Waiting For Permission To Be Yourself? OK, Granted–But Not By Me
From the time we're toddlers and up through our young adulthood, we are trained to be good boys and girls, follow the rules, get the A's, get into college, marry the right person, have x many kids, get a job, join the right clubs...and so on and so on.
There's nothing wrong with these things--many are contributors to a life well-lived. They were also prescribed by those looking out for you with the best of intentions. At the same time, many of us find ourselves in adulthood continuing to do our best to "follow all the right rules."
It was also ingrained in us when we were very young to always ask permission before doing anything not already approved by the rules of the house or the status quo. The rebels among us may have gone rogue thinking, it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Although I don't advise following the advice of mean-spirited or unwise reckless behavior, there may something to learn from these rebels.
There's a trap some of us can fall into after we reach adulthood, and even still when we're quite a few years into it. We are still looking to ask for permission. From someone. Maybe it's still a parent. Maybe it's a divine figure. It could be a best friend or someone you hold in high regard. Even if you don't ask directly you may be looking for it through the way someone treats you or by what risks they themselves take. Here's the thing though:
No one is going to give you ultimate permission. No one really can.
And frankly, no one really should.
Part of being an adult is stepping into a sense of sovereignty in your own life. No, not over everything else. It's important to consider how your actions affect other people. Certainly having authority and giving yourself permission to be who you really are in your own life doesn't mean you can usurp the lives and well-being of others. But you are no longer subject to the opinions and life choices of other people--however well-meaning they may be.
It can be hard at first, learning to find your own sense of "knowing." But it's worth it. Give yourself permission to be who you really are and to carve out a life that you love. It's liberating. Not just for you, either. When you step into your personal power and permit yourself to fully be, in a way you're giving other's permission to do the same. Not that they need your permission, of course.
Ultimately, we have to give it to ourselves. Shine brightly, my friend. We need your light.
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