Permission Granted

23 Dec 2019
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Very young children and very pushy people share a behaviour in common – they act without asking permission. I don't approve of rude people, but sometimes our polite 'reserve' can go too far.

As the Holiday Season descends upon us, give yourself permission to... Well, why don't you share with us all, by way of the comments, what you'd like permission to do?

I'd like permission to sleep properly and relax – in any order!

Truth is, I think we've all been programmed. We were told as a child so many times to 'ask' or even 'ask before...' that it has become a part of the automated script we run. It's a bit like me learning to put the lid down on the toilet and flush – it's on autopilot so I don't have to think about it. In a similar way, I look both ways before crossing the road. My signature is an even more powerful example of programming.

Most of our programmed autoresponders are good!

But what if we decided to tinker with our programming?

Penny said to me, years ago, "You bring out the 'Me' in 'me'!"

I love that!

Something I did or said or both 'allowed' her to be herself. I gave her permission to be Penelope.

This initially puzzled me. After all, who was I to tell her what or what not to do? It turns out that her husband crushed her free spirit. Some gentle inquiry led to a string of memories where significant people in her life had crushed the 'She' in 'her'.

I keen to discover whether you'll let me be an influential authority figure in your life. If I said, "Be yourself... you have my full permission and blessing!" would that help?

If not, find someone who you do respect, and get them to give you permission to do whatever it is you really want to do this Christmas – what a great gift!

And as 2020 approaches, may your 2020 vision include being the full version of you that you desire to be!

Now, who do you want to be?

Lex

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Molly

Dec. 23, 2019, 5:32 a.m.

Hi Lex I hope you are doing ok, I have been thinking about you a lot this last week. Two things pounced at me in your blog. My husband has to rely on me a lot now but he doesn’t like to ask. He finds this quite difficult. So he makes hints instead and me being me “why don’t you just ask!!” Sometimes I ignore the hints, because they annoy me. Bless him, not even sure if this is on track with what you are saying! I agree we are all programmed to a big extent. I’ve now thought of other examples but I won’t get carried away. I have learnt to just be ‘me’. Quite recently really. It doesn’t work all of the time as you get the critics of course. If only I could stop hearing them (and sadly sometimes having to remove them). Because I will never live up to their expectations or get any understanding of the difficulties that I face. My husband accepts me for who I am, it’s not always been that simple but now he’s more reliant on me, I guess he’s realised it works both ways. I know they say don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and I totally agree. But right now that’s enough. Who do I want to be? Me! Thanks Lex xxxx

Reply

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 6:03 a.m.

So glad you want to be you, Molly! Thanks for asking how I'm getting on too. I've been able to be strong for awhile. My lovely sister had her birthday last week, which was doubly tough because she was so ill she couldn't see me or my Dad. I'm hoping to be a rock for her at Christmas, and Penny continues to be my rock (even though Mum's death reminds her of the loss of her own parents). I think Christmas is a difficult time for so many... but I still love it!

Molly

Dec. 23, 2019, 7:32 a.m.

Good for you Lex, I think you will be the anchor for everyone around you! Just make sure you look after yourself too xx

Oli

Dec. 23, 2019, 7:01 a.m.

Hi Lex. Why can’t we always be the person we want to be? Why can’t we lose the habits we don’t want? How does that auto-response override our best intentions? Everyone knows what it’s like to be in two minds about a behaviour: wanting one thing, but doing something else. Over and over again. Why is auto-responding so powerful? What absolutely fascinates me is what’s going on here. (It’s actually what I was doing in the BU psychology labs: changing a very specific automatic response that everyone has in order to try and find a little more about what’s going on). We need to know more. We know automatic responding is something we all do, and we know we can persist with it despite not wanting to. But we also know it’s not all-powerful and can sometimes radically change. Who do I want to be? Someone who knows more about all that! Hope you’re well Lex, thank you for the blog :-)

Reply

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 9:20 a.m.

Humans, eh? Penny works in that vast laboratory called 'ASDA'. Every day she treats me to feedback on human behaviour. I must remember not to ask her where the lard is! (And I suggest no one else does too!) Perhaps she'll grant them permission to look for themselves!!!

The Gardener

Dec. 23, 2019, 10:09 a.m.

Lex, thanks for blog. If EVER I seriously lose my marbles and have hysterics it will be trying to work out supermarket logic. Does lard still exist? Remember lardy cakes, eons ago. xx

Valerie

Dec. 23, 2019, 11:30 a.m.

Hi Lex, I was minding my own business in Asda the other day when a young woman asked me where she could find bicarbonate of soda.I told her it would be in the Home Baking section.She glowered at me,and said that could not be right, because she intended to use it to clean a mattress.She continued to voice doubts as I led her to the shelf and pointed out the tubs to her.No thank you at all.Then blow me down, she sought me out again,this time demanding to know how to use it for cleaning purposes!

