It feels like most of my life I’ve been waiting for someone else’s permission. To try something new (or maybe even old), to okay a project, to say I’m enough, pretty, worth it. The okay to take a class or buy a new outfit. Someone to say it’s okay how I’m parenting my children. The funny thing is, I don’t really know whose permission I’m waiting for (especially now — am I waiting for my parents, husband, kids?), or why I think I need it. An old story running through my head…
As a child, perhaps permission was needed more (and I’d bet to what extent depends on each person/family). I know as I parent I want to do my best to keep my own kids safe and not get hit by a car or fall off a ledge or other stuff like that. So on some things, yes — I do want them to ask first. I would like them to stay in one piece if possible.
Growing up I’d bet my parents felt the same way about me, that they wanted me to stay in one piece. So permission was needed to go somewhere with friends, borrow the car, move onto the next event at the gym, try a new skill. It’s interesting to consider. While for some things permission was probably a useful way to go, I also see that perhaps I got over-stuck in a trap of asking. I wonder how much I actually felt like I was allowed to do by myself. (And maybe I could have done a lot more than I felt like I could.)
Anyway, it felt like I needed permission — for most everything. So I began to wait (and wait and wait) for permission before doing pretty much anything. As I got into adulthood, there was a lot I didn’t think I could do and so I didn’t.
I’m getting to see that waiting and not doing is a road to regret, for me. And that, perhaps, part of life is learning to question and see where permission is actually needed (which is not that often, truly), and where it is not. Slowly, oh so slowly, I’m seeing that the only permission I need in most cases is my own.
Are you waiting for permission?