Do You Need Permission?
So here we are.
September has arrived.
Classroom bells are ringing.
Summer is in the rearview mirror.
Many college-aged kids have flown the nest.
And how does all of this leave you feeling?
The other day I was sitting out in the backyard Adirondack chair, catching up on the phone with a friend.
She brought up a difficulty she was having.
“I feel angry and upset,” she had said. “But I know I should be feeling fortunate and grateful.”
I sat for a moment and watched the clouds slowly drifting by.
When I responded, the words came from my mouth, but they didn’t feel like they’d really come from me.
“What if you just allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling?” I asked.
We were both quiet for a few moments.
“Feel what I’m feeling?“ she tentatively asked.
“Yeah,” I said with growing confidence, “Give yourself permission to feel exactly what you’re feeling, rather than what you think you should be feeling.”
I could feel a charge through the phone line as we both absorbed this concept.
In the following days, my friend would report how liberating it felt to truly allow herself to feel the actual, real feelings that emerged within her.
I too put this new method into practice.
I had the perfect opportunity, as suitcases were pulled down from the attic, and our girl prepared to leave for her Gap Year travels.
At first, I was doing exactly what my friend had done. Feeling one way, but dismissing those feelings for the feelings I thought I should be feeling.
When I thought of the airport departure, when I thought of the empty bedroom and breakfast table, I felt sad. But I told myself I should be feeling excited for my daughter. I should be feeling grateful that she has this amazing opportunity.
But I caught myself and gave myself permission to feel what I was really feeling…sad.
And I noticed an amazing thing started to happen.
When I really allowed myself to feel that sadness, it seemed to move through me, as if it had been heard, acknowledged and didn’t need to take up so much residence within my body anymore.
And I noticed that beneath the sadness, there was excitement, gratitude, and joy.
Later, when the sadness reemerged, I welcomed it. I felt what I was feeling.
I welcomed Sadness and offered to pour her a cup of tea. To sit together and wrap ourselves in a blanket and chat about how much we were going to miss our girl.
And later, when she said goodbye, I was free to welcome whatever other emotions arrived at my door.
Please, come in Gratitude…
Let us sit together and discover what brings you here today.
And let’s imagine all the amazing tales our girl will have to share when she returns from her travels!
(The morning of her departure – airport goodbye kiss)
Plain and simple…
if you feel it, feel it.
Give yourself permission.
With love and blessings,