I was astonished recently to discover that my 15-year-old daughter is struggling more than I had thought with living in our new home. I got re-married last summer and my daughter Kolbi had seemed to be adjusting very well. She’s always smiling and cutting up with my new hubby, Charlie, and me. However, yesterday, the truth was revealed about how she really feels.

“I don’t feel like I have any ownership in this house, Mom. It’s not my home. I just want to go home.” As we sat in the car with tears streaming down her face, Kolbi vented about our home and this new family situation. The fact that she was focusing on ownership in our home really struck me as odd since we had built three bedrooms onto Charlie’s house, just so that our girls would have their own spaces and feel that this was their home. I was stumped. All I could hear were Kolbi’s complaints and didn’t know how to help solve the situation. I was caught up in what she was saying rather than listening between the lines. Finally, the truth hit me. Kolbi wasn’t missing her old house. She simply wasn’t feeling “at home” in her life.

Feeling “at home” has nothing to do with the house you live in. To truly feel “at home” you have to be authentic. What I soon realized as I listened to Kolbi’s list of complaints, all of them aimed at her new step-sister, was that she’s been holding her voice in. As the anger spewed from her, I knew her anger wasn’t really towards her step-sister. It was a direct result of her disconnecting from herself. Kolbi’s been holding her voice in and not saying what she needs. She’s been walking on egg shells with her step-sister and feeling as if she has no right to express herself. She doesn’t’ feel ownership with this new home because she is not “at home” with herself.

As often happens when any of us feel that we are “walking on egg shells” or uneasy with our outer situations, Kolbi’s anger is an indication that she isn’t being true to herself. Instead of giving herself ownership in this new home by speaking her mind with her step-sister, she has been holding it in and shutting herself down. She actually said to me, “Well, I only have two more years with her. I’ll just suck it up until then.” As Kolbi’s mom and as a spiritual coach, I know that’s the worst thing she can do. The longer she holds her voice in and walks on egg shells, the greater the eruption will be when it all comes exploding out.

To have ownership in your life you must give yourself permission to have it. This can mean many different things; you have to decide what that is for you. In my daughters case it has to do with having a voice. Kolbi has been denying herself the right to say what she feels. As parents, Charlie and I have both encouraged all three of our girls to openly share their emotions. It is Kolbi who is saying “NO” to herself. It is she who needs to give herself a voice and ownership in her life. When she finally does, this will naturally help her to open up to feeling more “at home” in our house, and within herself.

Author's Bio: 

Terri Amos-Britt is the author of "Message Sent" and her recently completed book, "The Enlightened Mom," as well as co-author of the bestseller, "Wake Up Women." As a spiritual coach and motivational speaker, Terri shares her experiences as a wife, mom, step-mom, former Miss USA and television host, inspiring others to release the emotional chaos in their lives, creating lives of passion, purpose and love. Terri is the co-founder of the Enlightened Family Institute with her husband, Charlie Britt. Their mission is to bring hope and healing to individuals and families all over the world. For more information, please go to EnlightenedFamilyInstitute.com.