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 12:44 p.m.

Ah Valerie... perhaps we should purchase, www.askvalerie.com ???!!! People!!! Give me animals most days... oh, and Moodscopers!

Molly

Dec. 23, 2019, 5:54 p.m.

Animals and Moodscopers for me too!!

The librarian

Dec. 23, 2019, 7:13 a.m.

Hello Lex, How lovely that Penelope found you! One of my friends has already given me permission this Christmas; she said I didn’t have to push myself and do anything I didn’t feel up to doing. I had crushing fatigue yesterday, the sort that makes me feel as if my body had been poisoned - that’s the only way I can describe the oddest of sensations - so I didn’t go to Nine Lessons and Carols. Although I was very sad not to go, all the other people who were planning to come with me admitted that they weren’t feeling up to it either - so it gave four other people permission not to push themselves by giving myself that permission! Thank you for your permission, Lex. I am making that a permission to celebrate Christmas as I choose and not get caught up in other people’s Christmas advert/Hallmark card ideals. I may not have children or a partner, I may not have a house that fits twelve around the dining table, I may be unable to cook a Christmas dinner but I have a roof over my head and a cosy home, and I have a lovely range of friends, and I can choose to pace myself carefully so I don’t conk out. There are plenty of others who will not be meeting that ideal, so I will think of them instead. All the best

Reply

Molly

Dec. 23, 2019, 7:54 a.m.

Hi Librarian, good response! You are so right about the roof over our heads, which many haven’t got. I try to be grateful for that every day. Good friends are hard to come by. Me and husband housebound right now, so we get deliveries. That’s all well and good usually but the slots were all booked up a few days ago so we really had to think ahead. Then today I received a text from a friend who has helped us in so many practical ways. He asked if there was anything we needed before Christmas and I know he meant it (many don’t). There needs to be more people like him about. There were a couple of things I needed and he’s sorting it. I might have gone off track again but thank goodness for people like him. Molly xx

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 9:23 a.m.

Dear Librarian and Molly, what heart-warming responses. Someone I respect says it all..."begins with telling the truth." Honest friends and honesty to friends are a great gift this Christmas. Love and best wishes to you both xx

Molly

Dec. 23, 2019, 6 p.m.

Love and best wishes back to you Lex xx

Lucas

Dec. 23, 2019, 8:09 a.m.

One thing I want (or feel like I need) permission to go is day 'no.' No big explanation, me excuses, just a simple no. Maybe "sorry, I'm too busy" or "sorry I'm too tired," but nothing more, and still meaning 'no.' As far as me... I think there is a louder, uninhibited version of me somewhere inside, but I never feel comfortable acting that way, despite wanting to at times. It'd be nice to let that out.

Reply

Molly

Dec. 23, 2019, 8:23 a.m.

Lucas, one thing I have felt helps is saying “don’t take it personally but..... I am tired, or I’m not in the mood”. It lessens the blow for them and makes us feel less guilty.

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 9:24 a.m.

Hi Lucas, as Molly says, it is often easier for them when we wrap it in a reason... Though there's a part of me who would just like my 'Yes' to be 'Yes!' and my 'No' to be an utterly definitive, 'No!' I think I'll try it today...

Lucas

Dec. 23, 2019, 3:58 p.m.

Good thoughts. I know my friends are understanding, but I still worry. I've at least been doing better with saying "sorry, I can't" when work asks me to cover an extra shift and I don't want to. I can't do it because I don't want to do it XD

Orangeblossom

Dec. 23, 2019, 8:36 a.m.

Hi Lex thanks for the encouraging blog. I’m looking forward to Christmas with our daughter coming home from London this week. My OH has been busy sorting out the loft & it has been a massive task. He doesn’t think that he has done enough. Love to you & yours during the Festive Season & throughout 2020. To all Moodscopers. I have enjoyed sharing this year with you!

Reply

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 9:25 a.m.

You are so lovely, Orangeblossom. We've travelled another year together in good company. Bless us one and all!

Mary Wednesday

Dec. 23, 2019, 8:49 a.m.

It's taken a long time for me to accept who I am and like who I am. Physically and in character. I know that, whatever I do, I am still going to annoy some people, and that will just have to be okay. I've also given myself permission this year to concentrate on the important things. We've invited the neighbours round for mulled wine and mince pies on Christmas Eve. By neighbours, I mean the whole street! But the wine is Tescos cheap ready mulled stuff (maybe jazzed up a bit) and the mince pies are bought. What's important is the togetherness. The whole family is here the Sunday after. Again, I'm doing simple food, because it's the togetherness that matters, not impressing them with my culinary skills. It still feels weird not to be frantically making 100 mince pies, but I'll learn to live with that stress! ;)

Reply

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 9:26 a.m.

What excellent choices, Mary Wednesday! Billy Joel is singing in my head...

