like that and then I saw that attribute in my mother as well. So I can say, I was quite influenced and inspired by their lives and became what I am today.

There can be another reason why we display that excessive care and love to someone else who is not even our blood relation. The following reflection from my life might shed a little more light on the same which I am going to explain…

The more I get to know her the more I get amazed by her personality. Our interactions were casual till that day when she was sounding very distressed and downcast. I am kind of sharp about understanding people’s mind even through chatting. I insisted her to share with me and she shared her problem. I prayed for her and we had talks over the phone couple of times and became closer. She found a confidant in me, as a spiritual father and I find a sweet daughter in her. Her innocent queries about life and other issues fascinated me… made me feel like a father more and more she asked me matters to understand about the life.

I remember when we finally met each other in person a joyful glee formed in both of our faces as I spread my arms wide for her to come in for a hug… She put her one arm around me as I wrapped my arms around her hugging. I felt all my burden, my pain, my sadness vanished in no time. I was not cold any more as the warmth my heart felt at that particular moment was indescribable. She giggled and spoke gently as I released her from hugging… “I knew you will be coming Papa…I heard it yesterday and I was delighted.” The word ‘Papa‘ made me climb cloud nine. I felt like floating in the air. 

I feel, when someone lacks something in life, he or she desires the same more than anyone or anything else. Like the other day, I was extremely stressed out and while sharing my heart to Kalpana over WhatsApp she sent me her daughter’s video saying, “She is my stress buster and maybe you will feel better watching her doing things“. And that made me sadder even as I replied, “Wish I have one such stress buster too… I miss a daughter in my life… Because the one I have is too big to be cuddled or play with and she is far away from me… Sometimes, I feel envious of you for having such a cute little girl of your own which I can never have any more in my life.” And probably that lacking in me made me display that love and care to someone like Aparna, Vipra and many others who have come into my life.

All these situations were negative, depressing for him. He was negative about his life but he had a hope always, that one day God will do something for him.

Throughout his life he had go through depression or negative situations but he tried his best to come over them by accepting whatever came in his way. 

He played games alone when loneliness tried to overpower him. He invented new games to amuse himself which at times attracted others too. He involved himself in writing stories and songs when he was downcast and depressed. He kept himself busy in drawing, colouring and painting to combat his loneliness. He kept himself busy reading beautiful novels. He started preparing sermons which he never preached to anybody but to himself. He loved to listen to others when he had ample amount of heartaches hidden deep within himself. He made fun, and was humorous to give others happiness. He learned to enjoy within himself.

The above excerpt was from an article where I have reflected how God took me through negative and depressive life experiences to fashion me into a caregiver which I feel can be the third reason why someone expresses that love and care to his or her fellow human being unconditionally.

God, whom I trust has been with me all this time, teaching and guiding me through different life situations as I know and believe that – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds“.

Over the years, I have been attending many that I came across apart from my relatives and family members. And have become their parent in some or other way, whether I call them friends, daughter, sister or brother… I give the care they need at their most vulnerable times. I may not become a father biologically but have been a father figure to many in regards to the love and care I show them. It is not something great I do but it is something that mends my brokenness and fills the gaps I feel in my life. As Rajnandini once commented on one of my articles – “God knows the deepest hidden desires of the hearts of those who love Him and He takes care that the desires are fulfilled in His time…in His way“.

Friends! Are you sad because you don’t have kids or you won’t be able to have a baby of yourself? Are you depressed because you won’t have the opportunity to become a parent? Trust me, parenting and caregiving are not limited only to those who have children biologically but to those who have the heart to be a mother and a father to many who desperately in need of a caregiver or parent today. Are you ready to fill that gap as a caregiver or a parent?

Keep pondering on these thoughts that I incited in you today…

Stay blessed!