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Obligations, Excuses and Action, Jennifer Hoffman, 11 April 2018

Posted on April 11, 2018 at 10:35 AM

To what extent are we obligated to others’ well-being, happiness, and security and do we have a choice in our obligations? In this article, which answers a question asked by a reader, I bring up the idea that meeting these obligations is something we can choose to do, or not and sometimes the obligation we assume can be the excuses we need to not move forward with our own lives.

Dear Jennifer: It has taken me a long time but I’m learning to put my needs first. I am a single mother, with one daughter and I currently live with my mother, who is having many mental and health problems and is on lots of medications. My mother wants me to stay here with her, my daughter is the center of her world and her only motivation for living and although I want to leave, I am afraid that my mother won’t forgive me if I do, or she will ‘check out’. I don’t know what to do or where to turn now and while I feel like I need to move on, I need to take care of my mother and make sure she’s OK. Can you help me?


Jennifer’s Answer: You probably suspected that my first answer would be to look at the heavy karma and soul wounds that are present between you and your mother. They include guilt, shame, dependence, abandonment, manipulation, and probably a few more. Any time we feel responsible for someone’s mental or physical well being, a soul wound has come up for healing. You do want to get on with your life and your mother’s dependence on your serves two purposes — it helps you deal with the soul wound issue and it also gives you an excuse for not facing your own fears and living your own life.


First, let’s deal with the karma and soul wound issues because they are the most important. In another lifetime together, there was an abandonment issue created when you left to pursue your dreams. Perhaps your mother, in another kind of relationship, died or was injured or her life was negatively impacted by your leaving. You held yourself responsible for her death and promised to ‘take care of her’ in some way. Fast forward to the future, where she is dependent on you and you fear that if you leave her something bad will happen to her. Your fear (which comes from your past guilt), together with her current health problems, put you back into this karmic cycle.


Now let’s look at your fears, because they are important too. Although you really want to live your own life and follow your dreams, you’re also a little unsure of yourself, so your mother’s fears and health condition make it easy for you to not pursue your dreams. Yes, you’re uncomfortable but not enough so you will move on. Together, you and your mother are simply feeding each others’ fears and keeping your karmic cycle turning.


Is there a way out? Yes, and it begins with what you are taking responsibility for. Your mother, her happiness and how she chooses to live her life are not your responsibility and you need to break free of the need to make her happy or to feel responsible for her life or choices. I also feel that she has diet and other food issues and isn’t taking the best care of her health, which makes these problems worse. If you would begin by taking small steps forward by making plans for yourself and suggesting that she starting eating healthier foods and take better care of herself, you would see a shift in the energy between you. And as you start taking steps towards your own dreams and freedom, one at a time, you will begin to heal your part of this karmic cycle and become more confident in your ability to live your own life in a powerful and successful way. As you empower yourself, you allow your mother to be empowered too. You need to start this because right now, you are both turning in circles around each other and neither one of you is happy.


I know it’s a tough subject but you feel like this because there are obligations and karmic contracts between you that have to do with you sacrificing your life for her. Is that really what you want to do? I feel you want to get on with your life and think that she is standing in your way. In a way she is and in another way, you are allowing her to through your guilt.


Soul contracts are tricky, since they begin with a situation that created guilt and then just expand it until it overtakes everything. Explore where you feel guilty about your mother’s situation, and look at its history. When you forgive and release yourself for the guilt and shame that may be the foundation for this situation, for having done something in the past that hurt her (and it’s all from the past), you can let go of this obligation. It’s not about ‘needing’ to do this, it’s about clearing the energy and creating space in your life so you can live your own life, not live your life in obligation to your mother and always putting her needs before yours.


You can do this and you won’t be hurting anyone in the process and as you free yourself, you also free your mother from this obligation. Until you do, you will continue to limit your life and live through this karmic cycle with your mother and with everyone else you have a relationship with because it is energy you have to heal within yourself, so you will attract people who can help you heal it. Instead of asking whether someone else is happy with your choices, and waiting for their response to take action, ask yourself if you are happy with your choice, and take action that is aligned with your intentions.


Copyright (c) 2018 by Jennifer Hoffman. All rights reserved. You may quote, translate, reprint or refer to this message if you mention the author name and include a working link to

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