“Mother May I?” Syndrome

Yesterday, I posted the first post in a series called The Story of Us. Come back tomorrow for Part 2.

Did you ever play the game “Mother May I” when you were a kid? In this game, the goal is to reach the person who is acting as the “mother” – and that is also the person who gives you permission to move forward. In order to move forward, you have to wait for the person who is playing the mother to say something like, “Amy, take 3 giant steps forward.” And then, you have to ask “Mother May I?” And the “mother” can then say yes or no.

At least that’s how I remember it. It’s kind of like Simon Says, in that you have to have someone else’s permission to do anything at all.

Sometimes I catch myself living my life like I am playing Mother May I or Simon Says. I get a great idea, I think of a “move” I’d like to make. And before I even have a chance to get started, I think I don’t have permission. It’s not that obvious, though. Sometimes I just seem to think something is silly. I don’t believe that my idea is fleshed out enough to move forward. So, metaphorically, I kind of ask “Mother May I?”

And, imagine it – the universe never responds.

This is something I want to work through in the coming year. I want to live like I don’t need permission. I want to stop being apologetic about my weirdness and embrace my unique ideas.

And you should, too.

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4 thoughts on ““Mother May I?” Syndrome

  1. When we cross the maturity line and become adults perhaps we need to silence the external “mother-may-I” voice …and listen enthusiastically to our internal voice, which conveniently is both our moral and motivational compass. The game becomes a new version of solitaire…we play with ourselves, no need to compete, just be the best “me” I can be today!

  2. Great way of putting it, Cathy… I know you don’t need anything else on your plate, but have you ever considered starting your own blog? 😉

    • Elena, I love that- the lunch lady!! In reality, my inner voice is less authoritative and more like Chris Farley in the Chris Farley Show skits from SNL… “STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!”

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