Growing up we often told each other that it was easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. It was true and not true. In my world, half the time I got in trouble for asking for permission in the first place. Permission has always been something external, this mystic power that authority figures held over me. There is fear here as I consider what it would mean to take that power back, to allow myself to be the one who grants permission in my own life.
What if though permission wasn't about power and control? Just because I've always known it as that, doesn't mean that it has to continue to mean that in my life now. What if permission could be a gift, a mercy, a treasure that I welcomed into my life? I'm learning to see permission as a doorway, one which leads me further into hope and healing.
It is in that spirit that I wrote this letter to myself:
You have fought against the rules and restrictions of others, battled to find the right way, the way that brings acceptance and belonging. I give you permission to stop. You're allowed to go your own way because you already belong. There is already acceptance of you here.
Acceptance of your humanity - in all of it's glory and mess. You have permission to get it wrong. To react badly. To not always map everything out with multiple contingency plans, just in case. You have permission to get it right. To respond with brilliance. To point others towards wholeness. To feel settled and comfortable in your own skin.
You have permission to stop apologizing. Your existence is no longer something that needs to be forgiven.
You have permission to struggle, to have bad days that stretch into bad weeks, which stack up into awful months. You're allowed to ask for help on those bad days, to admit that you cannot do this all on your own. That doing the laundry or the dishes or cooking one more meal is more than you can handle. You have permission to have good days. Glorious days. Days when you skip and dance and twirl and laugh. Days when you accomplish it all with energy and joy to spare.
Your performing for others, for God - those days can be over now dear one. You can let those chains fall off your shoulders. Who you are is beautiful, right here, right now and you have permission to celebrate that, to struggle with it, to wrestle with it until it is a truth worn deep in your bones.
You don't need my permission, but you have it. It's a gift. There are no strings here waiting to trip you up, to tangle you in impossible expectations. There is no fine print, no gotcha.
I am here, cheering you on, as you live out your story. A story that doesn't get wrapped up in 30 minutes with a neat bow covering up the messy bits. You have permission to own your story, to shout it from the rooftops, to whisper it in trembling bravery. Your cage is unlocked and you have the only key. That key is your permission to leave this cage of fear and lies. You no longer have to live here.
You have permission to be loved, cherished, accepted.
Linking up with Marvia Davidson for Real Talk Tuesday. Come join us. :)