Am I allowed to say that?
Am I allowed to eat this?
Am I allowed to not want to eat this?
Am I allowed to wear these clothes today?
Am I allowed to talk to men like that?
Am I allowed to get excited?
Am I allowed to do this?
Am I allowed to be comfortable?
Am I allowed to dance this way?
Am I allowed to want to do this?
Am I allowed to show affection to one person and not the other?
Am I allowed to look smoking hot?
Am I allowed to not want to drink that?
Am I allowed to in-joy this?
Am I allowed to go to bed early?
There are a lot of “Am I allowed to’s” there Emily… why?
Well, you see… I’m scared if I open my mouth or do something, I might cause a reaction from someone.
Well then, they might be upset or not as happy as they were before.
And is that your problem?
Well, no, it’s not really… not if I was just being me.
So why the “Am I allowed to’s?”
Well, it’s a question of “Will I hurt someone if I do that?”
So you’re saying, someone else should give you the permission for something you want to do, according to what mood they are in that day?
Erm, well, yea, I guess I am…
Now that just doesn’t make sense, does it?
No, no it doesn’t.
Am I allowed to be this way?
And what way is that?
Me… happy, sad, excited, showing it all, whilst being responsible, regardless of what people are going to think…
Well, I’d say so.
Yea… I’d say so too.
Am I able to care for myself?
Am I able to BE myself?
Am I able to love myself?
Now there’s “able’s”?
Yea, because now it’s up to me to make the decision… and my capability at being amazing.
And how is that capability?
I’d say it’s pretty darn good.
True freedom is loving the body I’m in, accepting and loving who I am and allowing myself to be rid of those ‘Thought Monsters’.
True freedom is not something someone else can give you, but what you give yourself – self love and self care.
I have been thinking a lot about my “allowed to’s” lately and have found that I calibrate what or basically who I am going to be depending on who I am around, so as to not ‘disturb the peace’. This probably isn’t an unusual thing; I’m guessing we all have “Thought Monsters” running around in our head saying what we can and can’t do. Don’t get me wrong, there are some things I definitely can’t do – but I don’t feel limited by these things when I make the choices to not do them, I feel confident and content with these choices.
It’s when there’s that pulling away from my initial response, that moment where it was there, where I had the chance and then it slipped away sort of thing…. I am learning to minimise these moments: if I feel like saying this or doing that, I will try my best to do it, and try my best to stay me regardless if it shakes anyone a bit.
Then with the realisation of these ‘Thought Monsters’ there has also been the trying to sort out the ‘Thought Monsters’ from the true thoughts. There is a difference here because the true thoughts don’t feel like monsters to me when I have them – there is no drive or push or fear behind them like the Thought Monsters have, just an openness, respect and realisation. Like me saying, “I shouldn’t be eating this piece of cake right now” is a true thought… what told me to eat this piece of cake was the plain old Thought Monster.
And then there’s the “Why am I eating this piece of cake?” which is actually a true thought, ‘cause it’s asking for a reason and a realisation that something is not quite right.
And then there’s the lack of self-worth for eating the cake and feeling crap about myself – thoughts like “I’m going to get fat” or “I’ll look like a cake myself soon”… Those, my friends, are the Thought Monsters.
But then there is a catch there too, because my feeling this is showing me that obviously eating the cake caused me to feel not very good, and due to not feeling good I can see that the choice I made wasn’t right for me.
So, instead of bashing myself, I’m realising why (in most cases it’s ‘cause I feel alone, or tired, or want to bury some feeling beneath a big pile of cake), then I’m accepting my choice and moving on.
“Okay… cool, I’m actually not fat, I just feel crappy because of the choices I made.”
The ‘why’ sometimes doesn’t even matter, I don’t need a reason, just acceptance, and as long as there’s an “Oh okay, well… next time I’ll know better”, I’m taking responsibility for me.
Or even if there is just a “Yea okay, I feel crap… I did it again”, that’s all good too… we all slip up sometimes.
By Emily Newman, Mirani, Qld