November 15, 2015
“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I was searching for quotes about peace and contentment when I came across this one from Gandhi. It resonated with other little pieces of self-help advice that I have written about in the past. I think we all seek peace and contentment in our lives, although most of us spend time looking in the wrong places. Then, just as we may have achieved some measure of both in our lives, we give someone else permission to hurt us. We take offense and something that they’ve said or done or we react to some slight or slur (real or imagined) and fall back out of our state of contentment. Gandhi’s advice rings true in those moments. We have invited this external influence into our sanctuary and allowed it to tarnish our contentment or destroy our peace. Don’t give permission.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was on the same page as Gandhi when he said – “Nothing external to you has any power over you.” Emerson was referring to the fact that you control how you react to all things external to you. If someone says something hateful to you, or about you; how do you react? Do you let it hurt you or is your reaction to feel sorry that they are in such a state of mind that they feel the need to lash out at you. Do you shrink back in offense or offer your help and prayers to them? After all they haven’t really done anything to you, if you didn’t let them do it; but, they have exposed an ugly side of themselves for others to see. They can’t hurt you if you don’t give permission.
Finally, being at peace means being comfortable with yourself, liking yourself and being confident in yourself. Sanaya Roman put it this way – “Having inner peace means committing to letting go of self-criticism and self-doubt.” So, in addition to the things and people outside that might be trying to upset your contentment; one must believe in yourself. I wrote about that in a post – https://normsmilfordblog.com/2014/07/31/first-believe-in-yourself/ and I also advised against beating yourself up. What good does it do you to spend time on self-criticism and slef-doubt. Rather you shouls spend that time on self-improvement. Learn from any mistakes and move on, don’t wallow in self-recrimination and guilt. Even for your own thoughts, don’t give permission.
So, resolve today that you will withhold permission for the actions and words of others to hurt you. Focus instead on how you can offer them help that they may need to get to the place of peace and contentment that you enjoy. I’ve noted here in past posts that the local Methodist pastor Doug McMunn often uses a wonderful little retort when he encounters someone who needs help regaining control. He will just say, “be at peace.” Doug always seems to be at peace and to ready to help other, I suspect because he makes a daily effort to stay ther and when he encounters situations that might otherwise be inflammatory he doesn’t give permission for those things or comments to invade and destroy his inner peace.
Be at peace this coming week; and when things try to get to you; remember that they cannot hurt you if you don’t give permission.
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Posted by Norm Werner
November 28, 2014
I’m kind of a work-aholic (I suppose there really is no way to be kind of a work-aholic) and my wife often tells me to “give yourself permission” to stop or take a break. As I thought about those three little words, I realized not only what good advice she was giving me, but just how important it can be to empower yourself.
Certainly, giving yourself permission to take a break is a good thing and can save you from becoming stressed out or overworked. There are many other things that you need to give yourself permission for that may also be life changing or life enhancing.
You need to give yourself permission to fail every now and then. Not every endeavor will result in a win or getting done what you set out to accomplish. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself that it’s OK to fail, as long as you tried your best and you can learn something from the failure. It’s OK to be wrong every now and then, too. For many people that is a hard permission to grant themselves (or to admit to themselves). “Perfection is an illusion. Allow yourself room to make mistakes and permission to be happy regardless of outcome.” ― Dawn Gluskin
Many people await someone else’s permission to take a chance or try something new, when they could easily just give themselves permission. For some, even allowing a relationship to progress to the point of making a real commitment is something that they have a problem giving themselves permission to do. For some the issue may be be the permission to feel your emotions. “I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.” – Iyanla Vanzant
Have you given yourself permission to feel and experience your emotions, or do you stifle them while you seek someone else to give you permission? Let me string together two quotes – “Don’t look for society to give you permission to be yourself.” ― Steve Maraboli and “When you are open to others, you give permission to those around you to be open to you.” ― Bryant McGill. So, give yourself permission to be you and to be open about yourself and your feelings. Others will open up to you.
We often hear about some organization or cause being empowering for the people involved; but, that is waiting for some outside group or event to give you permission, to empower you. Rather, have the confidence in yourself to give yourself the permissions that you think you need. Empower yourself. “Give yourself permission to get the most out of your life.” – Sandra Lee
What things are you waiting for permission to do in your life? Where do you think that permission is going to come from? You can’t call your mom and ask for permission to fall in love. You have to give yourself that permission. Only you can grant yourself permission to stop grieving over a loss and move on with life. And, only you can give yourself permission to change your own life. “Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you can choose to be.” – Joy Page
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Posted by Norm Werner