Let me give you some “Permission”
You (or someone else) may have engaged in a not-OK behaviour but you (or someone else) are/is OK as a person. I believe that you (someone else) did the best you could have – as you saw it at the time – when everything was known and taken into account. Therefore you do not deserve blame from me or anyone.
In other words:
Don’t blame yourself
Don’t accept blame from anyone else (including the Parent Ego figures in your imagination)
You did your best – or what you had to do – given the circumstances.
We may disagree with the behaviour (your own or someone else’s) but behaviour is a message from the person not the person themselves. If you believe this statement, you will look for the highest intention behind any behaviour and try to find the real person behind it. This includes how you talk to and view yourself.
Blame does not help. (Towards someone else or towards yourself)
It traps and binds and prevents the very change it seeks to bring about.
Forgiveness is a decision to make a fresh start and to remove – from past events – the power to control our lives in the future.
It is an act of liberation for us and for others.
Acknowledgement to Peter Flowerdew
Permission is a very important part of Transactional Analysis.
It’s a situation in which the therapist says
“You can do what your parents or other people told you not to do” or
“You don’t have to keep doing what you decided to do as a child”
For example, if a person is now very shy was told
“Don’t ask for anything”
one permission would be to ask for what is wanted or needed.
In the not OK behaviour, we are following strategies we decided upon as a young children. These strategies were the best ways we could work out as infants to survive and get what we wanted from a world that may have seemed hostile. As grown ups we still pursue these same patterns at times. We may do this even though the results are painful or unproductive. The behaviour might be doing something or not doing something as in Claude Steiner’s example above.
Come and talk to me about behaviours that have been unproductive and painful.