Photo by Aleksandra Bogulslawska
I want to tell you something. It’s important.
You are a good person. Yes, you.
You don’t have to eat clean, meditate, be nicer, work more, work less, be conscious about your spending or your parenting to be good. You don’t have to work to be worthy.
You don’t have to BE good because you already ARE good.
Goodness is the ground of your being.
I know some of us got confused about this along the way. I sure did.
So many women come to me paralyzed by indecision or compulsively trying to figure life out. They really, really want to do it right.
I understand. Been there. Go there. When we swallow the truth long enough, our intuitive voice gets (whisper voice) very very quiet.
Ann Lamott wrote that American women are basically trained to be flight attendants, making sure everyone else is comfortable and offering snacks. Don’t be selfish. Let them go first. Be a good girl.
It’s also true that many of us are taught from a very early age that what we feel is wrong, is too much, is baloney, is inconvenient and therefore does not exist.
You can’t be hungry, we just ate…Turn off the waterworks, you’re overreacting…That assignment is not hard, you’re just lazy…Of course you like Aunt Jenny, she’s your aunt…You should be happy.
There is a good chance that your parents did not have had the skills or the bandwidth to see and hear you in the way you needed to be seen and heard. There may have been so much going on at home that you needed to subvert your internal GPS in order to stay sane.
Some of us went the way of earning A’s, waiting our turn, taking the smallest piece. Some went the opposite way. Rebelled, hardened your heart, looked like you could give a fuck. Some of us checked out with drugs, alcohol, sex, eating compulsions.
You may have shrunk in more subtle ways.
Whatever you did, it was a very smart move. Seriously.
You did what you believed you had to do to get your needs met. You cut off the parts you thought had to go. You worked really hard (it takes a lot of work not to give a fuck).
The good news and the bad news is this: it’s over. Your parents, your guardians, did the best they could. It may have been woefully inadequate to your needs or it may have been mostly alright. Regardless, it’s over. And it’s your turn now.
You are the parent and you are the child. It’s on you to mother your own sweet self.
What kind of parent are you? How do you treat yourself when you make mistakes? Is your worthiness on the line every time someone gets mad at you? Is your sense of self at stake when you don’t go to the gym?
Sweet potato, you can afford to trust yourself. You can learn to relax with your own good intentions. Your goodness is no longer in question. That deal has been sealed.
YOU ARE GOOD.
When I glimpse your unguarded heart, my breath catches and my heart beats fast. You are so good that you are radiant with goodness. I’m talking to you.
Sometimes we think that if we stop working so hard, stop the self-improvement project that is our life, stop doing all. the. things., we will morph into a very fat, bitchy, entitled couch potato who is blind to herself. (Hello shadow!)
You guys! This is NOT the truth. Trusting in our own basic goodness frees us up to change and grow. We can take in feedback and decide what is true for us, moment by moment.
There is nothing to guard against when your worthiness is not at stake. You can make choices. You can screw it all up. You can change your mind. You can be hugely wrong. You can take risks.
Most important, you can stay will your own good self throughout. When you quit abandoning yourself every time you make a misstep, you will no longer be dependent on other people to tell you who you are.
You are whole. And that is good.