When we were children, we needed the permission of our parents or teachers to live our lives. We needed permission to eat, drink, watch television and at a certain age, we even took permission to use the bathroom! We needed their permission to play, to go out with our friends and generally to live our lives. There was almost nothing that we had to do that didn’t demand taking permission from them. Our whole existence revolved around our parents and the other authority figures in our lives who gave us permission.
Taking permission before we did anything was for our own good. We were children and didn’t understand the ways of the world. Our parents and other authority figures were responsible for our lives and had to make sure that we were doing what was best for us. We couldn’t take responsibility for ourselves because we really had no idea what life was all about, so we had to seek their permission and give them responsibility over our lives. They built walls around us to protect us from ourselves and from the outside world. We were young, naïve and innocent. Life wasn’t exactly what it appeared to be and we hadn’t reached the age of discernment to know what was good or bad for us.
Taking permission was good when we were children, but there comes a time in our lives when we become adults and stop taking permission to live our lives. From the age of accountability, we take full responsibility for our lives. The law recognizes that by punishing us and not our parents for our actions after a certain age.
However so many people are still stuck in the ‘child mode’ where we took permission from our parents and other authority figures in our lives. We are surrounded by a new set of authority figures in our lives and we allow them control and sometimes manipulate us to make decisions that are not even favourable to us.
Some of us take permission from our pastor, fellow church members, colleagues at work, neighbours, friends, acquaintances and even strangers before we live our lives. We allow their opinions and attitudes influence and determine our choices. To take permission from people who have no stake whatsoever in the outcomes of our lives is to be a slave to them. It is modern day slavery to allow another human being who has no investment, place or purpose in your life to give you permission to live your life. It is slavery to seek permission to make a decision whose consequences will affect you alone. It is foolish to seek permission from people who will not suffer or enjoy the consequences of your actions.
For instance, you didn’t consult with your pastor before joining his church, did you? Why do you then need to seek his permission to LEAVE when you feel like your time with that ministry is up? Why do you seek the permission of members of the church you attend to ask if you should leave or remain with them? Seeking their permission makes you their slave. They own you. They control you. You are a mindless automaton at the mercy of those people.
If you feel that you no longer find fulfillment at your work place, you don’t need to seek permission from your boss before you resign. You should do what you must do after carefully considering all the options available to you and their consequences.
If you want to make a choice of a future partner, you don’t need to seek the permission of your friends because they have no stake in the outcomes of your choice. However, you should seek the permission of your family because their name and reputation is involved when you get married. They have a stake in the outcomes of your life.
People who seek permission before taking actions which will affect them alone are looking for who will take joint responsibility with them. It is slave mentality not to take responsibility for your choices and actions. Some people are even looking for someone who will take total responsibility for their actions. That is the reason why when people come to me for counseling, most times, I never tell them what to do. I ask them questions and gently steer their thoughts in the direction of the solution that they seek. They must make their own decisions and therefore take complete responsibility for their choices.
The only group of people you need to seek permission from or negotiate with when you want to make a major decision which will AFFECT them directly are your spouse and children. You also need to make sure that people you are directly responsible for are aware of the choices you have made on their behalf. If you are going to make a decision that will affect your family, spouse, siblings, parents and children, you should let them know what you are about to do so that they can prepare and protect themselves where necessary.
To live to your full potential, you should stop seeking permission from people who have no stake whatsoever in the outcomes of your life. You should stop seeking permission to live your dream or to pursue your goals. You should stop seeking permission to express yourself in the way that resonates with you. You should stop seeking permission to manifest the greatness within you. You should stop seeking permission to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit when he gives you a specific instruction. Give yourself the permission to live your life the best way you know how to. Take total responsibility for your life. Give yourself the permission to be successful and the permission to fail. Give yourself the permission to be happy, to enjoy your journey. Give yourself the permission to make mistakes and to unravel the meaning of your life as you walk the path on your life’s journey.