Remember in grade school when we had to bring a permission slip from our parents to do certain things? We had to have permission to go on a field trip. We had to ask permission to stay the night at a friend’s house. We are trained from childhood that we need permission to do almost everything.

Permission is ingrained in us from childhood. When we were toddlers, we acted out of instinct…we just did what we wanted. And, then we slowly got conditioned to look to others for permission. Now believe me, I know it’s for the safety of children that they must seek permission.

As we enter grade school, permission takes on a whole new level and meaning. We are now interacting with other children, and we seek permission in other ways. We gage how kids respond to us and adjust our behavior accordingly.

I believe I was born an introvert. It’s my innate nature. I love being alone with my dog, journals, spiritual books, and a little “Say Yes to the Dress”. It’s truly my happy place and where I find the most peace.

I also was born with great intuition. And, I realized quickly that being outgoing was a more accepted behavior than being quiet and shy. So, guess what? I became gregarious and outgoing. Well, as much as I could be.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was modifying me to fit in. It’s such a common reality for a lot of kids.

But there are those kids who truly are themselves and just take the social beating that other kids bestow on them.

My chameleon personality was born early in life. I could change into any personality to fit in with the crowd. Seriously.

It was really apparent when I started dating in high school and college. When I dated the bad boy, I partied like a bad girl. When I dated a cowboy, I became a cowgirl. When I dated an iron man, I totally faked being an iron woman. Now that was probably the most difficult one for me to fake because I have never really loved working out.

I would love for you to see all my chameleon remnants from a huge country western belt buckle to black leather biker chaps and a vest with fringe. (I want to insert that super cute monkey emoji with his hands over his mouth.)

Once again, it comes down to permission. I was looking at others for permission. I really didn’t believe enough in plain old me. And that brings up the whole subject of worthiness (I will save that for another day).

I have been seeking permission to be me or some version of me that I thought society would approve my entire life.

It has only been in my sobriety that I have started the slow discovery of my authentic self. And, yet, I sometimes (or even often) seek permission to be me.

I was looking for permission to write about my journey in recovery. There are countless people I can think of who are telling their story. The amazing Gabby Bernstein comes to mind. And there are many more.

I know that I don’t really have to have permission to be me. But I am just learning how to be me. And, yes, I am still looking to others to help guide me. This is where I am in my journey (still a little uncertain). I will evolve and change. Because life evolves and changes. Maybe someday, I will be so confident that I don’t need anyone’s validation.

It’s beginning to happen now. I am standing on the edge. And I am grateful!

** The more I write these little stories, the more ridiculous I feel about these little hang ups. This blog posting may be one of the biggest gifts I could give myself for healing. I am seriously thinking…just be your beautiful self, Rene. And I am actually starting to believe this. Wow!