Momma Chen and Poppa Chen.

Two very different kinds of people from two very different upbringings, but they both love the same, they just have different styles.

Mom is most definitely the external arts.

Dad of course is Tai Chi, through and through.

Mom grew up basically having to raise her siblings.  She is the oldest of 5 and she didn’t have an easy childhood.  I think she learned how to be a parent before ever being able to actually be a child.  She had responsibilities beyond what any girl should have and it would be these responsibilities that would have her believing that she would never want children.

Dad is the baby of his family and his family was not shy of tragedies… I often wonder, how on earth dad turned out to be so incredibly laid back and amazing after all he has seen and been through.  I remember him telling us stories growing up and always having this incredible diplomacy about it all.  He never took sides when telling anything, it was as though his fluidly diplomatic persona felt that personal judgement of any sort was “uncalled” for and “beneath” anyone.  I always remember feeling that placing judgement on things, was something that my father would not be proud of me for doing.  Although I have had the ignorance of practicing judgment throughout the years, doing so would always remind me of how my father made me feel about this often times “lofty ideal”.  After all, who are any of us to judge anyone?  I have come to learn that judgment is nothing more than an unhealed part of a person who chooses to judge.  The choice of wanting to demonstrate understanding is forever enlightening.

Kids have a hard time listening to adults, not because there is anything wrong with kids, not because there is anything wrong with the adults.  It’s just the natural fact that kids are kids and adults are adults, that’s all.

Mom would run the house and the discipline which was always a lot of shouting and spankings, but this is normal for Chinese families.  In all honesty, I am not against spankings at all, in fact, I think a problem with many adults today is that they were never spanked growing up and sometimes my guilty pleasure would be getting my hands on these “adults” in sparring class.

There was a huge difference in how I reacted to Mom and Dad growing up though.

Dad was always quiet, but when he spoke he couldn’t have had a more perfect delivery or timing, because no matter what I always felt what his message was meant to make me feel and although I didn’t always understand the feeling or know what the right thing to do would be, he always made me think.  Not one thing my father has ever said to me has ever been wasted and nothing sticks like knowing that I somehow disappointed him, although he has never said I have ever disappointed him, the feeling of disappointment was probably just my own natural reaction and guilt, knowing that I didn’t make him proud.  One thing I always have felt and known, is, I always have been so proud of who my father is.  His reactions are what made me sure of what I should be proud of and also made me aware of what I shouldn’t be so proud of.

Silence is absolutely deafening.  This is something I have learned from my father.  While quiet is peaceful.  Silence is something else.  It is the deliberate cutting off and cutting out of what is absolutely unacceptable and against one’s own truth.  It’s a method which is as much about self preservation as it is also a deep understanding that we are all different people and just speaking the same language of vocabulary is not the same language as what is spoken from the soul.  Silence is the soul’s message.

In my younger days I would fire off instantly and have absolutely no filter, but what was the sense in this?  It would just make me crazy and it served no good purpose.  Telling someone off, while telling someone off, usually just triggers them to sound off on you too, after all, they have every right to protect themselves from your negative energy.  Someone who also doesn’t align with you well enough to treat you respectfully enough before you blow your lid, most likely won’t even care about how they hurt you after you blow your lid.  After many experiences like this I finally started to realize the strength and preservation of just silently walking away.  Anyone worthy of your friendship would never put themselves in a position to loose your friendship and perhaps it is your friendship that isn’t worthy enough of their effort.  Either way you look at it, if something isn’t meant to be, just let it go, but always learn from it.

The one constant that has always stuck with me through the years is just remembering my father and how, when he speaks everyone wants to listen.  He doesn’t waste his words, he doesn’t waste his energy.  He saves it for the people who are worth his time.

Silence is the art of Listing at its most sophisticated…

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