Mother May I

19 Feb

When we were children as a way of protecting us from doing things beyond our ability to manage or that may hurt us, we were taught to ask for permission. Whenever we wanted to do something away from home, or anything different than the norm we were expected to ask first.  If we rebelled against that requirement and did something without asking, and it was something that should have been discussed prior, there were often unpleasant consequences to face afterward. And so we learned to ask or at least to make sure it was okay before proceeding. As we got older our lives became more independent and eventually we began to make decisions on our own. Permission is an agreement from someone in authority over us that we may do something we want to do. As adults, outside of work, or social situations where others may be impacted, we don’t need anyone’s permission to make our personal decisions. We are capable of choosing on our own.  The days of “Mother may I,” have passed.

Despite the fact that we are perfectly capable of managing our lives, we can get into situations with others where we feel we need to get their agreement in our personal decisions. Perhaps it’s a close friend who has a strong personality and wants to guide us. Perhaps the old patterns with our parents still linger. Perhaps it’s a relationship we value greatly and the other person wants control over or input into our decisions. There are lots of reasons we can feel we need to get permission or approval before going forward. But our lives belong to us and only us. We can make any personal decisions we want to and we don’t need anyone’s approval. We don’t have to tell anyone before we make a decision, even if it’s one we know others may not like. Our decisions are ours. We can make them on our own, be confident in our ability to choose well, and direct our lives accordingly.

People are complex. We have all kinds of emotions and feelings to contend with on a daily basis. Sometimes we may be fearful of doing something differently than what others may expect. That fear may prevent us from making decisions we really want to make. Or we might be unsure we can make a good decision without getting the approval of others first because we’ve always done that in the past. But we know how to make good decisions. We know how to weigh all the options and choose what’s best for us. Nobody really knows what’s best for us better than we do, not even those who love us. We are the only ones who know everything that’s going on inside and what we truly want. We know who we are and are able to make good, strong choices. If others disagree that will be their burden to carry. It is not our responsibility to ensure everyone is happy with the way we choose to live our lives. If we can remember that and trust in ourselves, we can go forward and make any decision we choose to with confidence. We can do anything. We just have to decide.

Today if you’ve been holding back on a personal decision because you know somebody won’t like it or won’t agree, if it’s important to you, go forward. You know what you need and what you want. There is nothing you can’t do. You are in charge of your life and can make it any way you want it. This is your day. Choose to make it completely yours.

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