The Gardener

Dec. 23, 2019, 10:12 a.m.

Mary, my relief is that I will escape the round of visits which means EATING 100 mince pies. The French have never heard of them! For me, Christmas now is 'less is best'. xx

The Gardener

Dec. 23, 2019, 11:51 a.m.

But we have our own challenge to come - I am sure Jules has experienced this - endless 'galettes du roi' solid flaky pastry with an indefinable gooey interior. Goes on whole of January.

Jul

Dec. 23, 2019, noon

Oh yes I have! It goes on in Spain too. Jul xx

Jul

Dec. 23, 2019, 8:52 a.m.

Hello Lex. I've been thinking of you too and hoping you are coping. Lots of "ings" there! Your topic this morning is so complex. I often say to myself I'm not me any longer. I just play roles. I tried once against all odds and nearly destroyed myself in the process as I was acting in a way which went against all the conventional roles I was supposed to be in but I still acted in those conventional roles! Since then I've tried to conform but I'm waiting to break free, not from my OH I hasten to add but from all my other roles. I can see a prison break out coming. (My life's not that bad but I'm just listening to the Chinese prison Tesco Christmas card scandal). I do know what the real me is and I want to be that soon. It's not as if I don't know. Anyway Lex, have a great Christmas day. I am glad you love it all. Be yourself which is great;you are a source of comfort, cheerfulness and wonderful advice. A successful peaceful 2020 to you, your family and Penelope. Jul xx

Reply

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 9:29 a.m.

Hello Jules... you warm my heart like a fine red wine - your words, your thought, are simply divine; and I could break lines, you'd know that this rhymes! Here's to you and us all having a simple, wonder-filled, Christmas time xx

The Gardener

Dec. 23, 2019, 10:18 a.m.

Lex, in 2020 I am hoping to be a 'New Woman' !! Sounds daft? May not be. For the first time in my long life I shall spend Christmas and New Year without any family at all. No emotional baggage. I want to clear this year's obsession. Where I am going you can join in the religious routine or not. I don't know what I believe. But I can sit quietly in their lovely chapel, walk alone on a beach, and just think. Or with a kindred spirit if I find one. But next year, I MUST have more dialogue. Here is super, but I want more. How, that is the question. Have a lovely peaceful time. xx

Reply

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 12:16 p.m.

This is a powerfully clear 2020 vision, dear Gardener. I know so many of us will resonate with what you desire. xx

LP

Dec. 23, 2019, 10:58 a.m.

Hi Lex, Thank you for the permission to be me and do whatever I want this Christmas. I am in a way, but with bucket loads of guilt piled on top and weighing me down. I can imagine that weight lifting so that I can be free to enjoy.. yes actually enjoy doing what I want. The Ultra Nate song is in my head and it’s a great sentiment! Thank you Lex, have a good one :) LP xx

Reply

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 12:18 p.m.

Hi LP... be free, be free.... “Come to the edge," he said. "We can't, we're afraid!" they responded. "Come to the edge," he said. "We can't, We will fall!" they responded. "Come to the edge," he said. And so they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.” ? Guillaume Apollinaire

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 12:18 p.m.

I'll repeat that in a 'non-reply' so that I can format the line breaks! xx

LP

Dec. 23, 2019, 2:38 p.m.

Nice one! :)

Nicco

Dec. 23, 2019, 11:31 a.m.

Lex. I, too, have been thinking of you & hoping you're doing ok. Thanks for your interesting blog. I went through quite a few years where i'd look in the mirror in the morning when trying to do my hair & not really recognise the person staring back a me because of the various illnesses i had/have - i'd doubled my weight in 6 months & looked & felt so ill. And i was angry - angry that, despite being ill, i still had to fall in with people's (mainly family members') wishes. This is still happening today to a certain degree (the falling in with people's wishes), but less so because many of them have either moved away or passed away. I am going to have to accommodate a distant relative from abroad sometime soon because she is alone (no husband, family - except me - no children, but has a partner who lives & works in this country) & as my brother is dying of cancer (now has secondaries in his brain) it will be her last chance to see him - they've not seen eachother for years. My brother can't accommodate her as he lives with his partner in a tiny one bedroomed flat. My father can't (wouldn't even if i asked him) accommodate her, although he has three bedrooms, mainly because he's 94yrs old, although in better health than me, but also because he has had no contact with my brother for many years & has no wish to have contact with him, despite only living a few miles away from him & despite knowing he is dying of cancer. So, yet again, (& i'm sorry if this sounds selfish) i'm the one in the middle who has to sort it all out because nobody else can. I think i'm possibly angry because i got dumped on a great deal in the past (with stuff like "if you don't do this it will ruin everything for everyone, the whole family will fall apart, & you will be responsible for it"). I don't necessarily need permission to say 'no' - i've said it in the past & have sometimes had battles to keep my 'no' as 'no' - but it always seems that events have a cruel way of backing me into a 'do or die' corner. For instance, there wouldn't be a problem with all this if my distant relative didn't mind travelling alone, or she had money to stay in a b&b nearby. I could manage to meet her at the station, drive us the 50 miles to my brother's, & all would be relatively well. I just wonder why things in my life are never simple enough to allow me to be me. I'm not sure how i'd cope alone at Christmas but i know two things... it would probably turn out to be just another day like all the others, & being alone would be far, far better than spending it with my inlaws! (Most of whom i am very happy to say i managed to get off our backs years ago). Again, apologies if any of this sounds offensive or selfish but i gave myself permission to be me & write how i feel!

