Here’s your permission slip

Have you been looking around for your permission slip? Are you worried that it got lost in the mail? Or that you lost it? Are you anxiously waiting for it, hoping it won’t arrive too late?

Relax. Here it is! Let’s fill it in together.

I give my permission for __(Your name here)___ to ___(name the activity)_.

Signed,  (Fill in the blank)

For your name, let’s put your inner name, the name you call yourself. It might be your nickname or the name your parents called you when you were young, or how you berate yourself or…well, what is it? When you talk to yourself (out loud or inside your head) what do you call yourself?

Okay, now what’s the activity? What is it that you want to do but think you need permission to do it?

  • Do you need permission to be kind to yourself, or put yourself first occasionally? Is there something that you want to do, but aren’t sure you “should” or that you deserve to do it? Spend money, take time off, guilty pleasure, sleep in, stay home, go out, say no…etc.
  • Do you need permission to make a decision from someone more responsible or better at making choices? Are you worried about what might happen if you do it, and so you’d like someone to give you permission so that you can share the blame if it doesn’t work out?
  • Do you need permission to stop doing something? Are you afraid someone will be angry, or won’t like you, or won’t love you anymore?
  • Do you need permission to set boundaries? To protect what you need? To leave?

I’m not going to be able to list all the possibilities here, but let’s just take a good look at the activity. Do you really need permission? Or does it just feel like there should be a grown-up making these decisions for you, taking responsibility for the risks, knowing what the right thing is. (Hint: that kind of grown-up doesn’t exist!)

Who would you even have sign the permission slip? Ah…does that clear it up? If you can’t come up with a name, it’s probably you. If you can come up with a name or two, then take a second look and make sure that you haven’t been giving your power away by seeking external approval and validation.

Look, if you need someone to sign it, go ahead and forge my signature. Then when you’re ready, sign it yourself – with your full adult name! Because really, you are the one who has to sign off on the big stuff. You know, the stuff like how you live your life, what’s important to you, who you like and love, how hard you work, what you really value…all that stuff.

So sign and date it. Frame it, tear it up, burn it, file it, give it to your mom…whatever you want to do with it. It’s your permission slip!

(My brain says we need a disclaimer. I think you’re probably discriminating enough, but I’ll just make her happy by saying that there are actually activities that DO require permission and/or consent, mostly involving other people! I’m not gonna list those here!)

Oh, and when I say “you” I mean me, too. Because I still find myself standing by the mailbox, sometimes, waiting for the permission slip to arrive.

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light, Maggie

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