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Hey everyone, So I have been lurking this forum for quite some time, and I really like the help that everyone is getting. A lot of the people that post here are very intelligent in the Sikh ways and I hope you guys can help me out too, being that I don't know a lot of Sikh people besides my immediate family.It's only fair that I post my story so that other people can gain insight from my situation as I did. So I've been through a lot mentally, so I'll try to leave out the details. Basically I've been going through a lot with coping with my identity. I grew up in a Sikh family and I was having thoughts of cutting my hair and beard. I didn't want to tell anyone because I knew it would hurt my family, so I kept it in trying to battle it on my own. I didn't know a lot of Sikh people besides my close family, so I've been on my own for the most part. However over time, it got harder and harder. I was suppressing my emotions while I was with them, and was bottling it all in. After a few years of this, I had to tell someone. Eventually, we were bickering back and forth on discussing this matter and going nowhere fast. There was going to be no middle ground in this, and both of us knew that. Fast forward about 8 months later. I cut my hair and beard. I feel a lot better when it comes to my appearance, but its still not enough for me. We don't have the discussion much anymore, besides a few times when my dad says that it hurts him when he sees me. (When I go home, I wrap a turban on out of respect for my family. Yet it is still implicit that I did get it cut.) Not only does that add on to my guilt, I think about my family members who kept their identity and are doing well. I think about where I went wrong in my thinking that lead me to today. I love my family so much that I hate hurting them in this way. The last time I got my hair cut was in mid-July, and my mother was very happy that I haven't gone to get a haircut recently. It's things like this where my guilt clashes like a golf cart and a semi truck. I love my family so much that I don't want to hurt them, yet I'm conflicted with what I want to do. Even yesterday I went to the hair salon, but I couldn't go inside with the feelings of my family going through my mind, so I turned around and left. If I am really honest with myself, I like the way that I look now then the way I did before. I was even surprised about the reactions I got before and after; they are more positive now. But it's tough to maintain because of all the factors that I have mentioned before; with my family and those who kept up with it. I guess what I'm alluding to writing in this post is that my conflict has stayed the same. Before when I had my identity, it was my views vs the family views. And now after the fact, the game is still the same. Has anyone or does anyone know of anyone that has been through the same thing that I am going through and can share their experiences? My scope is limited because I don't know a lot of Sikh people, but from what I gather, its either an all or nothing thing: I've seen families where either they are all Sikhs and keep their identity, or families where none of them keep their identity. Not split like the situation that I am in. Any input would help. Thanks in advance for reading this and for your help.
WJKK WJKF I have a friend who's 16 and she's been suffering from this problem. For most of her life, she has been caring and ready to help anyone in any situation. For the past little while she's realized that those feelings have been shutting down. It's more natural for her to get upset in a situation where she has a problem rather than a situation where someone else (who she cares about) has a problem. It used to be the complete opposite before this year. She really wants the old state of mind back, but it feels as if her mind just doesn't care about much anymore. Is this because of age? Any tips to help get back into the old state of mind? Thank you in advance for replies WJKK WJKF
What does gurbani and the various janamsakhis say about the responsibilities of person towards their parents, especially if they are not sikh? Please answer from sikhi and not a cultural point of view. Traditionally the east has had a greater focus on bending backwards to look after parents and consent to their wishes, especially when they are in old age, as opposed to nuclear family units in the west and urban centres worldwide. What is the sikhi line? Do we have parents live with us or leave them to their own devices? If living together and if they are not sikh do you permit them to practice their religion in your home even if it is anti gurmat? If one is amritdhari do you eat with /food made by them? When having to choose between living with your parents and looking after their needs in old age or doing widespread sewa to the point where such a living arrangement would be impractical and indeed where said parents may interfere (intentionally or unintentionally) with said sewa activities, what does one choose? Guru Nanak ji is probably a good example to follow. How did he interact with his parents, who were Hindu? My understanding is that whilst he was living under their roof he disagreed with their views and practiced spirituality but still followed their instructions such as doing specific jobs, marrying when they wanted to, etc. Once he was more established in God's spiritual journey, contrary to their wishes of wanting him to look after them and be there for him in their old age, Guru ji went on his udasis to help thousand of people rather than just helping 2 people. From this it seems that the numbers of souls he could impact mattered more. It made no different that they were his parents, this accorded them no special status, he saw god in everyone and ergo saw the whole world as his family. Did guru ji refuse to eat with his parents? Did he refuse good cooked by them? Presumably his parents lived with his wife and children whilst he was spreading the word of God. Did his parents keep hindu idols inside the home? Did they freely practice religious rituals in the home? To what extent did they impose their religion on Guru jis children, especially when they were young and Guru ji was still living under his parents roof, not yet fully established as the true Guru? Did his wife follow hindu customs? Did guru ji perform his parents funeral rites as per hindu customs? Gurbani also constantly reminds us that mothers, fathers, children, spouses etc are not ones true support, they do not go with us in the end, we should not waste our time with minds attached to them, worrying about them only. Gurbani decries emotional attachments, to family members in particular. Gurbani also says that it is God alone who takes care of all needs and is the true support and only attachment worth having. Again, please leave aside your personal views and experiences and please answer from a theological sikhi point of view. This is an important issue for those whose parents are of other religions (or perhaps "sikh" in name only).