I have noticed that a theme of many of my recent classes and one-on-one sessions in the past few weeks has been permission-seeking.
Whilst we all know in our heads that no-one is the same as anyone else and that we are supposed to be our own irreplaceable selves, it can be so difficult to have the courage required to set ourselves free and embrace the ways we are different and unique. Humans are tribal animals. The instinct to ensure that we are loved, approved of and that we belong is so deep inside of us that it almost creates an unconscious backdrop to all our other thoughts, plans and actions where we seek permission from our tribe to be ourselves.
Even when we are genuinely trying to cut loose and ‘be who we really are,’ how much of the time are we also accidentally or unconsciously seeking to prove ourselves in some way? Are there ever times when ‘I’m going to be myself in the world and blaze bright’ is followed by semi-conscious undertones of ‘…and show you/them/myself that I’m enough’? Perhaps we have set ourselves goals to attain this or that many followers on social platforms, or dollars in the bank, and that when we reach there then we will really have permission to shine and be who we are freely.
But if we are waiting on praise and positive feedback from others to give us permission to be ourselves, we are putting the cart before the horse. We are giving all our power to the people out there, and consequently draining power away from the self inside. Instead of expressing the self that arises out of the truth of our being, we will effectively become a version of self that is designed by external voices. Ironically, even when we receive praise in this situation, it isn’t really for who we are, but for the self that has been manufactured by those passing the judgement.
As I may have mentioned in other blogs, the people I have tended to find the most enjoyable and inspiring in life have been the people who aren’t looking for approval, but are just sharing themselves as they are. There is an abundance and a generosity to it. They are not pulling anything from me, begging for my love. Instead, they give me permission to be my true self by having the courage to be theirs.
Lockdown appears to be providing an interesting opportunity for us to reacquaint ourselves with that inner permission-giving and freedom. I have recently been repatriated from India to Australia and had a two-week period of mandatory hotel room quarantine. Initially I was terrified of this unexpected stretch of solitary confinement, but I have been surprised to find myself thriving in isolation. I was reflecting on this, and I realised it is because I have given myself permission to live like no-one is watching me (because genuinely, nobody is!). I am not holding myself up to any expectations that are not naturally arising from within. And what this is revealing is that when left to my own devices, I naturally want to be my best self.
One of the fears I think we sometimes have is that if we live as if no-one is watching and don’t hold ourselves up to the judgements of others, we will become somehow degenerate. Sure, if we live from our ego as if no-one is watching this may be true, but the True Self actually yearns for fulfilment. If we can raise our vibration into a state of self-love and truth and then live like no-one is watching in accordance with our own integrity and inner compass, we will naturally tend toward that Self-expression that is nurturing to our bodies, minds and spirits. The best bit though, is that we won’t be doing it to prove ourselves, to be enough or to please anyone, but instead we will be self-actualising because we are free, whole and motivated by joy.
My prayer for myself is that as I come out of this isolation period, I can keep living in accordance with my own truth, without needing or seeking permission from any other being – consciously or unconsciously! I hope I am able to share this truth from a place of genuine wholeness and inner abundance, and that as a result of internal freedom I can be more present with, connected to and able to be of service to the people around me.
If it resonates with you, perhaps you could try this freedom on.
First of all, it can be helpful to do an honest check in. Am I living with freedom in the world or am I holding back or overachieving to live into someone else’s paradigm of what’s enough? Am I waiting for external praise to give me permission to move forward? Am I hiding to avoid criticism?
Once you’ve found these parts of you that are afraid of criticism or waiting for permission or praise, embrace them with honest self-acceptance.
‘Hi Beautiful self. I see you. I see that you are afraid, but I’m ready to accept you now exactly as you are. I approve of you. I love you. I give you permission to come out and be you! You’re not alone – I am with you, and I will be here looking after you every step of this authentic journey.’
Imagine calling your power back from anyone you’ve ever given it to in avoiding their criticism or seeking their approval. Reinstall that power in the core of your self as more resource to support you in authentic self-expression.
‘I am enough. I love myself. I trust myself. I can do this!’
And you’ve launched!
Good luck, much love and use the force.