Who is in charge?

QUESTION: Masters, I’m having issues with my family. As I learn more about myself I feel like an adult trying to make things right with a group of children. My mother is always ordering me around and now I have refused to take care of my uncles. This has spoiled the relationship between me and my mother. Some people I know say that if one wants to be successful in life, be it wealth, health, or family, one must have the support of the parents. Is this true? Being the eldest among 3, I’ve always been unfairly burdened with taking care of my brother and sister, and even my cousins. I think it’s time for me to live my life. I told my mother that she should understand that everyone is responsible for their own actions. And she shouldn’t expect me to take care of every single damn person. I feel that as long as I say no to her, it’s ok for me. I’m wondering whether my bad relationship with my mom will affect my success in life. I’m so confused! ~C.H.J.J., Singapore

ANSWER: You know the answers to some of your questions because you made them a part of your question. People are responsible for their own actions—both what they do and what they don’t do in life. You need to honor yourself by respecting the way you live your life and by not letting anyone tell you what you must do.

You are correct that it is time for you to live your own life since you have discovered that you have freedom of choice. To live your own life, you must examine the belief systems by which you make your decisions. Are you making all your choices based on your considerations, or are you doing things because of what others are telling you?

Do you believe that without your family there is no chance you will be successful? Does that mean that those whose families have died before they start working will fail and can never have health or wealth? What about orphans? Does it make any sense to believe that having the support of a family is a critical aspect of success unless you are going into business with your family?

If you accept what “some people say” you are saying these friends, or maybe even strangers, know more about you than you do. They know what is best for you without seeing the choices presented to you. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? It should. Take back your power, as you did with your controlling mother, and do what feels right for you.