Updated: Sep 28
Often in the Western world we have been indoctrinated to feel guilt. From our societal, cultural, religious and family conditioning, values, and norms, we can grow up to inherit many other people’s opinions, views, rules, regulations, beliefs, values, and ways of being and seeing our-self, and the world. So that when we do something from a place of naturalness, from a place of serving ourselves, it can bring up a whole lot of guilt. I know it has for me, particularly being a people-pleaser. My conditioning was very much about being the ‘good girl’ so that when I stepped outside of that perception of my-self I often felt guilty.
Guilt can be a valuable feeling to help us know we have gone off course and to realign ourselves with what we know to be the right way for us. However, when it becomes a constant shadow overlooking our every move, we can start to feel the tension in the body and mind. If you feel a lot of guilt your self-talk might be littered with a lot of ‘should’s’, you may feel a pull to be doing something other than what you are doing, not being totally present with where you are or who you are with, or you may feel a constant tension within your mind and body.
And if you were like me, a people-pleaser, then the levels of guilt you could feel may be even higher. One thing I have found to help with letting go of guilt and, also reduce the need to people-please, is to give myself permission. To give ourselves permission is to give our-self approval, consent or blessing to go ahead with what it is that we really want or how we might want to feel. It is fundamentally a way to empower our-selves.
Like any practice, it can take time to firstly become aware that we might need to give ourselves permission. It can take time to wake up from a certain level of automatic behaviour, but when we do, we begin to see that we might need to give our-selves permission to do what we really need and want. I believe, this is why self-care is so difficult for many of us because we carry a lot of guilt around caring and looking after ourselves before we care for others.
For me giving myself permission has been such an empowering tool through my healing journey. It has been particularly useful in healing the hurt inner child. I invite you to have a think about where in your life you might need to give yourself permission. It might be permission to enjoy your life more, to relax more fully, to go for that dream job, to change your living situation, to be kinder to yourself, to give yourself more time on your own, to take time out to do something you love, to dream big dreams, to live your life on your terms… and so the list could go on. By giving ourselves permission, we stop denying ourselves that which we really need and want. I would love to know what you decide to give yourself permission to do today - giving yourself the gift of permission could change your life.
With warm wishes,
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