There are seasons we trudge through where we often mistake permission for acceptance; where we misplace the authority that we ourselves have had all along. We misplace our ability to grant ourselves the permission we seek and the reprieve we desire.
There are days when I wish that I could leave myself (the inner, nagging roommate in my head) at home while I float out the door and into the day surrounded by light and wrapped in golden warmth with a glowing grin on my face. There are days when I wish I could separate the dark clouds in my mind that cover that light so that I can get out of my own way and find joy in the mundanities of a Tuesday morning. Find joy in the way the bubbles from a sponge become effortlessly suspended in air while you wash out the remainder of some cold coffee left in a forgotten mug. Find joy in the incredible murmuration of a flock of birds soaring through a bright blue sky.
These days of wishing I could leave myself at home are the days when I am fruitlessly seeking out permission from an external source to tell me that it's okay to enjoy the moment. Or to tell me that sabotaging a perfectly beautiful Tuesday is no way to live through a Tuesday at all.
"Cognitive dissonance" is a term that has been imprinted into the cemented structure of my mind as accidentally and randomly as the pawprint in between the two blocks of concrete outside on street in front of the coffee shop. Both accidental, yet both now integral to the structure itself.
"Cognitive dissonance" is a term that gives a voice -an explanation- to the discomfort that we all at some point experience. We become frustrated with ourselves when we can't seem to will our way into enjoying a moment when we know that we should be exploding with gratitude. It's a matter of holding contradictory thoughts and not understanding which is yours and which is just the plus one to your bad mood party.
Although the drive to find joy is always inevitably more appealing in any situation, there is a piece of me that becomes curious about the negative, nagging roommate in my head. I wonder why she's there, what she wants and how I can evict her with little to no rebuttal.
These are the days when we think a situation might be "too good to be true" so we build a fortress around ourselves and don't bother creating any sort of drawbridge to connect us to whatever lies on the other side of the alligator-filled moat.
I think it's perfectly human the way we try to protect the awareness within us; the way we become scared to let ourselves get too happy because as science has taught us, whatever goes up, must come down.
We look for permission to believe in a world where whatever goes up, can keep going up and can multiply and fly and soar and we could be blissfully happy.
However, we also require a dose of acceptance for when we're soaring and hit a stent of rough air. We're still up there, flying high but what's different between hitting turbulent air and hitting a roadblock is that in the air, you can still see the way ahead of you because turbulent air is not solid and can be seen through. With a roadblock, your vantage point is limited.
To live beyond roadblocks and to see beyond turbulent stretches is to give yourself permission to enjoy a moment. It's leaning into discomfort, leaning into a sense of dissonance and re-centering yourself back to where you need to be: peaceful, accepting and in control of your own permission slips.