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Archive for March, 2013

“Shoulds”

Can we grant ourselves permission to just be?

Do we have to….well, is anything a ‘have-to’?

From the cradle, we have been told a resounding ‘YES!’

But is that true?

When I talk about permission with others, even spiritual people have considerable trouble grasping this.  It’s assumed we have permission from ourselves to be ourselves.

But is that true?

Almost everything is what we ‘have to’ or ‘should do’, isn’t it?

Go to school, get married, buy a house, have 2.5 children, work 40 hours a week,  go to church, run around being ‘busy’……..

Such pressure is often invisible to the naked eye. But it’s there. You can feel it. And I can feel it, too.

These energies manifest as disapproval or rejection. As marginalization or exclusion from a group, an opportunity or a relationship.

Truthfully, we are so indoctrinated with external values and ideas that it has become a part of us. We are running a program and we don’t even know it….

Until we stop.

Until we step back from the madness and the routine.

Maybe it comes on purpose.

Maybe it’s an unexpected illness that knocks us off our feet.

Maybe it’s pregnancy.

Whatever it is, it comes when we get off the hampster wheel.

Some of my ‘have-to’s’ were go to college, act a certain way, be a Christian, give and live to please others and never myself.

‘Shoulds’ included…well, everything else. I should be nice, I should never get angry, I should read my bible every day, I should work a 9 to 5 like most people I know…a list too long to keep writing about.

Now, what are some of yours?

In my opinion, I think this permission thing is one of the missing ingredients in true spirituality. Saying we are spiritual or free without permission is like making a cake without oil or flour.  There are some very basic ingredients to a higher quality of life and I think permission’s one of them.

Permission comes from ourselves to ourselves. For me, it is a lifelong journey to exercise such an unused muscle. Lack of permission for myself made me my own worst enemy.

The truth?

I don’t ‘have to’ do anything. And ‘shoulds’ need to go out with the trash. If someone does me wrong, I don’t ‘have to’ like it. If I want to follow my dreams, I can. If I wake up feeling like crap, and the ‘shoulds’ come creeping in telling me that I ‘have to’ get this done or that, I grant myself permission to rest and take care of myself. It’s funny how all these things we feel are riding on us (non life-or death situations) is really us feeling social pressure to capitulate so we’ll be praised and accepted by others. C’mon, Little Timmy won’t die if you have a migraine and can’t take him to soccer practice…

And if you are reading this and think    ‘that’s not true. Maybe you have the luxury to lay in bed but I have to get up and do this, that and the third’   then I welcome you to give yourself permission to disagree with me. You have permission to not like it. You can like it and comment if you want, too. It’s not about being good or evil or right or wrong. You have permission.

Say to yourself every day:

I have permission to take care of myself.

I have permission to make mistakes.

I have permission to feel emotions-whether I am sad, happy, pissed off, etc.

I have permission to be happy-even if other people around me aren’t.

I have permission to come to things on my own terms in my own time and in my own way.

Great place to start, isn’t it?

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