Give Yourself Permission

There is something so deceptively difficult about getting started.

We trick ourselves into believing we need permission. That there must be some sign, some supernatural border collie who will herd us in the correct direction, that will give us the nudge we need to begin our life.

It’s fear, really, when you get right down to it. Fear that permeates all the way down to the bone and the soul. Fear of stepping onto an unfamiliar path, lest there be a monster waiting at the end of it.

Perhaps it’s biological, that fear. We are comfortable in our stagnation. What we are used to can’t hurt us. Why leave the shelter of our familiar burrow when we know there’s a chance of rain?

And there’s the catch-22: the only way to see the sun is to leave the cave. The only way to see the sun is to risk getting wet. The only way to become happy is to open yourself up to sadness and anger and failure and the whole slew of negative emotions that you could easily avoid by staying at home watching Netflix for the rest of your life.

But that’s not living. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good television show. My entire adolescent life revolved around books, and it’s my dream to someday publish my own in the future. I live in fiction.

But we shouldn’t live through fiction. That’s the distinction. Media can trigger an emotional reaction, but the difference between watching a fictional couple kiss for the first time and experiencing it yourself is cosmic.

You can’t mimic experience. You have to live it. Know what you want and run after it, grab hold of it with all the strength you have.

All we have to do is start. Take the smallest of first steps.

Grant yourself permission.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

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