I’ve always had problems with authority. I can’t bare being told what to do, who to talk to, how to dress, how to speak, what goals I should and should not pursue, etc. I can’t say that I don’t love my family because I do, but I do believe part of this control complex stems from the faulty ideal of “tough love” upheld by my parents.
My upbringing may be attributed to strict and almost routine chastisement to the point where I can predict what and when I will be criticized about what I’m doing. This, however, has caused me to become insensible to the commands and criticisms of those around me. And though this may be wrong, I believe it is justified by my loss of hope in pleasing those around me. And even when I attempt to please myself, my mind is filled with the critical whispers that I will soon face. This draws from my ability to be happy. But what is true happiness? Is happiness characterized by contentment in one’s self and personal form of expression? Is it the satisfaction one gets from pleasing parents, mentors, and friends? Can happiness be pursued through embracing one’s individuality despite the emotional setbacks of harsh criticism? Or is it more practical to conform to the standards of one’s social atmosphere and attain the happiness of acceptance?
The answer to these questions differ for every individual as we are all exposed to different social environments and endure different circumstances.
Personally, I believe that if I pursued happiness through the latter method I may be able to bare the influence of authoritative figures in my life, but I might just be too arrogant to pursue happiness through conformity. So I will continue to endure the coldness of “tough love”, and maybe when I move out of my parents’ home I may come to experience the happiness of self-expression, but for now, out of my “soft” love for my parents, I will continue to (futilely) attempt to please them.