"If I change it will kill my parents!"
"If I change, I'd be disOWNed!"
"If I change, there's too high a price to pay!"
"If I change, my spouse would leave me!"
All of this is rooted in fear ... fear that criticism of others could cause damage.
Here's the choice: to live a life hemmed-in by the squelching expectations and demands of others, or to live a life we're destined to live ... a life that requires the willingness to risk and endure the (imagined or real) attacks that *could* come from others, as we respond to our Inner-Leading, rather than reacting to the opinions of others.
Which will you be glad you chose, when all is said and done...?
Are you willing to leave this realm with your song still un-sung within you?
We don't belong to our family-of-origin-or-marriage so much as we belong to the Human Family. We mistakenly believe that we are owned by our parents, or that we own our children. None of us are the possession of another, nor can we possess another. That's slavery.
We're not obligated to fulfill the wishes of another's expectations for our life, either.
We're here to demonstrate and experience all that God has for us ... to learn from our choices, to discover who we really are.
We answer only to God ... even as we learn how to love God, and love each other. Love means living our convictions with kindness and respect -- including self-respect.
Sometimes that means disappointing a loved one ... when their well-meaning, but mis-guided expectations are more about themselves, than about us. A life well-lived, unapolagetically, unhindered, without excuses ... is a life that others will not only ultimately admire, but can even be influenced by ... they can be inspired to live-well themselves.
This is not about selfishness ... this is about authenticity ... which always includes blessing others as we live. It's not either/or, but both/and.
And, I'm not bound to continue in ways that once served me, but no longer do. That which aided me as a child, as I was learning to navigate in the dark, may now be impediments, as I am learning to walk more in the Light.
Reasons for the past can become excuses in the present.
I can gracefully and gratefully let go of that which once served me ... but which no longer fits me.
I believe I honor and bless others, when I live my most authentic, most transparent, most celebratory life, here and now.
The Abundant Life is the God-manifested life ...
(Next: "I Can't Afford the Changes Required to Live the Abundant Life")