If you devote yourself to your family, a variety of results are still possible. You could produce tremendous success, moderate success, or limited success. At the end of your life, your gravestone could be engraved with a message from your survivors to future generations of your descendants. Your closest relatives, such as your children, would use the words of the gravestone as an inspiration for your grandchildren and later generations.
What do you say about prior generations of your own ancestors? Did they live in order for you to have a really glorious career and attract lots of social validation from strangers? I’m not asking what they may have said in the past. I am asking what you say now. Were their lives the roots for a lasting pursuit of future glory and absolution (release from guilt or punishment)?
By “lasting” pursuit, I mean one that goes on and on and on. With a background of agonizing and paranoia, people can pursue the achievement of “eventually becoming deserving of life.” That pursuit can go on and on and on. It is a mode of seeking to compensate for some original sin or shame.
So, is your career primarily an instrument to serve your family? Or, is your family primarily a support network to promote your success in your career?
Obviously, it makes sense for people to have preferences in regard to their career. If they are present to their family as their priority, then their preferences in regard to career will simply be experienced as preferences and perhaps challenges. For other people, issues regarding their career may be experienced as dilemmas or even panics.
The activity of avoiding shame has a remarkable way of leading to greater intensities of shame. To avoid or hide the experience of shame can involve tremendous amounts of energy (drains, inefficiencies).
If you plan to do a particular thing at a particular time, why? For whom?
You may prefer having a particular kind of home for yourself and for your family. You may prefer having particular kinds of relationships with the members of your family. You may prefer exploring particular conversations and career paths.
However, is there a clear priority for you in regard to the various possible ways of focusing? Have you been operating from clarity or in order to avoid clarity?
We may have been programmed to avoid clarity in order to behave in ways that benefit the institutions that programmed us. For instance, certain values and preferences and actions may be programmed by schools, churches, and mass media.
In order to survive life inside of an institutional context, we may have opened ourselves to “being possessed” by strong suits that involve a trade-off that sacrifices clarity. Once we are no longer in that institution (such as a public school), the “possession” may continue because of the effectiveness of the hypnotic methods of institutions (the intensity of the traumas which the institutions are designed to create in the human resources that are being “broken, tamed, and herded”).
Are institutions tools for serving families? Are families tools for serving institutions?Both may be true. Some institutions may exploit herds of people in order to benefit exclusive groups of beneficiaries.Build your house on rock, not on sand. Or, if you are building on sand, then build a simple tent that you can easily take down and move somewhere else (living as a nomad).
Those who are living to avoid clarity are like nomads (metaphorically). There is nothing wrong with being a nomad who (in their own experience) “does not belong” anywhere or with anyone. That can be an important factor in surviving life within institutions long enough to relax the programmed panics, dilemmas, and agonizings.