Mum Was Right

By Leah McCallig, June 17, 2019

Read time: 2 Mins

Mum Was Right Image

My actions do have consequences.

When you’re young, parents will often drill the concept of consequences into your psyche in quite a punitive way. Like, if you don’t eat your vegetables you won’t get any chocolate mousse after dinner, or if you don’t go to bed now you can’t go to dance class.

However, as we start to become adults, we gain more freedom and create the illusion for ourselves that there are no more consequences. That we can do essentially whatever it is that we want and get away with it. We start lying to our parents about our whereabouts and get drunk on freewill, not knowing when to stop or how to, either.

If you’ve heard the term ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ (a nerdy term used to describe physics), you might understand why I’m bringing it up, and its applicability to this matter. I’d best describe it as a rubber band effect. Years of discipline and control that parents exercise on their children, to different degrees, cause this action of disobedience and rebellion.

Some people haven’t ‘snapped’ yet, but I certainly did. As if possessed to make questionable choices by some force outside my body that I couldn’t control. We often can’t fathom the permanence of many of our choices. Sometimes we go into auto-pilot, making mindless decisions without thinking them through, possessed by emotions or an absence of them. It’s often only when the damage is done that we can recognise these behaviours, surrounded by others engaging in them as well. We fail to realise certain behaviours are self-destructive or are inhibiting us from growth.

I found myself going out all the time and taking substances, just classic run-of-the-mill teenage behaviours. The problem was that because everyone seemed to be doing it, I didn’t think I had a problem. Externally, it’s easy to confuse someone’s self-destruction with self-indulgence, which made me unable to even recognise it in myself. If any of this rings a bell, remember to take time for yourself. Practice self-care and self-confidence, on a mental and physical level. That doesn’t just mean making up for sleepless nights with a sheet mask – which I’m guilty of doing more than a handful of times.

Don’t lose sight of who you are. Your choices do matter, but if you happen to make poor ones it’s okay. It’s often a learning experience, and you can always change your route.

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