"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 come to 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 20s, our 40s, or even later, depending upon 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, following the call of our own soul, and refusing any longer to be beholden to someone else’s expectations." ~ From the Daily OM
Now its interesting that I received this particular Daily OM in my email today because I had been working on a post about Approval. When I wrote about a big shift a month or so ago, I wasn't sure at the time what the shift really meant, I just knew it was big. It took a couple of weeks but I finally figured it out...I realized that I needed to live my life for me and not to garner my parent's approval (or anyone else's for that matter).
I come from a large Italian Catholic family. For a very long time my grandfather was the patriarch of the family and we were always seeking his approval. So I think its only natural that I would have constantly been seeking the approval of my parents too. Not that my parents ever pushed us to do one thing or the other. They always said no matter what you do, just do it well. Maybe that contributed to my trying to be perfect. Who knows?
What I do know is that letting go of seeking approval, or trying to live up to other's expectations, is really freeing. It has opened me up to new ideas, new relationships, new ways of thinking. I think we should all try to let go of other people's expectations and see what happens.