How do we feel when a dog waits at the door to be let out? Like it makes the dog a good boy? A good girl? Once you open the door and give the dog permission to go outside, you feel proud of their obedience. You taught the dog to listen and when they do you get a sense of relief.
When a child always asks for permission, you feel a sense of respect and their need for your consent makes you feel safe. Think back to when you were a child. How many times did you sit there right behind moms door contemplating asking her? How often did you keep looking at Mom and Dad to ensure you were doing it all right?
In school, you asked for permission to use the restroom, to ask a question, and you even had to raise your hand to answer the questions you knew the answers to. Every time you did something new you waited for a guiding hand to touch you. You did everything new slowly and with caution until you felt permission that it was safe.
Then you grew up. You applied for college and felt that same permission when you got accepted. You fell in love and led with caution, not knowing that the caution goes away once permission is granted. You waited for the right time to kiss them, to tell them you loved them, and all this waiting was you looking for permission. Permission has been your guiding light.
All your life permission is how you lived, and that child who needs permission is still in there. Even when I am first to walk in the door I look behind me to make sure I’m going the right way. I look back to see my group behind me, but my inner child looks for my mother’s head to nod. I need to know so badly that I am leading the pack in the right direction.
Even when I know what feels right I ask “What should I do? What would you do?” I don’t need another opinion, I need permission for mine. I keep the things I want to say to myself and sometimes I don’t know why. All I know is the wall between my mind and the world, but what if this wall is the younger me who still needs that permission? It’s all he knew, it’s what he was taught.
We’ve lived our entire lives waiting for permission, and that little kid who looks for it now needs it from us. We know what feels right but that little kid who raised their hand for permission to say the answer they knew was right is raising their hand again. We have our path to walk on but our inner child still holds out their hand waiting for their guiding light. But no one is there to touch them.
Now when we do things we wonder how other people feel about it. We need permission that who we think we are is actually who we are. We only share our hearts when we feel permission to. We look in their eyes and hold back what we feel because we haven’t felt the opening to say it.
Our inner child is sitting there, tugging at our shirt begging for us to give them that permission. Yet we still look around and wait for it, but it never comes. We lived our childhoods waiting for permission from everyone else, and now we don’t realize that it comes from ourselves.
We are the guiding light for our inner child.
- Stain (co-founder)