I watched the Black Swan recently and Natalie Portman’s performance has pirouette-d me dizzy. What I liked most about the show is the portrayal of the relationship between the character’s mother and daughter. The character’s mother personifies many of the traits that I observe in some of my client’s parents. Love like a rose vine, beautiful yet constricting.Look at your life, your job, your work, your school, your beliefs. Are they yours? Do they truly resonate with you? Or are you living the dream of your parents? By the way, its absolutely fine if you enjoy what your parents expect of you. I know many people do, after all, if you have grown up in a certain environment, some people are bound to grow to love it. If you’re such a person, this post is not for you.
Many people are driven by expectation from their parents to do great in school and then go on to do well in life (i.e. have a Ph.D, MD or JD). When the child protests and spout dreams that defy the laws of logic to parents, the phrase “It’s for your own good” is often whispered with the utmost care and concern, almost like a gun barrel to the head. The child is bent with guilt for having dreams of their own that they fear emotional rejection if they persist. When these children grow up, they fulfill their roles out of filial piety, many grow to accept life as it is, yet deep in the hearts of some lingers a forlorn regret for not having tried. Could life have been different? Maybe…maybe even better?
Growing up in an environment that demonstrates too much care and concern all the time does not leave space for the individual to experiment with and experience life. Even chit chat over dinner has to be censored, for the parent full of expectations actually cocks her rifle, leaving it ready to shoot down any thought balloons that contain ‘unrealistic’ ideas. Many of you have experienced this; lucky are you if you have never been through it. Little is left to chance and every thought is closely monitored by the eagle eye of their parents.
We as children have to understand: Our parents grew up in a harsher environment and did their best to provide for us for they fear we might go through a harsh time as they did. For them to want the best of us is a natural response, and we can only show them gratitude for it. Yet a sword is not made without fire. For us to self-actualize, we have to go through our own kinds of trials too. How then can we experience our own moments?
It may be hard for Singaporeans, especially when the culture is for us to live with our parents inevitably until we get married; but the solution is SPACE. Find space, personal space. Time and space to let our own thoughts incubate and hatch to something much more than just a thought. If your environment is suffocating you quietly, then move out. Don’t wait till your flame is snuffed out.
If you can’t move out due to a lack of financial resources, then take time away from home. Declare to your family your sacred time. Spend time alone to contemplate what your life is really about. Allow yourself to enter an environment where dreams can just leak and colour the grounds about you. Find your own space. Liberate your mind.
And when you do find the peace in your heart to be honest with yourself. That moment is such a liberating moment that there is nothing short of a spiritual supernova that can describe it. Take courage.
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose” – Robert Byrne
This link details the relationship of the Parent and Child in detail: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-favorite-child/201102/the-black-swan-lesson-in-parentchild-relationships-0