What Permission Feels Like — How to Give Yourself Some

Often the last person we give permission to is ourselves, when we’re really the only ones who can. It’s a simple shift in thinking…

“I’m amazed you’re able to get out of bed in the morning.” This is what my doctor said to me recently.

“It’s life, Doc. I have a lot to do,” I said.

“Do you have body aches?” she asked, making tiny notes in the margin on my file. I imagined it said, She’s one of those.

“Only when I move,” I said.

The truth is I’d kind of felt like crap for months. But, most people who know me wouldn’t have suspected it because, like many of us, I’ve perfected the game face. Powering through, crossing off my to-do list, meeting deadlines, most of the time with the ready smile and it’s-a-good-day persona.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

But, behind the scenes? I was tired. However, I really don’t let myself be tired. I jam my evenings and weekends with writing projects and client deadlines and social gatherings, all of which I love to do, but… I’d been sluggish and tired. AND, I had insomnia. Which creates brain fog and makes it hard to focus, so I beat myself up for not crossing as many things off my to-do list as I’d like to. Oh, and then there are the body aches (the when-I-move thing) and weight gain. Fun!

So, when my doctor told me I have hypothyroidism and am in adrenal crash, you’d think this would have added to my already climbing level of stress. But, an interesting thing happened.

Relief. In fact, I was emotional with relief. Finally, there was a name and a reason for what had been happening to me. An actual physical condition and something can be done about it! Booyah!

And, then another thing happened, and this was the biggest surprise.

Permission. I had permission to be tired. Finally. And, as soon as I gave myself permission, I was really tired. But, for the first time in a long time I didn’t feel guilty about it. So, I took a good long nap. For two days.

It got me thinking about the bigger idea of Permission and how it affects other areas of our lives, in our work, in our relationships and with our health.

On a regular basis, we find ourselves in the position of either asking permission for something or granting permission of something.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

You give others permission to treat you the way they treat you, or not treat you. You’re the only one who can do that. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. But, giving anyone else the power of your permission only robs you of your own voice and thus your own permission.

The most important person you give permission to is you. The real tragedy is how often we don’t give ourselves permission for true self-care. That’s not okay, because the pressure we put on ourselves to excel, to be better, to be good enough, to be perfect, is at a volume that is louder than the voice inside that so desperately wants to give us a break.

You give yourself permission. It’s a tenet worth adopting. Where are you not giving yourself permission?

So, perhaps take a bit of time this week and give yourself permission to:

  • Stop.
  • Start.
  • Sleep.
  • Say yes.
  • Say no.
  • Say that where you are right at this moment is okay.
  • Know you’re enough.
  • Be grateful.
  • Surround yourself with others who make you feel good.
  • Weed out others who don’t.
  • Sleep.

Okay, I said sleep twice, but hey I’m tired. And, I’m okay with that.

Originally published at www.thoughtchangerblog.com.

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