A common dynamic I often experience in working with patients is the resistance to emotionally outgrow one’s parents. A patient often feels guilt and shame in reaching new psychological heights and thus, abandoning his or her parents by leaving them behind in their own self-inflicted emotional limitations.

Sad, really. That unspoken loyalty to remain at the same place emotionally to one’s parents somehow equates to connection. That the only tie that binds is staying identical to one’s emotional gene pool. 

In my world, emotional evolution through the generations is a sign of health. It means that someone in the family line mustered the courage to do it differently and do it better. Bravo for them.

Furthermore, as a parent, it is our job to raise kids who outgrow us. Anything less is not only a missed opportunity but a parental failure.

Fly, fly away, my children. Leave me in your dust. Feel free to smoke me. Then, we both have done our jobs.

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