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Sat Nam,

The other answer is great and really interesting.

Okay. From what I see the problem is not whether to take Amrit or not, but how to live practically in your home without causing a "war" with your mother. It is sad that your mother does not support something that you want to do, especially when that thing is something that will not hurt her or anyone else, but in fact make life better! Considering that you are 18, I'd expect some leeway, especially when it does not even concern her! Now, are you going to school? Can you move out or are you willing to move out? Probably not. What caught my eye was that your mother thinks you look "nasty" without earrings. I've never seen anyone look terrible without earrings, makeup or other things, and don't believe her for one second! The bullying stems from an insecurity about appearance. Many Punjabi mothers (I am full Punjabi, too) live vicariously through their children. It's sadly how it is. They feel like they have to maintain a certain "image" without thinking realistically about the feelings and thoughts of their children. What you have to do is assert yourself. She does not OWN you, and you have to gauge how much she disapproves of what you are doing. Begin to stop playing the role of mama's girl, and look at your life. You are not doing ANYTHING which would cause alarm or upheaval in the family. Let her know that you are fully aware of what is going on. I don't know where you live, but exercise your power as a human being as much as possible, without being disrespectful.

If you are to take Amrit, you will. If that means that you have to wait, that could be it. You have to decide how to live with your mother and still stay true to your soul. One thing is to not make a big deal about it around your mother. I know that will make people raise their fists, but you have to look at your situation. From experience, I have seen many Punjabi mothers freak out about it because they believe what they see around them, which is a few Amritdhari's who become distant, detached and often condescending about those who have not taken Amrit, or fanatical. While that might not be true in your case, do consider it. Talk with your mother as a mother. Openly and honestly. Share yourself without feeling like you are going up against a prison warden. Slowly bring up the topic by talking about other things first, and make sure she is comfortable. Probe her until you get an answer, and then tell her that this decision is your personal one, and that you are not doing anything which would cause any alarm. It's tough, but you have to remain firm and resilient, otherwise it will not change.

So, what if it doesn't work?

If not, you have choices that only you can make. Remember, Amrit is something that is already inside of you. Nurture that very real connection, and you will pull through. You can take it slowly and not change all at once, or you can stick fast to your convictions and accept the dynamic it creates. She says that you can do whatever after you are married, but honestly, that is a petty way of keeping a child "under control." You are your own woman, and you have to live and act like it, respectfully. Ask your mother: "Does it really matter how I look like on the outside when I know that's not who I am on the inside? I know you love and care for me, but please accept that I want to start taking charge of my own life. It only makes sense."

Please be careful and may you be blessed to be welcomed as a Khalsa of the Guru.