We may not realize until we are adults that we are living our life to make our parents happy.
Most of us come to a point in our lives when we question why we are doing what we are doing, and many of us realize that we may be living our lives in an effort to make our parents happy. This realization can dawn when we are in our twenties, our forties, or even later, depending on how tight a hold our family of origin has on our psyche. We may feel shocked or depressed by this information, but we can trust that it is coming to us at this time because we are ready to find out what it would mean to live our lives for ourselves by following the call of our own soul and refusing to be beholden to someone else’s expectations.
One of the most common reasons we are so tied into making our parents, or others, happy is that we were not properly nurtured when we were children. We were not honored as individuals in our own right, with a will and purpose of our own. As a result, we learned to look outside of ourselves for approval, support, and direction, rather than within. The good news is that the part of us that was not adequately nurtured is still there, inside us, like a seed that has not yet received the sunlight and moisture it needs to open and to allow its inner contents to unfurl. It is never too late to provide ourselves with what we need.
There are many ways to create a safe container for ourselves so that we can turn within and shine the light of awareness there. We may join a support group, go to therapy, or start a practice of journaling. This experience of becoming is well worth the difficult work that may be required. In whatever process we choose, we may feel worse before we feel better, but we will ultimately find out how to live our lives for ourselves and how to make ourselves happy.