Whose lesson is it?

QUESTION: Masters, my son is a very angry young man. He is resentful of anything we do for him and nasty in the extreme when we show kindness or concern. He takes every word literally and if I can’t recall a conversation verbatim, he becomes verbally abusive. He is saving money to move out of our home which I think is a good thing. I worry that he may be depressed or suicidal and I’m at a loss how to reach out to him. I am very confused. What are the lessons here for all of us? ~Claire, Canada

ANSWER: Lesson number one: how does it feel to be a puppet? Lesson number two: you can never make people do anything they do not want to do. Lesson number three: you have total freedom of choice to create an environment for yourself. Lesson number four: others may join your world but only if they choose.

You have allowed a monster to arise in your house. You have always thought that having gentle, kind, and giving parents meant your son would reciprocate. He has chosen to take advantage of your kindness to see how to control the situation to his benefit. He is very immature and shuns responsibility for his actions. At this point in time nothing you do will change him. He needs to go out into the world and deal with non-compliant peers.

You love him so much that you follow him around like puppies to take care of his every need. While he is still in your home, start ignoring him whenever he becomes insensitive in his behavior. You do not have to allow abuse to continue. He is not suicidal or depressed, just self-indulgent. He will get bored with his games when he no longer gets immediate reactions from you.

He needs to be in a situation where he is totally in control of his own life. He needs to move out, but if you encourage it too much he will hesitate because that appears to be what you want and he does not do anything you want. Be stand-offish. He is angry because he doesn’t know what he wants and that frightens him. No one can bring that answer to him; he needs to go in search of it himself.

Just love him from afar until he gets his priorities straightened out. Send him love through the universe to help him find his way.