Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Me to Tell Me

Comment: "What I like matters, too."
Question "Did you really need me to tell you that?"
Reply "Nope, I needed me to tell me that."

The words rolled off my tongue easily, but I felt strange saying them. I'd prepared myself to declare the importance of what I like, but I hadn't anticipated the response or my response to the response. And, I realized it was true.

As the words left my mouth and lingered in the air - and were answered with silence, I stood and reflected on them for a minute. As a matter of fact, they stayed with me the rest of the night. I ended up writing the following poem.


“I needed me to tell me”
The words surprised me
When I heard them come from my mouth
The truth of them
Stopped me mid-step
Threw me off-balance
Left me speechless
For a second
I stood still in my thoughts
Realized I announced aloud
That I refuse to need permission
From anyone but me
For my likes
For my wants
For my needs
For my desires
For my loves
For my likes
For my life
In that moment I embraced
That I don’t need nor do I want
External permission or approval
I really only need
Me to tell me

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how often I've relegated my life to others, not intentionally, of course, but as an attempt to keep peace or find a compromise.

When we stop granting ourselves permission to live, we stop living. When we stop granting ourselves permission to play, we stop playing. When we stop granting ourselves permission to have pleasure, pleasure disappears and takes desire right along with it. When we stop granting ourselves permission to like the things we like because someone else might not, we stop liking anything.

At some point, my desire to create harmony silenced my voice as I became confused about what I liked because I was always worried about whether or not someone else would like the same things I liked. I didn't want to be judged for my choices either way, so I kept my opinions to myself about many things. I forgot that my likes and dislikes matter, too.

But, like most things denied, my likes and dislikes demanded to be heard and acknowledged. People may not like what I like and they may like what I don't, but that's okay. We don't all need to like the same things, and nothing makes one person's like or dislikes more or less valid than another person's. I now stand ready to say "I like it, and I don't have to defend my preferences to you or anyone else." What a fabulously liberating feeling!!


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