Where do my desires from? Where do I get my dreams and my values? If all that I believe comes from loving others who believed in those things do I really have my own beliefs. If I believe in peace because I loved women who believe in peace do I really believe in peace? If I believe in feminism because I love a sister who believes in feminism do I really believe in feminism? If I love theology and historical biblical criticism because I love my mother who loves theology and historical biblical criticism do I really love those things?
At what time in my life was I free of such influence? Can I look to my childhood to find my purest desires? Even in childhood I find my love of science fiction traces back to time spent with my family doing what they enjoyed. For a time, I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up, but is that because my parents are scientists or because my father was taken to the ocean on vacations as a child? Was it because I was taken to vacations at the ocean as a child?
If I can track the origins of my desires and convictions to their origins does that make them less real? Does that make them less valid? Are these all the result of emotional fusion with others? How can I plot a course if I can only differentiate myself from others beginning with the present time? Where do I draw the lines and claim this is me, I am my own?
Once, a mentor told me to proclaim, "I am not broken and do not need to be fixed!" This functions as a sort of bulwark against the encroaching will of my parents for my life to turn to the way that they desire. Not quite so directly my mentor also reminded me of the many areas where I need to grow. Throwing off perfectionism and a sense that one has turned out the "wrong" way is not enough.
My idealism about knowing all the facts can be paralyzing. I am always forced to act with partial knowledge and if I act in small and limited ways it does not keep life from progressing. I am no longer a teenager regardless of any desires I might have to the contrary. I have lived my life even if others would have lived it differently. I am where I am. Life will not become easier merely by me willing it so.