Over the past few days I’ve been mulling over the idea of giving oneself permission. I think permission can be explored like two sides of a coin (in my case, a Canadian quarter). ­čÖé

HEADS

I’m human. Very. So I should give myself permission to be human. Fallible. Limited. Weak. I shouldn’t expect perfection of myself.

I’m a creative soul. I should give myself permission to live creatively. And to embody some artistic oddity.

When I’m sick, I should give myself permission to be sick. Maybe I need to lie down and rest, without guilt.

When I’m tired, I should give myself permission to be tired. Especially when I’ve worked for it.

When I’m a mess, I should give myself permission to be a mess. Because again, I’m human. I shouldn’t pretend to be something I’m not.┬áBecause at the moment, that’s what I am.

But…

TAILS

When Shauna was pregnant with Noah, she didn’t know it at first. She happened to be in training at Great West Life, which was then one of the top 50 workplaces to be employed at in North America. So she was excited to be at work. The problem was, she felt a little nauseous every morning. It was strange. But she pulled herself together and made work happen. She had to. Boo-ya!

Until the little white applicator revealed the fuzzy blue line.

The “P word” gave her permission… to be pregnant. And by the next morning, the nausea was overwhelming. She could hardly handle it. But she didn’t have to, right? She was pregnant. *Disclaimer: I have no idea how difficult morning sickness can be, all I know is, Shauna and I laugh about this story.

So while it’s important to give ourself permission, we must be careful what we give ourselves permission for. One permission slip can send powerful reverberations through our bodies, our minds, even our spirits. A permission slip can become an excuse, that excuse can become a copout, and that copout can grow to define us.

Permission to be human is not permission to stop growing, stretching, and reaching for our highest potential in Christ.

Permission to be creative is not permission to be irresponsible.

Permission to be sick isn’t permission to wallow in self pity.

Permission to be tired isn’t permission to retreat indefinitely.

Permission to be a mess is not permission to give up, to despair, and to choose not to take healthy steps out of our mess.

Permission to be a visionary is not permission to stream-roll people.

So I guess the question is, where do you need to give yourself permission… and where do you need to revoke that permission?