Live For Yourself, Not Your Parents

I’m writing this to all those people who, no matter how old you are, feel that their parents are dragging them down. Who feel like they have to morph into a different person in order to appease their parents. Who feel the struggle of having parents whose values and ways of living are much different than their own. Who feel the guilt of wanting to be who they truly are, instead of what their parents had envisioned them to be. I’d like to share a few thoughts on this topic, after having felt those things myself and witnessing others going through it, too.

To take that risk, and decide to live for your own sake, not you parents or family’s sake, is one of the best decisions you could ever make. And that’s not selfish. That’s not disrespecting your parents. It’s being who you are, being your brightest and best self, which is your true destiny in this life, above all things.

Most likely, you won’t fit in the box they’ve tried to build around you. This box was being built even before you were born. Whether it was the expectation that you would be an honor roll student, a doctor, a master pianist, or someone who goes to church every Sunday–even if you are some of these things–you will never be exactly the person they want you to be.

Please, please, please, let go of the guilt of not being able to fit into this box. Even though you may not consciously be aware of it, there is guilt there. You feel like you’re being a bad person by listening to your own true voice, which does not match what your parent’s expectations are. You feel like you’re being a bad person for wanting to move out of your family’s home and get a place of your own. You feel like you’re being a bad person for choosing a more unconventional career path. You feel like you’re being a bad person for making a few mistakes along the way. Let go of the guilt you have for choosing your own path.

However, our parents are not our enemies. They are trying to help you in the best way they learned how, even if it doesn’t seem like the best way in your eyes. And see it as just that. That doesn’t mean you have to feel guilty and end up doing what they tell you to. Just see it as evidence of love, and you can just leave it at that.

Although it’s natural to be angry in situations like this, I didn’t start feeling liberated until I decided to bless them and be grateful for all they had done for me. There are countless situations in which my parents did everything they could to love and support me that I am completely oblivious to. These situations are infinite. The sacrifices they have made for me are infinite. Although I wish I felt more accepted by them, and although I wish I felt more understood by them, the good out ways the bad 100x fold.

However, their countless sacrifices does not mean you can give them a free pass to run your life. You are not dishonoring your family by deciding to live an unconventional life. You are honoring your soul within. Live your life for you, not for them. It is not your job to make people happy–especially your family. It’s hard to follow your intuition and leap without having that familial support. I still feel myself second guessing major decisions because of this. It’s difficult for me to trust my own decisions when I don’t have my family there to validate it, because that’s what I had been used to my entire life. It takes patience, but I know I’ll get there. And I know you’ll get there, too. I trust that the resistance that is there now will soon fall away naturally, and you won’t even notice it as it disappears (see This is Transformation).

Now is the time to question everything. Question what you do and why you do it. Question your beliefs and where they originated from. Sometimes we do things or believe things because we know it will make our parents happy. And if that’s something you truly want to do, then do it. But if there’s a decision between what we know will make them happy vs.  what we know will make us happy in our hearts, always go for the latter. You weren’t born on this earth just to make others happy. You have your own innate purpose, something that is bigger and better and something that recognizes you as a brilliant, unique being. Not as a tool for others to use or a blank canvas for others to project their hopes and fears onto.

 You don’t have to do it all at once. This process is all about baby steps! It took me a while to be able to feel liberated, and some days I still feel the hold my family has on me. But every step I have taken so far has made me feel better and better. It’s a process.

Most importantly: Listen to you inner voice. Listen, listen, listen! And don’t let anyone push you off the path you were meant to be on. 

 

Kisses & Meows,

Gretchen

 

 

Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash

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