I’ve been rolling the phrase “human condition” on my tongue for a while now. It’s funny how we’ve made an ailment of our existence, isn’t it?

I often wonder why the suffering is so perpetual. Why a scratch mark from a bad conversation can be peeled back and opened to reveal hurricanes, tornadoes and floods that are all in motion within us.

While looking for the closest ground where I could find my footing, there were a few strangely simple thoughts that presented themselves to me. Rights that I’d withheld from myself because I didn’t realize that they were even rights to exercise. If you’ve been raging through your storms as well, I’d like to let you know that you have:

The right to make a judgement

Judgement does not have to mean right or wrong, but simply what is right or wrong for you.

You have the right to judge. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you cannot, that you must not. Your power to discern what is good for you and what you do not wish to accommodate in your life is one of the greatest gifts that you’ve been blessed with.

The right to not know all the answers to something, but still share some thoughts

Don’t let anyone trick you into believing that what you have to speak from your heart does not matter.

Almost all our knowledge will be incomplete. While holding your tongue through ignorance is a virtue to cultivate, it does not mean that you swallow every opinion you have because of your awareness that your knowledge is not complete. There will be times when it’s important for you to stand up for yourself, or something close to your heart, and say what you believe. Even if it’s just a few seconds that the world will pause before they launch into their cacophony, say it.

The right to not respond

The world is a loud place and people expect you to contribute to the chaos, but you can remain silent.

Do not let guilt or an overwhelming sense of obligation lead you to believing that you owe everyone answers. You do not. There are people who deserve answers from you, but that list does not include every person who is able to communicate with you.

The right to talk slowly and to pause when you need to think

Allow your mind to process information the way it does.

Not all of us are trained in the art of debate. Crisp points do not formulate in our minds as soon as we receive information. Take your time. You are no less than someone who can shoot a quick retort. Life is not a debate, it is a long drawn out conversation that is accentuated by pauses. Take them and use them. Become them.

The right to forgive yourself

What you do with the knowledge you have in this moment is the only thing that matters.

We all grow into ourselves. You cannot know everything all at once. You cannot avoid making a few mistakes every now and then. How you allow those mistakes to mould you and guide you is the painful metamorphosis that will make you grow. You not only have a right to forgive yourself for them, but have an obligation to make those mistakes.

The right to change, evolve, and grow

Allow yourself to flow with your experiences, not exist as the contradiction between what you’ve been force-fed as the truth and what you know to be yours.

If you are a human being who feels, thinks and evaluates, you will change. The opinions and ways of being that you are exposed to when you first discover a concept may not be the ones you feel attuned to when you’ve had enough experience to decide for yourself what you believe. Don’t fight the change, it’s painful in itself.

The right to say “no more” when you realize you’ve been taken for granted for too long

You have a right to break their security before they break you.

It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Someone, at some point, takes us for granted. You allowed it when you did not understand it. But you are under no obligation to keep putting up with it just because it’s a familiar pattern for someone else.

The right to not think of things or people you don’t want to

They will not remember you as you were, but as they are.

You do not have to wonder what it will feel like when your ex begins to date someone else. You do not have to wonder what your ex will think when you upload that photograph where you look happy. You do not have to go over every variation of what someone might tell you if you tell them that you are not alright, all the ways that they will try to silence you and prove you wrong.You do not have to think what someone is thinking of you, or how they are drawing conclusive periods over you, when you are just being you. You do not have to think of them at all. Stop chanting that prevention is better than cure because you cannot, by the power of overthinking, cause someone else to see you differently. Let your mind know this.