You Don’t Have the Right

You’ve heard those voices too, right? The gremlins in your head messing you up and holding you down. The voices of jerks from your past who bled you raw with their hurtful words and snide comments. The voices of your deepest fears and biggest doubts. The voices of your inner demons.

“You don’t have the right to live,” they told me.

“You don’t have the right to smile. You don’t have the right to shine. You don’t have the right to breathe.”

“You’re worthless, feckless, and no one’s ever gonna love you.”

“You don’t have the right to breathe,” they told me.

“You’re a waste of space and nothing’s ever gonna come of you. You may as well lay down now and die.”

Harsh. Real harsh. What kind of moody shrew says that kinda stuff, anyway? And what kinda sad, lost soul listens?

Someone like me. I listened. Oh, I listened. Years and years believing my own lies and tearing myself down because I couldn’t see the good in me anymore.

I think sometimes we have to hear how bad we talk to ourselves before we change. Before we even feel like it’s possible to change at all.

I’ve been having a lot of dark days lately. Clouds garb the sun and I can’t seem to stay super fly without plunging into the depths a few times a day. Hmm. I could pontificate about what it means, worry if I’m relapsing, oh God am I relapsing?!?!, but I know it’s not any of that. I know I’m just learning how to live again and keep going when everything ain’t hunky-dory.

Here’s what I say when my fears and gremlins pop up, though:

“YOU don’t have the right to bring me down. You don’t have the right to poison my well. You don’t have the right to tear me apart. You don’t have the right to talk smack to me.”


They tend to shut the heck up once I yell that. I whisper it to myself over and over again, and make it the background music to monkey brain chatter: you don’t have the right to talk smack to me.

Nobody has that right. Nobody.

Living a healthy life is having the courage to watch over your emotional and mental health. It’s having the courage to call people out when they try to screw you over (because we all know jerks who try to screw us over, right?). It’s having the courage not to take muck from NOBODY, including yourself.

No one can hurt you as much as you can hurt yourself. No one can hold you back as much as you can get in your own way. No one can keep you from doing what you were meant to do unless you let them.

Whatever you choose, remember this: those voices in your head? They don’t have the right to mess you up, and you DO have the right to live your dreams.

You do have the right to make your voice heard if you so choose. You do have the right to get out there and make the world sit up and notice you.

We’re not born doubting ourselves and our worth. We learn negative behaviours and thought patterns as we get older and are criticised or teased for who we are. We absorb hurtful words and habits because they burrow deeper into our souls than all the positive stuff that comes our way.

Anyway. What you allow in your heart and life is what you’ll experience day in and day out. You can feed yourself lies or you can feed yourself truths, but either way, you gotta feed yourself something and believe in something.

What’s it gonna be?

I’m reminding myself that I do have the right to be all of my wild, glorious, exuberant self. Screw what the gremlins think! I’m not here to pander to their needs and make their dire predictions come true.

I’m here to master my craft and create wildly incandescent, beautiful art. I’m here to feed my soul and travel the cosmos. I’m here to build my tribe and paint my song on the page. I’m here to shake it up and shine.

What are you here to do, lovely? 

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  1. What a lovely post! Great reminder that sometimes our biggest critic is the one in our head. Thank you for sharing :)

    • You’re welcome, Catherine! Yup, we’re the biggest culprits when it comes to tearing ourselves down. Thank goodness we can learn to do the opposite and build ourselves up instead. 😀

  2. NICE!

  3. John Vespasian says:

    I am sceptical about focusing on “rights” when it comes to expressing personal feelings, whether negative or positive. Someone else’s opinions remain just that. Even if the opinions are displeasing or plain misdirected, I would not mix the emotional reactions with a discussion about rights. An interesting article though, I enjoyed it.

    • Funny enough I focused on the gremlins in our heads and how they don’t have the right to tear us down. Other people’s opinions only have what power we give them anyway. It’s less about a discussion of rights and more about being aware of our inner dialogue, what we choose to believe, and how we choose to live.

  4. I struggle with not being liked although I realise its not possible for everyone to want to like me.I do not like it when people say cruel things about another person, they are probably saying the same about me.

    • I feel you, Frea. I think we all come to the point where we learn to accept ourselves as we are and know that other people’s opinions of us don’t diminish or affect our true worth.

      Everyone won’t like you, but the people who’re right for you will. I think that’s something to be happy about. :)

  5. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

  6. dont let people say hurtful things against you, do not take these thoughts to heart as they are their opinions and these people are bullys

    • Thank you, Rebecca. It took me a while to realise that they WERE bullies and they weren’t speaking my truth as I know it, they were speaking their truths as they knew it. I’m glad I’m at the point where I don’t let them get to me anymore, AND I don’t take shit from my gremlins either. Win-win, really. :)

  7. That’s quite strange. The voices in my head prop me up. They don’t give me shit.

    • Really? How brilliant. Mine have struck a pact with me now so the shit’s at a bare minimum, LOL. I think it’s great you’re at the point where yours prop you up so much. I’m still learning how to do that on a daily basis. :)

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