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Give yourself permission

Posted Apr 18 2010 10:25am

This morning I woke up and made a promise to myself - to not be on the computer today. Obviously, since you're reading this, you can see that I didn't keep that promise. Let me tell you why...

As soon as I put something off limits for myself, I noticed this inner fight begin to ensue. It was between the school teacher and the misbehaving student, the disciplining parent and the attitude having teenager. It had nothing to do with the computer. It had to do with denying myself the choice. The minute we do this with ourselves, at some level, we go into resistance against it.

I'm all for appropriate boundaries, setting up what works for you/your highest good and the direction you want to move in. Yet, as soon as choice is seemingly taken away, we go into victim mode. Victims are also known as complainers, blamers, shamers, and proponents of the saying "That's the way it is" (which is never true, life is the way you are, there is no one way "it" is).

Victims feel as if they don't have a choice. When you're under this false illusion, you can feel stuck in a perpetual cycle of anger, sadness, depression, anxiety, or the like, believing that you don't have any power to change. Or on some level you get that you can change, but lie to yourself by saying "I don't know how or where to start."

Strange thing is, it doesn't take much to call up the victim persona. It could be as simple as denying myself something I want to do. Which, today, was getting on the computer. To stop the drama, all I had to do was give myself permission to do what I want. It's a way of saying you trust yourself to make the right decision for you at that moment. That you are responsible for both your joy and your upset. That you are always empowered in any situation because you have a choice of what to do and how to respond.

So whatever you are denying yourself - junk food, spending money, that good or bad for you relationship - stop the tape. Say, "I give myself permission to..." It will stop you in your tracks. Your next automatic thought will be, "Well, wait a minute, since I do have a choice, do I really want to do this?" If the answer is yes, do it, and enjoy it without guilt. Then move on, knowing that you will make the next best choice for you, whatever it is, and that you are never ever a victim. You are responsible for as much "good" and as much "bad" that happens in your life. This is one of the most liberating ways to live.

The trick to this game is when you give yourself permission to do something, it doesn't necessarily mean you choose to do it. As a responsible, present time adult, armed with the knowledge of how a choice will affect you, and with the freedom to choose it - now, what do you choose? It can feel easier to play the victim card. But you know better. And so do I. Which is why I felt compelled to write this to you today.

If you want to quit your job but you're scared there's nothing else out there, so you stay out of fear - grab a hold of yourself. Remind yourself you have a choice. Of course there is more than one option! Resolve to be open to it, create it, and transition to it when you feel the time is right. If you want to eat chips because they are incredibly tasty but they also make you feel like crap, choose to do so or not, knowing the consequences. Victims ignore what they know to be true. Empowered folks consider the evidence and intuitively choose what's best.

It's time to acknowledge that we are a heck of a lot more capable at running our lives than pretending we're not. Wake up, make conscious choices, and see how awesome you actually are. Doing so is a courageous act and affects others more than you could ever know.

What are you going to give yourself permission for? Now that you have, taking all into consideration and letting your intuition guide you, would you still choose it?

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