Via Alex Myles for Elephant Journal
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I remember the moment vividly, 21 years ago.
I was sitting in the antenatal clinic, reading a magazine article while waiting for my appointment. It was before my daughter was born and although I cannot remember the name of the magazine or whom the interview was about, I do, very clearly, remember the message I received.
When the interviewer asked how the mother in question had managed to control her daughter throughout her teenage years, the mother simply replied “I have never tried to control her; I guide her.”
I reflected on my own teenage years and progression into adulthood and recognized the impact that my parentscontrolling behaviour had had on my life. I was fiercely independent, even from a young age, and I, at least, thought I knew my own mind. I wasn’t easily swayed or coerced into doing anything I didn’t want to do.
And the times that I had been forced to go against my own grain, I had regretted tremendously.
Whether the subject was my friends, boyfriends, education or life in general, I always knew I had to find my own way. Whenever my parents had forcibly intervened I strongly resented it and would very often find a way of rebelling against it.
Not only would I rebel, I would feel that because I had not made decisions myself, the lessons I had been given had passed me by, with nothing learned. I had unfinished business with people and had not seen things through to the end due to other people making important choices for me.