Have you ever played the childhood game mother may I? Several children stand side-by-side in a line with the “mother” standing 20 or so feet away. The children ask questions in order to move forward and eventually be the first to reach mother and win.
Mother may I hop 3 times?
Mother may I run for 2 seconds?
Mother may I turn a cart-wheel?
Mother may I crawl?
And so it goes. Mother says yes or no and provides an alternative activity. It’s actually very fun.
As we grow into young adults, then middle age, and still further the afternoon in our lives, we find ourselves living the mother may I game. Mother may be a boss at work, an editor, a professor, a real mother, father, friend, or anyone from whom we seek permission to move forward.
I want to live my dream— boss may I?
I want to write a book—editor may I?
I want to go on an all girls vacation— children may I?
I want to prosper—economy may I?
I want to be a loving friend— grouchy person may I?
I want to be prosperous—bank may I?
I want to live a different life—ego may I?
At times, I find myself seeking permission from others to thrive. It is not appropriate as an adult to live this way. The insecurity we feel weighs as heavy on others as our pride. Only we have the power to move confidently in the direction of our dreams as Henry David Thorough so elquently stated.
I recently wrote out my dream job and dream life. As studied my writing, I realized, every single thing I dreamt is possible to me now. I can begin to build my dreams without anyone’s permission. People come into my life to help me along the way as I help others. No more waiting, no more seeking, no more mother may I.