Why Is It So Hard to Give Ourselves Permission?
Remember being in school and having to ask for permission to go to the bathroom? We had to raise our hands and wait to be called on. For some of us that waiting and hanging back continues through life. We are not accustomed to giving ourselves permission. Often we hold back our own desires in order to be seen as pleasing, feminine or non-aggressive. We put the children, the spouse, the boss, our parents and everyone else first.
Have you ever wondered about the cost of not feeling free enough to ask for the things you want or deserve? My biggest aha moment came when I realized I wanted a divorce but felt I didn’t have the right to ask for one. I wasn’t putting my own health and well being first. The effect of not speaking up for what I needed was making me sick.
How often do we walk away from something, kicking ourselves for failing to speak up? It’s hard to be honest. It’s difficult to speak up if we fear someone will call us too aggressive or brazen. People are surprised when we break our routines or state our personal preferences. If you’ve always been the “good” girl, the one who did the right thing, the expected thing—speaking your mind comes as a shock.
Don’t you want to create a more satisfying life? You can have that if you give yourself permission to seek the life you want and desire. We can’t experience satisfaction by ignoring our own needs and comforts in order to be pleasing or agreeable for someone else.
What do you need to give yourself permission to do or say?
No thank you
Take the day off
I’m really not in the mood for sex
Admit you don’t like blowjobs and have been pretending for his sake
Soak in the tub
Stop reading that book you aren’t enjoying
I’m choosing the movie this time
Walk barefoot in the grass
Play the wanton hussy if the mood strikes
Express your disappointment
Ask your partner to communicate more clearly
I’m too busy
Tell him what turns you on.
Ask for a raise
Tie me up with your silk tie
Ask for a better desk, chair or office
Fix cereal for dinner
Dye your hair
Indulge in self-pleasuring just because you want to
Grow out the gray
Can you identify what you’re not getting? Where are you keeping silent? Submitting to a stronger personality, keeping the peace? Being the Good Wife, Mother or Daughter?
There is a way to honor your relationships and commitments and feel valued.
The first step is to understand that you deserve to be taken care of. The second step is to realize that no one can do that for you. If you don’t value your time and respect your own feelings you can’t expect others to respect you.
I’m talking about the day-to-day and I’m talking about your sexual life. They’re connected. The energy spent in shutting the door on an emotion in one area of your life seeps into everything else. You know the feeling of getting a sweet note in the mail from a good friend and how it makes you feel warm and cherished? You feel better all day—it’s all connected. So, if you want a richer, more fulfilling sex life you have to work to create it. Right down to speaking up about the little things.
You may not feel that you need to bring this “giving yourself permission” into the bedroom. I would challenge you to look at how you get your needs met in your current relationship. Is it mutual? Respectful? Are you satisfied? Do you regularly have orgasms? If the answer to all of those is, “Yes,” fabulous. I applaud you and think you have the Perfect Relationship.
I also think you’re not being completely honest with yourself.
For example, your partner uses too much pressure when he’s touching your clit, you know if he used a lighter touch it would feel better, but you don’t want to tell him. You think about it, but he’s already working hard to do what he always does. You lie there thinking, “lighter, slower, a little to the left”—but you don’t say a thing. He might get angry or feel you’re criticizing him. So you fake the orgasm.
We fail to speak up about our needs. We tend to stay with the familiar, safe in old patterns. Change brings uncertainty—even if the results are sure to be much better than our current state. We stay quiet because we’re afraid. We stay quiet because we don’t have enough respect for ourselves. We stay quiet because it’s what we’ve always done.
What will happen if you ask for _______________ the next time you’re having sex? Will your partner take it as a personal reflection of his inadequacies? Will he wonder if you’re unhappy?
What if he asked how he could give you more pleasure?
Are you getting what you need? Are you willing to ask for more, to speak out? What do you need in order to feel more respected and heard in your relationships?
Next week: Naughty Thoughts