I recently read Brene Brown’s book Braving the Wilderness. One of the key things that struck me early on in the book was the idea of permission.
Quite often, no, honestly, all the time, I am waiting for permission. I give my “power” away and look to external authorities. In one way or another this has been, and continues to be, parents and teachers.
In her book, Burning Woman, Lucy Pearce writes about the Good Girl:
“The Good Girl learned her lesson well: she knows that she must submit to survive…She looks outside herself – to parents, peers, and her bible of choice…to dictate how she should live, what she should wear, how she should speak, what is acceptable.” (page 126)
It is paralysing. This need, deeply set in my mind. A chain around my ankle. Shackles. Quite often I come to a decision, feel that the time is right, and then I wait. I talk to people about it. I pull cards. I talk about it some more. I journal. I read books. I create vision boards to explore my idea further. I speak to my mentors. But I don’t act. I do not trust myself to take that next step without someone telling me it is ok. I am looking for validation, for approval, for someone to sign the slip, that says I can.
I have done this for my entire life. I didn’t realise how powerful a habit it was and that I was still doing it until I read that section of Brene Brown’s book. She says that she started writing herself permission slips on post-it notes… right now I am still struggling with the fear of taking that step, what would that be worth? Who am I to say it’s ok?
Who else can though?
The journey I am on now is about reclaiming my own power and trusting in my own inner wisdom.
It doesn’t come easily. I have a sense of being untied from the moorings and bobbing about in a vast ocean. The obvious thing to do would be to pick up the oars and start rowing. But somehow, I’m still sat in the stern looking around for the captain.
Increasingly though there is a sense of a hidden part of me yelling as loud as she can to get my attention. To break me from my stupor and shake me into action. I have woken up, and stand here, still blurry with remembered dreams, in the light of a different dawn.