On Giving Permission

Well now, it’s been a hot minute or almost three months since I have been here.  Once again, even with the best of intentions I let myself slip into the old habit of thinking I had nothing worthy to say.  It’s hard to transition out of that way of thinking when all your childhood you were told to be seen and not heard. Yet at the same time you really couldn’t be seen because that usually meant you were getting in trouble for something.  At no point do you ever get told when you can actually be heard.

I think some part of me kept waiting to be given the green light. Okay, you’re thirteen you can be heard no.  Or hey, you’re sixteen you have permission to be heard.  What about eighteen, oh you are an adult now, NOW you can be heard.  But no.  That’s not what happens.  There is no green light, there is no permission granted.

Once I was grown up, I ended up in relationships with men who preferred me to be seen and not heard.  I was to be the obedient partner.  Smile, but not too much you don’t want to appear flirty.  Answer politely.  Offer no options, though.  And heaven forbid, don’t have a thought of your own.  And one more thing, don’t you dare want anything.

Want.  How can such a small word can bring up such feelings of guilt and loathing?

As a child, I wasn’t allowed to want for things.  I didn’t need them I was told.  I had enough, even that I had too much I was told.  It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford things.  We could, if my mother didn’t gamble and if my father didn’t drink.

As an adult, I was always made to feel I was unworthy of my wants and desires.  Like I didn’t deserve something even if I worked hard to earn it.  Even today, if I go to the store and see something I want and I have the money in my pocket to buy it, I will walk around the entire time debating whether to buy it or not, whether I deserve it or not. And 95% of the time I will put said thing back, not buying it.  If I actually do buy it, there is a good chance I will end up returning it to the store.

This has been part of a great struggle for me.  Wanting things and being okay with the wanting.  That I have permission to want things.  I have no reason to feel guilty for wanting things.

As Effy said in her live yesterday, it’s okay to want your wants.  She wanted us to make a list of at least ten wants, big or small.  Then to pick one and dig deeper, excavating the want to find out  what it looks like to have it, what it feels like, smells like? Does it have a symbol, a color, a deity it might connect to?  A direction?

I was in a lot of pain yesterday.  So much so, that I couldn’t even sit at the computer or at my desk.  I went to lay down on the heating pad.  I tried to read and ended up  taking a two hour restless nap with flickers of dreams.  Feeling a little better today, I worked on my list.  So far it has eleven things.  Some could probably be combined into one.  Most are or can be connected in some way.  Many of them are dependent on one of my wants.

I want to sit with them a bit before I pick one to excavate.  I think I have it narrowed down between two.  Wanting to change my name and wanting to write.  But first, I have to work on and through giving myself permission to want both of these things, as well as the rest of my list.  I’m so wrapped up in guilt and the narrative of the past that I struggle with allowing myself to even be okay with wanting.  Let alone the thought of having and possessing a want.

One step at a time.  Baby steps if I have to.  The funny thing, it was something niggling at the back of my mind before she even said she was going to do a live on it. Then, after the live, I had posts show in my feed in a similar line of thinking.  Then, a few of the tarot people I follow were doing a “pick a card(s)” on their pages. And every single one I picked all were in the same vein. You are allowed to want what you want and you are allowed to pursue it.

First work on overcoming the guilt, then work on giving myself permission, next pick on and excavate deeply, then go after it with gusto.

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Thorn Mooney

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