wilted-flower-children

When I started my entrepreneurial journey almost a decade ago, I had no idea that I had said "Yes!" to freedompreneurship, ie to embrace entrepreneurship as a spiritual quest for total liberation.

I had no clue that I'd walk through the fires of the Hero's Journey and the Heroine's Journey and the Liberator's Journey and healing 10/12 of the Wounded Child Archetypes and breaking the shackles of filial piety and and and...

Had I known... I never would have said "Yes!"

The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents.
― Carl Jung

I never expected filial piety to be one of the top recurring themes in my journals, blogs and memoir stories. None of my favourite authors nor their life changing books ever mentioned it.

In short, filial piety is the insidious unconscious conditioning, especially on those of immigrant descent, to over-compensate for the unlived life of our parents, community, country and/or culture at large, to actualize their every dream and make up for their every lack.

Filial piety dictates that unless we show proof of money and status sufficient enough to over-compensate for our predecessors' lack in skin colour and lack in language fluency and lack in degree equivalency and lack in citizenship, we have no worth.

Dang, that's a tall order!


How Filial Piety Sows the Seeds of "Not Enough"


Me: I got 99%, the hiiiiiighest mark in my entire grade, booyaa!!!
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Where did the 1% go?
Inner child face:
 
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg


Me: Woohoo, got 100% on 9 out of 12 of my classes this term!!
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Were there no bonus points you could earn?
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg


Me: F*ck yeah, got 109% on my final project for my CGI animated game!
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Where did the 1% go?
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

 

Me: Huzzah, I set an all-time school record of 150% on my graphic simulation final programming project.
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Will that get you into medical school?
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg


Me: Let me put $10,000 toward a new family car that has heating in -35 C winters.
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Why did you buy a Japanese car? Damn Japan.
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow girl-emotions-grief-bg

Me: Woot-woot, first female on both sides of my lineage to go to college! Even graduated from McGill University, debt-free, having paid my entire university education with 4 scholarships + 7 paid internships, with $20k in savings.
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Doctors make more money.
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief


Me: I'm starting my own digital design company.
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Doctors make more money.
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow girl-emotions-grief-bg


Me: Let me put $20,000 toward the downpayment of a new family home and thousands more for a bi-coastal relocation to retire my parents in comfort.
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Where’s the garage? How come there's no garage?
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief

 

Me: F*ck it, I'm done. I’m gonna follow my heart to Africa and work in international humanitarian aid.
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: When will you get a a real job?
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow girl-emotions-grief-bg

 

Me: Woohoo, earned a place with the United Nations, working to end world hunger and immunizable diseases!
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Did you know YouTube sold for $1.65 billion?
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief

 

Me: I'm starting my own coaching company to liberate women.
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Did you know Yahoo sold for $44.6 billion?
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief

 

Me: I bought my first home by the beach on my own dime before turning 30!
Outside face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief-bg

Asian Immigrant Parent: Why are you paying mortgage interest to the bank?
Inner child face:
girl-emotions-joy-bg girl-emotions-happy-bg girl-emotions-neutral-bg girl-emotions-sorrow-bg girl-emotions-grief

These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.
― Najwa Zebian


The Voice of "Not Enough" and Self-hatred

At first, the "Asian Parent" voice was 70% my dad and 30% my mom. Like any classic Asian immigrant parent, they never acknowledged the 99% that I did achieve. They only ever poked at the missing 1%.

As I grew up, I realized that the "Asian Parent" voice was actually 35% my dad, 15% my mom and 50% my Culture (with a capital ‘C’). You know, that booming filial piety voice that commands, "You must be first place in everything and retire your parents in luxury or you will bring shame upon the family!"

That Culture demanded that I conform to the “school / 9-5 / mortgage / marriage / 2.5 kids" McCombo. And when I refused to, it hunted me down with pitchforks, flaming torches and witch burning crosses.

As I kept maturating, I realized that the "Asian Parent" voice was 0% dad, 0% mom, 10% Culture and 90% me. The voice that used barbed wire to whip myself on the back in order to over-compensate for my Culture's every dream and make up for its every lack was... my own voice.

No matter what I did, my voice said, “Nope, not good enough. Try harder. Nope, still not good enough. Try even harder. Nope, never, ever good enough."

 

Internalized Filial Piety Grows into Self-Hatred

It’d take 13 years and 4 months (plus a decade and $100,000 of self-development and healing arts) for me to see and understand how all those external voices infiltrated my tender psyche like black ink in the glass of water of my being.

The internalization of those unconscious and unloving voices is how filial piety sows seeds of "not enough." Then when watered by shame, isolation and lack of cherishing and championing, those seeds grow into self-hatred, extending roots that choke and dim every fibre of self-esteem and self-worth a child has.

Did our parents do the best they could? Yes, 100% yes. If they were capable or conscious of better, they would have done so. Was it our parents' fault? No, 100% no. Is there forgiveness work to be done? Yes, 100% yes.

Is it about forgiving your parents? Maybe 5%-10% yes. But 90%-95% of the work is to forgive yourself... to forgive your own soul for choosing this brutiful human experience.

 

INQUIRY

You're not here by random accident. What would it take to forgive yourself for choosing this incarnation?

Live fierce and free,

xo, Ella


(First Published Nov 7, 2018)

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