Today I’m realizing I am still so addicted to this perceived need to be good aka perfectionism.
Some years ago, when I started dancing again, I got reconnected to my body and experienced JOY as physical sensation. Dancing was such a pleasurable experience that I stopped after a month of taking classes – I hadn’t built up my capacity to take in pleasure like that.
And then a few months later, I started taking classes again (because once you taste it, you just can’t go without it.)
But of course I decided to get certified to teach dance fitness, because you know, you can’t NOT monetize shit you enjoy (sigh) and after a year of “failed” teaching (not bringing enough $ in) and then being super sick while pregnant with my second child, I quit dance altogether.
I’ve danced a bit here and there since. But it seems that I associate motherhood with martyrdom and success/work = money.
I’m finding that these associations go so deeeeeeeep. They may be ancient. Perhaps my ancestors had to parent this way to survive.
It’s an everyday conscious work to identify my patterns and disrupt it, to enjoy my time with my children, to embody play as learning, to *unschool* myself from the idea that work must be hard, must be disconnected from pleasure, must either bring $ in or save $ and that above all it must be rooted in doing the right thing (aka being good.)
After all these years, choosing what feels good in my body still doesn’t come naturally. Slowly though, I find myself naturally drawn to what fills my body with joyful sensations. And I take baby steps towards that.
It’s just that I still STOP MYSELF.
I still second guess the steps I take.
I still linger on actually acting on my desires.
But sooner or later though, I find myself back on pleasure’s path.
The good news is that this backtracking process is becoming shorter and shorter. I catch myself second guessing and the Universe is quick to remind me to choose MYSELF.
10 years ago, when I started on this journey of awakening to my body (thank you pregnancy for literally waking me up to my womb) — I wrote something down in my journal:
“My desires are sacred and they will lead me home.”
It’s been 10 years of learning and re-learning this and I feel like maybe I’m starting to move beyond understanding this in my head to knowing what it feels like in my body.
The need to be good is still there, I don’t know if it will ever go away.
But maybe over time, it will just be me, knowing what I want and knowing that it is good.
The thing is, I think we are born this way: knowing what we want and knowing that it is good.
Just look at the babies.
They know what they want and they make no apologies for it. They will fight and scream to be fed, held, cleaned up, loved. It doesn’t matter if it is at 2 fucking AM.
Until we condition them NOT to. Until we let them cry and scream it out, beat it out of them, shame them, punish them, withhold love from them to coerce them to what we think is right.
We pass on this need to be good to our children and we break them out of their inherent knowing + their inner guidance for what feels good for themselves. We rob their agency over their bodies. They learn to question and doubt themselves and they start looking for external validation of their thoughts and feelings.
Until we disrupt the pattern.
And this is why parenting is so damn hard. Especially for those of us doing the work of healing and reparenting ourselves. It is impossible to do alone, without support of other people working to disrupt this shit.
So let’s keep disrupting together. Let’s celebrate our desires. Let’s keep choosing ourselves.
Fuck this need to be good.
We already are.