“The question isn’t who is going to let me…”

I collect quotes that challenge me to grow, and that affirm my values. This is one of my favorites, even though its author’s writings have been used to justify behaviors and policies with which I strongly disagree.

Ayn Rand reflects, “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it is who is going to stop me?”

     I’ve found this to be true in my life. My mate, Drew, has been my primary teacher in this area. He doesn’t buy into social norms, for the most part. I learned a lot the first time we decorated our home for Christmas, twenty-seven years ago. His non-traditional placement of lights and such made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t the way I learned to be the norm.

One day, a new neighbor told me that his young daughters were worried that Santa wouldn’t be able to find their new house, because it was undecorated. But they knew Santa would find our house. I delighted in that, as did Drew. If children got it, even if their parents didn’t, I was happy.

Most of the time the person saying “no” is yourself. We regularly rob ourselves of pleasurable things in the name of conformity. Instead of loosening up with age, we often get better at saying “no” to ourselves.

As we age, I feel we should learn to say “yes” to ourselves. Often, we must adapt how we do things, due to physical limitations that can come with aging. We need to say “yes” to new methods. If our practiced reaction is to say “no,” we can miss opportunities for joy and growth.

I encourage you to say “yes” to yourself more often. Have fun exploring new territories!