The Bitch Slap: Permit THIS

bitch slap permission I woke up this morning to a message in my Twitter DM inbox from an acquaintance that knocked me on my ass. It included the words “create space/permission.” Timely fucking words. Granted, I don’t really know if the words are actually fucking, but if there ever were a one-night stand that could work, it’d be between creating space and permission.

But I digress.

Locked up in an emotional shitstorm since Monday (which demarcated one year since Jason died), fueled by the joys of not sleeping and some pervasive stomach virus that’s made solid food an elusive pursuit, I really needed to see those words this morning. You – the lady who sent ’em to me – you know who you are. So thank you.

I’m slapping myself.

I’m a huge fan of lists (which is causing my literary agent an undue amount of consternation), so there are two lists I’m going to make today. It’ll make the slapping easier to administer. THINGS THAT ARE EASY and THINGS THAT ARE HARD. Let’s go.

THINGS THAT ARE EASY

  • Wallowing
  • Whining
  • Pissing
  • Moaning
  • Complaining
  • Blaming
  • Hiding
  • Sulking
  • Avoiding
  • Following
  • Denial
  • Shame
  • Liking
  • Missing

THINGS THAT ARE HARD

  • Changing
  • Smiling (especially when there’s no reason)
  • Fixing
  • Owning
  • Facing Truths
  • Leading
  • Acceptance
  • Crying (you would think this would be in the EASY column, but it ain’t)
  • Burning Things to the Ground
  • Loving
  • Forgiving (especially ourselves)
  • Celebrating
  • Honoring

Go ahead and put the word “ourselves” after most of those phrases.

And the different between the EASY stuff and the HARD stuff? Everything on the HARD list requires that you give yourself permission to do it.

So what’s the deal with permission? Seems to me that everything on the HARD list is pretty awesome. And yeah, I even like crying. I’m a sap. I will cry at sappy movies, viral videos, and kitten pictures on the internet. Go figure.

Anywhoo – permission. Why the fuck aren’t we giving ourselves permission to do the things we need to do? Why are we wallowing in places filled with Cheetos and bad porn when we could be out in the real world where brie and sex live?

Grant. Yourself. Some fucking. Permission.

That’s all I’ve got. I know what I’m doing today – and it involves moving a metric ton of things out from where they don’t belong so I have room for the things that really matter.

Me? I’ve been slapped. Maybe you have, too.

PS: Enjoy the koala bear having a bath. Can I get a non sequitur up in this joint? Holla…

32 comments
Ellen Berg
Ellen Berg

Exactly what I needed to hear after a two day wallow in the Poor Me puddle. Thank you.

Corey Morris Foster
Corey Morris Foster

Grant.Yourself.Some Fucking. Permission--wise, needed words. falling in-fucking-love with your writing and your words. (is that redundant? fuck it) Thank you for kicking so much ass on a regular basis!! fully intend to comment-bomb all of your awesome posts!! If the fates are kind, one day we might be friends.

Kevin
Kevin

I am so proud of this I'm posting this on my refrigerator, and if you lived in Atlanta I'd be taking you out for ice cream to celebrate it right now. :)

Brenna Smith
Brenna Smith

Loved it and needed it for a multitude of reasons over the past couple weeks.  (If you've been cranky and you know it, clap your hands - I'm clapping) Thank you as always!!! Now, to get a moving van...

Leon None
Leon None

G'Day Erika, I dunno whether this is hard or easy. The animal in the photo is a koala. It is not a koala "bear." The koala is not a bear or even vaguely related to any "bear." Koalas eat only the leaves of one particular tree and usually piss on celebrity visitors who want their photos taken cuddling one. They scratch foreigners who call them bears too. I've been waiting ages to be able to say this; consider yourself slapped! I forgive your error. But can you forgive yourself? Go and have some fun with a kangaroo. Regards Leon

HeatherO
HeatherO

Acceptance has been a HUGE one for me this year. Resisting the urge to 'fix' things is not natural to me. Sometimes there are things that just have to 'be'. Thanks for the slap! You ROCK more than you know :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

I made some much-needed mental adjustments, is what I did!

Janine
Janine

I don't need this bitch slap. I am a perfectly well-adjusted, fully-actualized human being. I feel great empathy for you who are so lacking. I sit in my temperature-controlled meditation room and revel in my perfectness. OK, I'm full of shit. Thanks for the slap.

Marian Schembari
Marian Schembari

It's always been really, really hard for me to smile when I don't feel like it. If I'm cranky, you KNOW it. My bosses, my friends, my family... the people I love get brought down when I'm down. I've been trying to force it lately. Both for the sake of the people around me and, when I pretend to be in a good mood, it ultimately puts me in a good mood :) That's for the permission. And the slap.

Jennifer
Jennifer

That hurt so good!  I might have to keep this up on my computer ALL DAY to get myself out of the easy category. 

Rebecca
Rebecca

Damn straight! Although, I'd have to put crying in both columns. (It's easy when it's the precursor to a pity party.)  By the way, it may mean nothing coming from a virtual persona you've never met, but on 10/31 you crossed this person's mind for a few fleeting moments. I thought, "Today has to be a really, really hard day for her. I hope she is doing Okay." And them I sent some positive vibes towards Colorado.   {here are some more} Oh, and thanks for the slap. I needed that this week, too.

Al Smith
Al Smith

Luv this Red.  You are sumpn else.  thanks for the slap.  I needed one too.  lookin forward to meeting you Friday at TEDx.  just Hugs. No slaps.  Ha !  That self-forgiveness is tough.  The light went on when I read this;  "Forgiveness is letting go of all hopes for a better past"   Incredible words. Feel better and have a nice flight.  C Ya. Al

John Trader
John Trader

I didn't see "Listening" on the "Hard" list. It should be because so many people have a problem shutting their traps and paying attention to the world around them. Course if we added "to ourselves" after "Listening" it has even different connotations. I feel slapped silly after reading this post. Thanks.

John Falchetto
John Falchetto

Burning stuff to the ground (ourselves) is actually pretty easy. Done it a few times and not only is it easy, it's also highly therapeutic. Forgiving ourselves, now that's a tough one. Is it even possible? Big hugs and do give some time to time.

Ruth Zive
Ruth Zive

My cheek is all red 'n swollen. I would've added observing and enjoying to the hard list.  So many more for the easy list...but that's just too easy.You rock.  

Sunny Hunt
Sunny Hunt

In the middle of a self-slap/wakeup/shake shit UP crisis.  This hit the nail on the head. Thanks!

Joy Steele
Joy Steele

Oh yes. Thank you for this little spanking, too. 

Rita
Rita

*slap*!  Thank you!

Trackbacks

  1. […] the act of con­sid­er­ing it as cre­ative time, I’ve given myself per­mis­sion to do it. Erika Napo­le­tano (@RedHeadWriting) wrote a great blog arti­cle on this. […]

  2. […] The Bitch Slap: Permit THIS “The different between the EASY stuff and the HARD stuff? Everything on the HARD list requires that you give yourself permission to do it. […]

  3. […] start today’s wrapup with one of my favorites, Erika Napoletano. Her most recent bitch slap, Permit THIS, hits home hard. Lots of things are easy to do because we give ourselves permission to do them and […]

  4. […] week, Al is hanging out with the Kellie Walker and Erika Napoletano and sharing the CARE message at TEDx […]