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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vandenburg

Giving Myself Permission

This week has been all about being with myself and really giving myself permission to feel my feelings - ALL of them.

I recognized that I was grieving and that it's OK to not be OK a few weeks ago, but what I connected into this week, is that I'm actually not OK. I keep telling myself that I am. That I'm fine. That I'm all adjusted to not only the drastic change in the world, but the drastic change in MY world.

BUT, if I'm being completely and totally honest with myself? I'm not OK.

I'm actually kind of pissed.

  • I'm pissed that I had to leave London before I was ready to

  • I'm pissed that I felt like I didn't get the chance to close out that particular chapter

  • I'm pissed that I had all of these plans to travel the world (that I quit my job and spent years saving up for) that as of this moment in time I don't actually know when I will be able to.

  • I'm pissed at a particular person in my life for continuing to not honor the commitments he's made and the fact that I will have to push myself to have another uncomfortable conversation with him

  • I'm pissed at all of the changes in my world that I feel like I am being forced to accept whether or not I feel ready to.

And you know what? It actually feels INCREDIBLY POWERFUL for me to actually own that anger. To stop telling myself that I'm not angry, that it's all fine, that I'm OK.

I found myself wanting to record this - so in another episode of something new in my life this week. I recorded my feelings here:

Will I be eventually be OK? Yes, I will. Do I have tools to help me process this anger? Yes, I do.

See this blog entry here on what I used last time.

But I can't actually move into true acceptance/forgiveness of my situation, or truly grieve the loss of my previous way of living until I am really being honest with myself and how I'm feeling, AND brave enough to actually open up and share it with all of you.

The email from Katie Stone that I read is here:

Greetings, tribe! I hope this letter finds you navigating this chunk of life with as much love for yourself as you can receive. I wanted to write you today about emotions, comparison, and a little thing we call Spiritual Bypass. 

Spiritual Bypass happens when we live as though we've healed a wound or fully processed something, but we haven't actually finished the work--we're pretending to be a whole version of ourselves in an effort to avoid open holes and painful excavation. In relationships, we see this often. Pretending to have worked through jealousy and insecurity, when you've actually just stuffed the feelings. Acting as though you've grieved the end of a relationship or marriage so that you can escape being alone and hop into another bond. In emotional realms, it can look like avoiding co-dependency by claiming to be an empath, or being the nicest, sweetest person you can be as a way of avoiding depression or self-defeating thoughts. 

Darlings, denying our truth is self-harm. 

Living as someone we are not prevents us from receiving love and authentic connection. We not only manipulate ourselves, but we inadvertently hurt the people we care about.

What we are moving through right now is an unprecedented time. Using that phrase feels so insanely cliche to me, but it's true. We've never been through this before. Something I am noticing is that there seems to be this pervasive message that we should all be doing, creating, purging, and getting in the best shape of our lives. There are a lot of things flying at us telling us to BE POSITIVE. Friends, there is no greater instance of Spiritual Bypass than in forcing yourself to feign positivity and spiritual zen when you are freaking the fuck out inside. 

I have done so many sessions over the last month that have centered around healing the shame people are feeling for not "making the most" of this quarantine. The exhausted sense of urgency, the vague FOMO, the untethered restlessness. Sweetheart, this is not a snow day or a vacation. We are in a global crisis. We are in grief. We are being tested on our relationship with uncertainty like never before. You do not have to pretend to be okay. You do not have to find meaning in this. You do not have to bake banana bread and repaint your living room and crush your dream productivity goals.

Please, PLEASE stop should-ing all over yourselves. Your only duty in all of this is to be with yourself, exactly as you are, and to ask for help and love when you need it. This permission slip is yours, and I'm sending it to you with a fancy bow and a ripe mango.


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