Giving [ourselves] Permission


Image courtesy of EA at

The following list are things that I wrestle with on a daily basis. The list is by no means all-inclusive, but were the first words that weant from my heart, to my brain, and to my fingertips this morning. These are things I have difficulty giving myself permission to do on a regular basis. These things will help me to live more wholeheartedly. I’ve been walking on eggshells for a really long time and have forgotten how to do some of these things.  I also look forward to dreaming again and not allowing fear to be my guide.

So here it goes. (Deep breath). Today, I give myself permission:

To Dream

To Fail

To Grieve

To Be Still

To Make Mistakes

To Say “No”

To Scream

To Love and Be Loved

To Be Me (whatever that looks like)

To Acknowledge My Own Needs

To Ask for Help

To Receive Help

To Be Honest

To Breathe

This struggle of allowing ourselves to be human is real. This world is hard and tells us we’re not allowed to do many of these things. There are many unspoken rules in our society, which, I believe, crosses into all neighborhoods, whether folks have faith or not. Status quo threatens our very souls from living. These unspoken rules sound something like: You’re not allowed to be real, to feel, to be still, to be honest, to struggle. I’m on a journey which is shedding light on these negative entrapments and releasing freedom to my soul which has somehow gotten caught up in these lies.

I have long misunderstood humilty for not valuing myself. I’ve always struggled with the concept of loving others as ourselves, when I have such a low value of self. I find it easier to love and serve others while ignoring my own needs. I’m not promoting narcism , because that is a behavior I absolutely detest. What I am suggesting is the kind of self love that guards one’s own heart and nurtures the soul by giving permission to do things which cultivate fulfillment. By giving ourselves permission, we are free and empowered to help others do the same. It’s rather hypocrital telling someone they need to be still and breathe, if I don’t know how to implement this practice in my own life.

As I write, I’m reminded of these words from a Mumford and Sons song, Sigh No More:

“Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, It will set you free

Be more like the man you were made to be

There is a design, An alignment to cry, Of my heart to see,

The beauty of love as it was made to be”

Today I anticipate reciting one of these permissions to myself when confronted with any obstacle which may challenge me to cave and go back into hiding behind this facaude that everything is awesome. Everything can be awesome, when we allow ourselves to simply be. Even the struggle can be awesome if it produces a more humble or refined soul. Purpose has room to be reignited and flourish when a soul is refreshed. A soul is refreshed when it has permission to breathe.

What about you? What do you need to give yourself permission to do today? Would you join me on this journey of being honest withourselves and write your own list of things you struggle with daily and give yourself permission to do them?