I have been thinking about my recent guilt blog and I remembered a poster I have in my resources drawer in our welcoming and calming therapy room in Brighouse (guilt free plug) that states YOU ARE ALLOWED in big bold letters.
Maybe, at this point, take a moment to think what that means for you – YOU ARE ALLOWED; before continuing to read on… YOU ARE ALLOWED to take time for yourself.
Immediately when I see or hear the word ALLOWED I think of being a child. “You are not allowed to jump on the sofa” “You are not allowed to stay out past 9pm” “You are not allowed be late for school”
Rules, rules, rules, conditions, religious beliefs, cultural norms, values, principles, morals, family codes, judgement, trying to be normal/fit in, and more rules. URGH, it is exhausting! What we don’t realise as children is the rules, conditions, beliefs etc… are there to keep us safe and to bring some order to society. The world can be a scary and dangerous place full of pain and disappointment. It’d be great to live in marshmallow land but unfortunately we don’t; therefore rules keep society in some sort of order and provide safety.
I am not disputing the need for rules. We need rules. Nature has rules, science has rules, languages have rules, laws have rules – the word rules is beginning to lose its meaning I’ve said It so many times now!
However, as an adult our responses to rules are not the same. As a responsible being and ‘grown-up’ YOU ARE ALLOWED to choose your own rules. You have choices. As an adult you are allowed to see rules as guidelines. What am I saying??? You cannot just go around recreating rules, conditions, religious beliefs, cultural norms, values, principles, morals, family codes and judgements, society as we know it would be chaos!!! What I am saying is, as an adult you can acknowledge, understand, respect and follow the rules but YOU ARE ALLOWED to live your life the way you want to.
YOU ARE ALLOWED to do things differently to the way they may have always been done. YOU ARE ALLOWED to change your mind. YOU ARE ALLOWED to feel. YOU ARE ALLOWED to be you. I have often heard about things being done a certain way because ‘that’s the way things have always been done’ in your workplace, family, culture, village, town…etc. If something has always been done a certain way, does it mean we cannot do things our own way?
There’s the textbook way of doing things and then there may be a tweak of how you need to get things done. It’s ok to trust your judgement and ideas. “What if it goes wrong, or I get it wrong or I am disciplined or judged for my non-textbook method” What if! What if you do? Does the sky fall in? Do bears stop shi**ing in the woods? NO. The world will continue and you will have learnt something. As an adult it doesn’t have to be pass or fail. There are no red pens in adulthood marking your inner world, if we can alter our perspective of right and wrong, have some control over our thoughts (mindfulness), see our inner selves more as strengths and areas to learn from over good or bad or right and wrong; the power of the fear, of ‘getting it wrong’ is less powerful. It’s ok to make mistakes – it’s all learning.
Then comes the judgement, this is whole blog on its own and I’ll refer back to the guilt blog too ‘thou shall be judged regardless’ – what I mean is you cannot please everybody. We are judgy creatures, it’s in our nature but to be ALLOWED to live life how we want to; we should probably start with not judging ourselves. Like I said we shall explore the idea of judgement in another blog… tbc
Let us give ourselves the power of being ALLOWED. Still with boundaries, still with love, care and concern but with some freedom. Let us tell ourselves YOU ARE ALLOWED and add in a sentence or 2 from the poster - apologies for the quality of the poster but i am allowed to not re-type it and make it look pretty or Insta; it is what it is!…