As a kid, we’re taught to ask for permission.

As an adult, you really need to stop that.

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I mean, ask for permission before you use someones bathroom, or before you kiss them or when you need to borrow a pen, but otherwise, just stop asking for permission to do things.

Can I sit here doing nothing and not feel guilty? Don’t ask me, you’re in charge of your life.

Is it ok that I don’t want to talk to my friends today? Absolutely. And you don’t owe them an explanation.

Can I change my major and start all over again at life? Yup. If you want to.

Can I cut off bad relationships, AND be sad about it? Absolutely.

And if this feels foreign to you, you need to check in with your personal bill of rights.

This list was introduced to me by my counselor when I was struggling to feel ok saying “I don’t agree with the way you make me feel” to some people in my life. She had to walk me through each statement, and confirm it was real. Some of these rights, well they just don’t feel right. They are uncomfortable, and to me, felt a little selfish at first. I actually sat down with my pastor and had him confirm they weren’t against biblical teachings. They aren’t.

As a society, we’re very accustomed to people telling us what to do, what to think, and to feel bad for doing things people don’t like. C’mon guys. Jesus wasn’t that well liked, and he spoke his damn mind. With love, of course. But if someone was being manipulated he called their ass OUT!

Anyway, here are your rights as a human being.

Personal Bill of Rights

I HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
  • To ask for what I want.
  • To refuse requests or demands I can’t meet.
  • To express all of my feelings, positive or negative.
  • To change my mind.
  • To make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
  • To follow my own values and standards.
  • To say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe, or it violates my values.
  • To determine my own priorities.
  • To not be responsible for others’ behavior, actions, feelings, or problems.
  • To expect honesty from others.
  • To be angry at someone I love.
  • To be uniquely myself.
  • To feel scared and say “I’m afraid.”
  • To say “I don’t know.”
  • To not give excuses or reasons for my behavior.
  • To make decisions based on my feelings.
  • To my own needs for personal space and time.
  • To be playful and frivolous.
  • To be healthier than those around me.
  • To be in a nonabusive environment.
  • To make friends and be comfortable around people.
  • To change and grow.
  • To have my needs and wants respected by others.
  • To be treated with dignity and respect.
  • To be happy.

I know it’s a long list, but please. Read them all. Let them sink in. Know that as a human of this earth, and whether or not you believe you were created by God, you have those rights.

You do not have to ask for permission to be angry. You do not have to feel guilty for wanting to be alone. You are allowed to leave abusive relationships or environments where you don’t feel safe.

Stop asking for permission. You have it. It’s yours. And the people who don’t believe you have those rights, well those aren’t really the people you want around.

Have a good weekend friends.

Sarah C.

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