I was deep in self-reflection and deep in discussion with someone I trust. Someone I trust a lot. But still I nearly cursed at her when she pointed out that somewhere deep inside myself I was, even now, judging my behaviors as permissible or not. My thought patterns as permissible or not. Myself as permissible or not.

I don’t know why it continues to surprise me when I run into the keenly, deeply, severely carved grooves in my brain. The grooves carved by my cult. The grooves that judge things permissible or not. The grooves that judge me permissible or not.

The grooves that I recognize in other second gens (those of us born and/or raised in a cult or extremist situation). Those second gens may be from a different country, a different culture, and a different cult, but damn if our grooves aren’t nearly identical. If our reactions to situations and comments aren’t nearly identical.

Now don’t get me wrong. My life is grand. I am happy and healthy. I have wholed. Truly and magnificently. I am not lying when I write about the joy I feel and the beauty I look for and see. The friends and family and work and life and blessings beyond belief that grace my life.

But damn those grooves are deep. And damn they sometimes seem indelible. And they always seem to still surprise me when I run into them again. And again. And again.

So, today, I’m giving myself permission to be.

Not to look for the permissible behaviors. Not to search for the permissible thought patterns. Not to forage for the permissible me.

Just to let all of myself be permissible. And to let all of myself just be.

How about you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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