My Bill of Rights (A paraphrase of the Five Freedoms by Virginia Satir)

I declare the right to see what I see, hear what I hear, and remember what I remember. I declare the right to say what I see, say what I heard, and say what I remember. Nobody has the right to tell me what I did or did not see, hear, or remember. I will uphold and respect other’s rights to tell me what they heard, saw, and what they remember.

I declare the right to trust myself to make sense of things. I have a right to say how I make sense of things. Nobody has the right to tell me how I should or shouldn’t make sense of things. They can, however, tell me how they make sense of things.

I have the right to feel what I feel. My feelings aren’t right or wrong – they just are. I have the right to describe and articulate my feelings. Nobody has the right to tell me how I should or shouldn’t feel. They can, however, tell me how they feel.

I have a right to want what I want. I can describe what I want. I can ask for what I want. Nobody has the right to tell me what I should or shouldn’t want. They can, however, tell me what they want. They are allowed to say “yes” or “no” without an argument. I am allowed to say “yes” or “no” without an argument.

I have a right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times. I have a right to be treated with dignity and respect even if I’ve made a mistake, and even if my mistake has hurt someone. I do need to listen. I may need to validate the other person’s experience, apologize, and make amends. I don’t have the right to violate other’s dignity and respect.

I have the right to establish my own set of morals and values. And I can say what my morals and values are. Nobody has the right to tell me what my morals or values should or shouldn’t be. But they can tell me what their morals and values are.

I have the right to be absolutely honest without having to live in fear of being honest. I don’t have to give up being honest to protect myself or others. I have a right to honesty truth and integrity in my relationships.

Nobody else is responsible for defending these rights for me. As an adult I stand alone in my defense of these rights.

I have the right to defend these rights by ending or continuing a conversation.

I have the right to defend these rights by or ending or continuing a relationship.

 

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