Remember how in grade school (maybe even in high school?) if you needed to go to the bathroom you had to raise your hand and ask permission from the teacher? And of course you had to ask your parents for permission to do things you wanted to do if they required money or a ride or you just plain knew they were a little too big to do without asking.
Such as when I took a semester off from college after the fall of my sophomore year (that was the first really big permission thing--I remember what my dad said: that if I was as unhappy in school as I said I was, then perhaps I'd be wasting my time and his money to stay, so his answer was "yes").
And then I tried to find a job somewhere away from home for that semester, and I was interested either in doing some kind of service-oriented work (like a short-term Peace Corps kind of thing) or working on a boat in the Virgin Islands (like a short-term totally NOT Peace Corps kind of thing).
And when I received by mail--it was all done by mail in those days! How slow!--a rather vague job offer from the male captain/owner of a yacht who took paying passengers for week-long vacations, my dad said, "No way are you going to the docks on St. Thomas to meet some strange man who may or may not actually offer you an honorable job." I think I was secretly relieved to have that permission denied.
In any case, I've been aware these days of how often I still act as if I am waiting for someone other than me to give me permission--to try out an idea, to paint a certain way, to spend a whole day painting rather than doing something else, or to ignore all the rules and suggestions for successful blogging and just blog what I feel like blogging.
And do you know what happens when I wait for someone else, some mysteriously unidentified other, or else some poor innocent who happens to cross my path, to give me permission? (And not only do I wait but I don't even ask, because of course to ask for permission for such things at age 56 is nigh to ridiculous!)
What happens is that I notice other people who appear to have their acts together enough simply to do what they want or think best without waiting for permission from someone else, probably because they give themselves permission without even having to think about it!
And when one of those self-permitted people happens to do something I'm still waiting for the aforementioned vague permission to do, boy, does that trigger me! I might feel betrayed (how could you steal my idea?), or like a victim (you didn't tell me you were going to do that!). And on an even deeper level there's a part of me screaming, "NO! Wait! That's what I want to do!"
I get to see things more clearly--about myself and how I operate; and even more important, about what there really is within me that wants to be expressed, created, honored and acted. And of course to be given my fully self-authorized permission to do just that.
P.S. Thanks, Beth, for nudging me yesterday by saying you'd noticed I hadn't been blogging much of late.