Permission To Be Happy.

“Because at some point, you need to start calling the shots. At some point, you need to start believing you know what’s best. Or, I thought with a smile, you just stop asking for their permission in the first place.”
Katie Kacvinsky, Awaken

I watched the entire second season of How to Get Away With Murder yesterday. That involves watching nearly 15 hours of television. I did this in my pajamas, while I gorged on chicken and waffle nachos (excellent), pizza, and chicken fingers. I also drank some beers. In sum, it was a glorious day.

But, what happened next is what I’m most proud of. I did not feel guilty for having spent my day this way. In the past, I would have been overcome with guilt and the nasty little voice in my head would’ve raged on and on about how I was being “lazy” “fat” and “worthless.” I would’ve been antsy and felt like I needed to do something useful.

What I’ve come to learn, is that those days are, in fact, very useful. I feel great today. I’m rested. I’m focused. And, I’m in a great mood. It’s only lunch and I’ve walked the dogs two miles and worked all morning. I’m better today for taking a break yesterday. I benefit from a day of rest and all the people that cross my path benefit as well.

I think we can get into the heavy duty guilt trips because we feel like we have to for social approval. The ever so common “What’d you do today?” must never be met with “I was a complete sloth” I always thought that I had to be doing something to be worth something. It felt shameful to rest or take a break. Now, I have no problem calling in sick (If I am in fact sick) or taking time to rest. I know that the little nasty voice in my head is just scared of being judged and unloved. And, it’s okay to have those scary thoughts. I don’t try to fight them anymore.

At this stage in the game, if you are going to judge me for watching an entire season of television in one day (I dozed off during the last two episodes, I’m only human) you can just keep moving. In truth, if you are going to judge me at all for anything I do, you can just keep moving. The people I want/need in my life are here to support me. Now and again, feedback on how I’m doing is welcome, but it better be coming from a place of love and concern and not a place of judgement. Please do not assume you know how to live my life better than I know how to live my life. 

It took some time, but I finally decided to give myself unconditional permission to be happy. I really love my messy life. I learned that seeking other people’s approval always made me feel like garbage. And, really, they have their own messy lives to sort out.

I hope you take time to enjoy glorious days of rest.It’s just as important as mowing the lawn. Actually, I think it’s more important.

Love.

“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.”

Jack Kerouac

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