Some years I find certain topics seem to come to the forefront of my life, and this year the theme seems to be permission. That glorious feeling, when someone, something, or even the big universe seems to say, “YES! Go for it!” When others are in agreement for what you are wanting to achieve in your heart of heart, if you have the ears to hear it and the heart to receive it, it can feel like the best “Yes” of your life.
Sometimes we get that support, that outside permission. I have some amazing girlfriends who rally around me when I am winding threads of feeling and idea into new places. I have family who love me. I have a number of amazing role models out there who show me that I do have a voice worth sharing, and that I deserve the things I want for myself.
Yet sometimes we can’t get permission. Maybe some people are telling you “Yes,” but it’s not the “Yes” you are ready to receive. Maybe you’re waiting for that one person to give you permission… Your mother, your father, your sibling, your best friend, your significant other. Maybe you’re waiting for a sign… Yet, when you see one, it never seems strong enough to give you the go ahead. And you ponder the “How?” and it always seems to elude you.
And then you realize, finally… Sometimes you just need to give yourself permission. Make the leap. Jump into the deep end. Get something moving. No matter if you get permission or flack for doing it. Because ultimately, no one can tell you what is right for you. You have to learn to trust yourself enough, and value yourself enough, to say “Yes,” to you.
It may look crazy to everyone else. After a year including a spontaneous divorce, an invigorating summer full of madcap exploration when I most needed to save my money, and a number of experimental thoughts and projects, I can say that it in all likelihood you will look crazy to everyone else. I’ve grown closer with some friends as I grieved the loss of my marriage and embraced a new me-focused life, and I have seen some fade in the midst of the sometimes difficult to understand or even seemingly unwise (but for me at the time, totally necessary) decisions I made. I have learned that what seems unwise does not have to be wrong. I can look at myself with compassion and realize that it just took a few bold, heart-on-my-sleeve moves to snap me out of my stupor and bring me back to myself. Next time I hope I’ll find a more peaceful way… A way in which I give myself permission sooner, before I lose myself in a cloud of confusion, awaiting that outside “Yes,” that should have come from within.
No one can say but you whether it is time to make that leap into permission, or if you still have some inner and outer work to do for you to feel fully supported. We all have different ebbs and flows, and different needs. There are kinds of security that nurture and support and kinds of security that undermine your passion and drive. If it is security (or insecurity) holding you back, then only you can evaluate your condition and needs, in the privacy of your own heart.
At the end of the day, we realize… No one else gave us the permission. We were ready to act on it because we had finally given it to ourselves.
If we give up on getting permission, we become free to know our own heart and make our own decisions, and become the best advocates for personal permission that we could ever be, through our own lit-from-within example.
What do you need to give yourself permission for, and when will you be ready to give it?
Sharlto Copley’s monologue in this Nedbank commercial inspires us to go for it: