By Suma Varughese
When you permit yourself to be who you are, the inner tension dissolves and you will coast into freedom
This morning, I glanced over at my neighbour’s balcony and watched her and her husband sip their morning tea, while helping themselves to a plate of biscuits. Biscuits with early morning tea? When is the last time I did that? Biscuits are forbidden food for me. Naturally, I break out of my self-imposed restriction now and then and wolf down a whole packet at a time. I don’t enjoy the biscuits – there is a furtive quality to the experience because I am hiding from Big Sister inside, who is later going to wallop me with lashings of guilt and anger.
The more we prevent ourselves from thinking, feeling, saying or doing something, the more the inner child inside gets rebellious, and insists on doing exactly what she is forbidden to do. Never get angry? Well, then. Here is not one, but three tantrums. Never overeat? Well then, watch me stuff my face.
The more the inner child defies you, the more out of control you feel. The more out of control you get, the more you fear the inner child. The more you fear the inner child, the more power she has over you.
What then is the solution? It is simple, but hard to do. Permit yourself to think what you do, feel what you do, say what you do, do what you do. Difficult, isn’t it? Our entire conditioning teaches us to resist the negative in us and embrace the positive. Giving ourselves permission seems an awful lot like giving up on ourselves. We fear an immediate descent into a bottomless pit of self-indulgence and self-destruction. The surprise is that the opposite seems to happen. The unbearable tension between what you want and what you should want dissolves and then control seems rather an easy and natural process. You have a couple of biscuits and discover that you have stanched your urge.
|When you permit yourself to be who you are, the inner tension dissolves and you and you will coast into freedom.|
The more permission you give yourself, the more you integrate and validate your inner child. She no longer needs to rebel, because her needs are seen as legitimate. From my own journey I can testify that the Magic Ingredient X that facilitates the capacity to grant yourself permission is self-acceptance. Increasingly, I am accepting my imperfections. Yes, I am a worrier, and that is okay. Yes, I have control issues and that is okay too.
The same approach works wonderfully on our outer children too. A wise friend once told me. “Both my daughters are satisfied people because I never said no.” For example, her daughter once asked for a Barbie doll in the shower because her friend had one, although she had just been gifted a Barbie doll in the tub. “Why not, of course.” was Rashmi’s immediate response. Later, Rashmi suggested that since she had the bathtub Barbie and the other had the shower Barbie, they should simply exchange dolls. Both little girls were happy and Rashmi’s daughter had the satisfaction of knowing that her mother had not said no.
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