At its core, seeking permission is an act of respect and empathy. It acknowledges the autonomy and wisdom of the individual, affirming that they are the best judge of their needs and boundaries. This principle is not only vital in healing practices, where trust and respect form the bedrock of any therapeutic relationship, it's essential to any healthy relationship.
When Permission is Overlooked
The consequences of not seeking permission can be immediately evident and damaging. Without this fundamental respect, actions can come across as intrusive or presumptive. Whether it's offering unsolicited advice, not holding space properly, or making decisions on behalf of others, these actions can unintentionally convey a lack of trust in the other person’s ability to make their own choices.
Personal Experiences and Lessons Learned
In my journey as a healer, adhering to this principle has helped me navigate challenging situations. It has taught me the importance of patience, listening, and honoring the individual’s journey without imposing my own beliefs or solutions.
In personal life, this principle is equally significant. Family gatherings and holiday celebrations, for instance, can be fertile ground for well-intentioned but unsolicited advice or interference. It’s essential to remember that even with the best intentions, our involvement should be invited, not assumed.
Ask, Don’t Assume: Always start by asking if someone wants to hear your thoughts or needs your help. One of the simple practices I use in my intimate relationships is asking before we launch into our problems. It goes something like this: "Will you hold my 'shit bucket' for a moment?" Then, the potential recipiant can accept or decline. This simple question can make a significant difference.
Respect Boundaries: Understand and respect the boundaries set by others. If someone isn’t ready to receive help or advice, honor their choice. By simply stating, "I'm here if you ever want to talk or need someone to listen." or "I'm here if you ever want support." Goes a long way in supporting a mutually respectful relationship.
Mindful Listening: Practice active and empathetic listening. Often, people are looking for a compassionate ear rather than immediate solutions.
Trust in Others: Believe in the capability of others to make decisions that are right for them. Offering support doesn’t mean taking control.
As we head into the holiday season, let’s embrace the principle of seeking permission in our interactions. This approach fosters a deeper understanding, respect, and genuine connection in all our relationships. By doing so, we create a space where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to make their own choices.
Let me know your thoughts on this subject if you're inclined. Comment below. And may you have a happy, healthy holiday.