Remember That You Can Do Whatever You Want
Have you ever felt powerless to affect your own situation and existence, like a million things were holding you back? Have you ever said to yourself: "Yes, I do want to do [x] and visit [x] and work [x] job, but if only I didn't have to deal with person [y] and factor [z]."
Well, forget all that. Just remember that you can do what you want. That it's all your choice, that nothing and no one is forcing you. People might be expecting something or other from you, but there really isn't anything they can do. Nobody can really control you. The control is an illusion. You are not helpless at all and you choose basically everything.
"Oh, but it's not that simple!" But it is!
"My wife won't let me! [get a new job, get a boat, get a concubine]."
Do it anyway.
"But she'll divorce me!" Then divorce her.
"But I don't want to divorce her!" Then you don't want to divorce her--it's your choice.
It's ultimately your choice if you let her have a say in your life; don't blame her for it. It's not that your wife won't let you, it's that you decided you'd rather have her as a wife than these other things.
Either way, you can do what you want.
"My parents would have a fit! [if I dated outside my race/religion; if I told them I didn't want to be a lawyer/executive/gynecologist anymore; if I got too much "book learnin'" and became an atheist]"
So? Are you going to unwant the things you want or unlearn the things you've learned just to get along with your family? That's basically impossible, but you can still probably try and put up something of a false front and avoid getting into deep discussions with them for the rest of your life.
If you do indeed choose to try this, your decision to try is all your responsibility. Your parents' having a fit did not make you grudgingly Christian or unhappily married to the boy (or girl) next door--you did. No need to, again, shift the blame.
Just repeat after me: "The approval of my family is more important than my happiness." And that may indeed be true for a lot of people. Own it and see it for what it is instead of targeting your resentment at the wrong source, when, really, the only person responsible is you.
"I have kids to take care of now! Having them won't allow me to take such risks! [like starting my own business; quitting my job to become an artist; moving across the country to follow my dreams]"
Now, it is questionable whether there is even a conflict here, and exactly how risky these things are, relatively speaking. But, either way, that's not the issue or the point.
The point is that you have kids and you're complaining that they're holding you back. So get rid of them. What, you love your kids and don't want to give them up? Then stop complaining and find a solution. It's up to ones own self to find the solution, not up to Jesus to hear one's bellyaching and send an angel to pull a deus ex machina so that a person can have everything he wants without first taking responsibility for it.
And if you don't want to take responsibility for it, then just stop complaining and do nothing at all.
But most of all, stop complaining. It's silly to complain when you can basically, barring an actual violation of the laws of physics, do pretty much anything you want.
"My boss is an asshole."
So quit. No? Then tell him to stop being an asshole. No, he might fire you? Then be fired. No? Then let him treat you badly.
Repeat after me: "I am letting my boss say degrading things to me. I believe my paycheck compensates me for enduring this treatment." There we go. This is indeed true for some people, as I said. No need to be ashamed of it. Admit it and own it.
You might tell yourself that you "can't always have what you want," or that you're powerless to do this or that, but that's also your choice. You decide if you're a weakling or if you're strong, and nobody else can decide this for you. Even if interactions with others can touch you or your life situation to some degree, the most important part, the source of it all and the source of the critical reaction to all this stimuli is you, yourself.
Humans are born with good eyes and good hands. They're beings that are very aware of their surroundings and very powerful in terms of affecting it, compared to other animals. They were so built for this Earth and for handling its challenges that they exploded in population and constructed huge cities (with those hands) all around the world. Don't forget you are among these kinds of creatures, creatures built as efficient machines with the purpose of getting what they want. It's in your nature to be able to get what you need and want.
Seriously, then, do what you want.
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