For much of my adult life, I’ve been waiting on something.
Until recently, I wasn’t entirely sure what that something was, but, I could just feel it holding me back.
It’s the little voice that talks me out of ordering the pasta (It’s too many carbs!), or buying the new pair of shoes (They’re too much $$$!), or taking time for myself (There’s just too much to do!!!). All those little restrictions we place on ourselves, day-in-day-out, seem so minor that we lose sight of their collective effect.
The truth is, all those little “no-no’s,” add up to something pretty significant: A Lack Mentality.
When we are constantly coming from a place of lack, no’s, and next time’s…there is no way to bring abundance into our lives or into the lives of the people around us. We stop ourselves before we get started.
While I’m no therapist, I’m pretty sure the lack mindset stems from many origins: Childhood. Growing pains. Relationships, both failed and successful. All life’s rejections, big and small. Lack grows. Lack builds on itself. It gets woven into our DNA, neuropathways, and ends up effecting our decision making dramatically. The tricky thing is that, in order to repair this flawed and limiting mindset, we have to forge our own, new paths. No more relying on the wisdom of our elders, no drawing on the pain of experiences past, and no implementing the peer check-and-balance system. We have to decide, independently and firmly, despite all evidence that would have us believe otherwise, that we are worth it.
Recently, I’ve found myself asking “Whose permission am I waiting on anyway?” I just turned thirty for fuck’s sake. It strikes me, as a self-sufficient adult, I shouldn’t have to wait for anyone but myself. Yet, I continue to check in with family, friends, even co-workers to make sure that what I’m doing is “OK.” I need that stamp of approval. I want to be told I’m making the right choice, doing the right thing.
The thing is, I don’t need to be told what’s right and what’s wrong. I already know. We all do. And, I’m fairly certain at this point, even when I’m not 100% right, the mistakes I make are meant to teach me something. But, really, who the fuck knows?
I often think that the day I’ll finally feel like a real adult is the day when I make all my own decisions without running them by my mom or my cousin to make sure I’m not fucking up big-time. And, don’t get me wrong, I think checking in with the people you care about is GOOD. It’s healthy to get an outside opinion. But, let opinion be the operative word there. It’s when we come to rely on other’s advice to make our final decisions that we get ourselves into hot water.
Give yourself permission to make the choice YOU need to make. It may not look the way your mom, dad, cousin, or best friend think it should. And, that might be scary. It’s scary for me. But, at the end of the day, my mom, dad, cousin, best friend…not-a-one of them has to live with my choices. I do.
Unless it comes from your own gut…it’s never going to feel right.
The reality is, sometimes the choices you make will dissapoint, upset, and scare other people. You can’t make everyone happy. It’s impossible. Did you get that? Because it’s really important:
YOU CAN’T MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.
My advice: Forget trying to figure out the right thing. Figure out the right thing, for you.
2 thoughts on “Permission Impossible”
You are so lucky to be learning these lessons so early in life . . . . HA! 30? A mere child! But that is from my perspective. Yes, “perspective”, you want the perspective of the important people you’ve chosen to be in your life, Mom, Dad, cousins, weird old aunts, don’t ever give that up. But in the end, the CHOICE is always yours and yours alone. With much love!
The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours — it is an amazing journey — and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins. ~ Bob Moawad
Keep up the good work, Sarah.