on permission, entitlement and calling

Elizabeth Gilbert on permisson

I place two fresh-baked muffins on the bench, and wait for the smell to waft through the house. Before long two hopeful pairs of eyes greet me, with “Mum, may we please have a muffin?”

The gift of writing to me often feels like that fresh-baked muffin sitting on the bench and I am the hopeful little girl, looking at it.

I just want to ask someone, “May I please … ?”

“May I please be a writer? May I please use my words to encourage others? May I please … ?”

And yet I can’t see who exactly I need to ask for permission.

So I create people.

I ask my husband … “do you think I could be a writer?”

I ask people who have written and published books.

I give authority to give permission to those I feel know more than me. I give it to those that teach writing, or to those who have been writing for longer.

I even put people I don’t know in place as the permission givers. I hand over my permission to be a writer to a myriad of different people.

I can see it and I can smell it, but I don’t feel that I can take the muffin off the bench without permission. So I stare at it hopefully asking whoever comes along, “May I please … ?”

Elizabeth Gilbert contrasts this idea of permission with one of entitlement.

… you will never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don’t believe that you’re entitled to at least try.

While I understand Gilbert’s point that we need to stop waiting for permission, and looking for permission from others. I really struggle with this idea of being entitled.

I am not the kind of person that naturally feels entitled. So for me to stand up and say “I am entitled to create” jars with me.

However I do feel called.

I believe that my Creator has called me to write. I believe He has placed within me a gift to encourage others with my words.

As the creator of baked goods in our house, I am the one who gives permission.

So I too look to my Creator for my permission.

And with that calling on my life, I then step into the place of nurturing my creativity.

I have permission.

Join me for the journey,
Jodie

Big Magic Discussion Question:
Who do you give permission over your creativity to? Do you agree more with the idea of entitlement or calling?

PS: Links to all the posts can be found here

7 thoughts on “on permission, entitlement and calling

  1. Perfect! Brava, Jodie! Brava! This is the heart: Elizabeth Gilbert contrasts this idea of permission with one of entitlement.

    … you will never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don’t believe that you’re entitled to at least try.

    Wonderful post. xxx

  2. Thanks for this Jo. I have some musical ideas for my students on repeat in my head, but I don’t feel qualified to compose. Perhaps I should write them out, get my students to play them and see what happens…

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