On this day I had two patients who both seemed to want to suppress their feelings; one did not want to celebrate her achievements and the other felt bad for throwing herself a pity party. They both seemed to need permission to feel what they were feeling.
So with the first patient, I pulled out my pad of paper and hand wrote a “permission slip” to invite her to feel her feelings of self-pity. “You now have permission to throw yourself a pity party. Just be sure to leave after you have cake & ice cream!” This not only made her laugh, but it also gave her great comfort to know it was acceptable to feel bad for herself after something not-so-great had happened to her. By having the pity party, she knew it would just be temporary.
When the next patient was hesitant to celebrate her improvements, I followed the same idea. I again brought out my pad of paper and wrote her a permission slip to celebrate her achievements. Her note was similar to the one I wrote to myself, above.
While they were both amused and laughed at my antics, they each saw the value of what I was showing them: they could give themselves the gift of feeling what they were feeling. They could give themselves the gift of being present within their feelings (without guilt or shame).
Later I wrote myself those same permission slips. And I gave myself permission to feel what I was feeling, so I would not have to revisit them again, (and again) at a later time. I also gave myself permission to love and adore myself, which are feelings I usually reserve only for other people in my life.
So today, please give yourself permission. Permission to feel your feelings and to feel them fully. Permission to cry when you need to cry. Permission to laugh and celebrate when you need to celebrate. Permission to BE and to FEEL. That is what we need more of: People who accept what they are feeling and allow those emotions to move through them, instead of getting stuck by shame or guilt.
You now have permission to feel your feelings, fully! (it’s your actions and behaviors that can cause the problems, so for now, please just feel)