When We Give Ourselves Permission to Live

Dear-Self{One thing I’ve discovered about you, we both want some of the same things: freedom, joy, and a good life. I believe that happens when we fully realize that our lives and voices matter. So for the rest of 2013, we’re celebrating the power of voice, your voice. On a regular basis, we will feature a guest post from a brave-hearted reader who shares a slice of their own  journey to finding and using their voices {in the hopes of encouraging you to use your own story to make a difference}. This week we hear from  Shanyn Silinksi.}


Dear Self,

I am giving you permission to enjoy  life, to laugh, giggle, and have fun. I am giving you permission to live life fully.  You may no longer hide away, missing the joys you should be grateful for.  You now have permission to color outside the lines, paint with your fingers in soap and do science experiments in the sink.  Permission to splash in slushy puddles, to get your mittens dirty and cuddle muddy dogs.



We tend to forget how important laughing and playing are, regardless of our ages.  The real treasures of life are the laughs we have together. An old Yiddish Proverb says, “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”

Sometimes I need to be dragged out to mine forkronkites in the snow wearing a welding helmet, wielding plastic golf clubs, and pretending to find treasures in the snow.

These past couple weeks have been stressful on many levels and it wasn’t until today that I understood how I can give myself permission to enjoy things.  How silly you may think that is.  But one of the first things I sacrifice when facing stressful situations is my laughter and joy.

Surely stressful situations require an appropriate seriousness.  We have things we need to deal with, but even in the midst we need to smile and live, to laugh and love. Instead, we hunker down, pull our covers over our head, wait for the season to pass us by.

But we need to live. And we don’t need permission for that. We don’t need permission for laughter. For joy.

We don’t need permission to have cereal for supper, or permission to enjoy silly songs.

But we think we do.

There’s this trap that says, “serious stuff needs serious people.”

But we can laugh, folks. Enjoy life. Some decorum is advised, of course.  Not all of us are able to escape social mores and rules but there’s no rules that say rough spots come with the absence of joy.

Joy is the breath of life our spirits need. The breeze blowing away the cobwebs.

What’s stopping you from living? Are you giving yourself permission? Are you letting your laughter bubble over and wash your soul with joy? Are you enjoying the things that are silly, funny, absurd and strange? Or are you letting the ‘grown up’ world take your joie d’vie?

I say we all go now, print out this permission slip and stick it on the fridge for us and everyone else to see. And then we make intentional steps to live it out each day—in spite of what threatens to come against us.

What’s robbing your joy today?  Won’t you leave us a comment below so that we know how to pray for you?






One thought on “When We Give Ourselves Permission to Live

  1. Shanyn,

    What a wonderful reminder that we need to actually ENJOY life and not always be so sad. And in our house cereal is a regular meal for dinner. Love your words!!

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