Reply

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 3:23 p.m.

Dear Nicco, more often, nowadays, I am growing in gratitude for Moodscope and for the honest sharing it allows. I am so moved by what you have to face. You also use a word that I am becoming deeply acquainted with: 'angry'. I used to think my anger was a mask for fear but now I'm just angry. I know this is because 'life' is not at all what I expected to be, and I suspect you feel the same. Thank you for being so open. May you have moments where you get just what you desire. I hope what you've shared will give others here permission to express their deeper feelings too.

Lucas

Dec. 23, 2019, 4:19 p.m.

I can definitely feel this. Several years ago I had to keep sorting out lodging and other things for an uncle of mine (who had raised me for a few years) after he has been divorced and was leading up to a surgery and then after his recovery. Normally this would be, well, fairly normal, but I have chronic health conditions that limit my energy and time...but he didn't really have anytime else to turn to. At one point I was even recovering from Lyme disease and helped him move, which included driving 3 hours and staying overnight with only a recliner to sleep on. But I saw no other option at the time, and he has found someone who truly loves him since then, so things have worked out. I hope things go smoothly for you as you make your way through the current trials.

Nicco

Dec. 24, 2019, 10:15 a.m.

Thank you for your understanding, Lex. It's good that you can identify your feeling of anger. I think, for me anyway, it lessens its ferocity once it's acknowledged & spoken out. Hope things go as well as is possible for you over the festive period.

Nicco

Dec. 24, 2019, 10:22 a.m.

Goodness, Lucas, i don't know where you found the strength to go through all that. Like you, i also have energy-limiting health issues. I'm glad things have turned out well for your uncle. Go well.

Lucas

Dec. 24, 2019, 1:52 p.m.

I read yours and was thinking the same thing--I don't know how you keep going through all of it! I guess we're all stronger than we realize, even after the fact.

Valerie

Dec. 23, 2019, 11:38 a.m.

Lex,I have already over several years given myself permission to eat out,not attend parties if I don't want to,and spend as much time as possible in pyjamas over Christmas.What I want from you is permission to not even start calculating the calories of the food I am eating.Can I self-hypnotise myself to believe that the laws of physics relating to the thermo-dynamics of food will not exist for one day? It's good to see you back,and hope you and your family share some happy times together.Hugs ***

Reply

The Gardener

Dec. 23, 2019, 11:53 a.m.

Valerie, I never watch the endless cooking programmes on TV - usually 2 per night. Nothing under 1,000 calories a serving, and hours to prepare. Then, Christmas over, you get the diet programmes! And the guilt!xx

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 3:32 p.m.

Hi Valerie... my lovely friend, Lesley, made me brain-shaped perspect plaque that is lit from the stand it is on. On it is engraved, "Reality leaves MUCH to the Imagination." I would URGE you to invest as much imagination as you can in believing the most liberating delights around freedom from the tyranny of calorie counting this Christmas! I have a book by hypnotist, Paul McKenna. It's entitled, "I can make you slim..." I ate it. ***

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 12:18 p.m.

“Come to the edge," he said. "We can't, we're afraid!" they responded. "Come to the edge," he said. "We can't, We will fall!" they responded. "Come to the edge," he said. And so they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.” ? Guillaume Apollinaire

Reply

Molly

Dec. 23, 2019, 2:47 p.m.

Love this xx

LP

Dec. 23, 2019, 2:41 p.m.

That’s beautiful Lex. Thank you! X

Reply

Lex

Dec. 23, 2019, 3:27 p.m.

It's not comfortable, LP and Molly, but it is lovely and beautiful. I recently heard about a chap who could only move by use of his left foot. His father refused to help him up the stairs, so he had to climb them in what must have been the most laborious quest on the planet. The result was that he learned (by a very, very hard way) to live an independent life against all the odds. His father was terrified that the lad would end up being 'looked after' all the time, a vegetable in an institution. Nothing could be further from the truth. The writer's point was: never do something for someone that they could do for themselves. When we do this, we rob them. I think that's a far too extreme position for me but I do need to be pushed when I reach the edge (of my own volition!) xx

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