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not so good at being "good"


I’m realizing that I am always pushing against something in my life. It’s either my nature or some kind of curse but it’s real for me. One thing I know for sure is that I wasn’t put on this earth to fit into someone’s little box. I don’t fit well into small boxes. I like to run free.

I think what I usually push against is society’s ideas of being a “good girl”. I don’t use that language with my own girls. I don’t want that for them. “Good” is a lot like “nice”. It’s bullshit and has much more to do with others feeling happy and having an illusion of safety than with loving or kind behavior. In all the striving to be “good”, people often end up being very “bad”.

Everyone has myriad personas, masks and little sub-personalities that need expressed. We cause ourselves and each other pain when we don’t express them and try to fit ourselves and others into molds. We are unique, luscious beings that are sparks of the Divine, not die-cast robots.

I recently found out a former lover had been lying to me. He couldn’t accept the truth of who he was so he lied about it and kept trying to cover his tracks causing himself and others pain. For what? To look like a “good” person? To be considered “nice”? In the end, he had to face his own duplicity which was really just the denial of a part of his true nature. That’s part of the journey in life and I honor it but I don’t think it has to be so hard to honor who we really are and follow our desires.

A friend of mine told me she doesn’t believe that people should follow their desires over and over again if it causes others pain. When I consider that, I think of the myriad ways that I caused myself and others pain for many years when I wasn’t following my desires and being honest.

I’m not making an argument for “anything goes”, lawless behavior. That’s extreme and harmful. I am, however, a huge proponent of living the truth of one’s life and falling in love with the experience. So often we fear the full experience of life and then deny the experience because of someone else’s rules and expectations. Then we get angry and blame the other for our constraints and lack of fulfillment. I see this all the time with married couples that I know. They complain about their partner not being fun or being too much of this or not enough of that. What’s often true is that they are bored with their life and themselves and not willing to grab the brass ring in life so they blame their partner. Now that I don’t have a partner, I can’t do that. I have to take full responsibility for my own happiness. It’s hard and liberating.

For me, claiming my own liberty includes expressing the fullness of my being as best I can, being gentle and compassionate with myself and others when mistakes are made, considering the needs of the whole but claiming and taking responsibility for my life.

On this Independence Day, I am releasing my need to be “good” and claiming my right to be happy and fulfilled.

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