Let me first describe to you the characteristics of, “The Good Girl.” She’s a beautiful soul that learned at a very young age how to please those around her. She is always very polite, and would never want to hurt a soul, even if it’s at the detriment of her own spirit. She would rather sacrifice her own happiness in order to go unnoticed. The word NO is not in her vocabulary, so she learned to always say YES to the world around her. She worries about what other people think and say, which taught her to suppress her own dreams and desires. She isn’t always honest about her feelings, because having her own opinion isn’t valued. She carries the expectations of those around her like an anchor on her feet. Her religious and/or cultural upbringing shames her for being a sexual woman, and for having desires of her own.
Growing up female isn’t easy…is it? Especially when you are “The Good Girl.”
As a young girl, we were taught who we needed to be and how we needed to behave. We were groomed to be impeccable because anything less than is unacceptable. “You must dress a certain way or people will think you are a slut, you must cross your legs or someone may get the wrong idea, you must not use foul language because it is not ladylike, you must not talk to boys because they only want one thing, you are not allowed to date because you might get pregnant, and you can’t have sex out of marriage because God will forsake you.” The list was endless, and the fears were engrained. There were no conversations about our body and about sex because abstinence was the only option.
At some point in our childhood, we may have believed some of these outrageous beliefs. How does this happen?! It starts off by something so innocent, such as mom walking into her daughter’s room while she is exploring her own body, and mom gives her daughter a horrified look and tells her that it’s not ok to do that. There you have it! The first scar that her daughter will carry forever. Now the child equates touching herself to shame and disgust. Or, maybe you went to a school where the dress code was very strict, and you received a message that you needed to cover up your body because it was too distracting for the boys. You may have been raised in a family where having sex outside of marriage gets you a one-way ticket to hell, so you carry this guilt and shame your entire life, into all your relationships. Eventually, we learn to build walls around us in order to stay protected from the outside world. The outside world is unsafe, boys are unsafe, and my body is unsafe. Words like….SHAME, BAD, INAPPROPRIATE, DIRTY, SINFUL…are words you may have associated with your body.
We’ve been taught that it’s not safe to be a female and that we have to protect ourselves from men. That we need to cover our bodies like a shield. We weren’t taught that the female body is something that should be celebrated, loved, cherished, and explored. We weren’t taught that our body is sacred and that we should embrace every part of it. We weren’t taught to accept it, and love it for all it was created to be. We weren’t taught to enjoy the pleasures that the body was created for (and YES it was created for pleasure).
How do carrying these beliefs around wound your romantic relationships?
If you were never taught how to be a sexual or sensual woman, a woman with desires of her own, because that part of you needed to be turned off and disconnected (because it was considered dangerous), then you aren’t experiencing love to the fullest. You aren’t letting the veil down and exposing your true authentic self and vulnerable self to your partner. How would you have been able to automatically tune out all those fears that you were conditioned to believe?
This is a pattern that I have witnessed in my coaching practice. So many women, in long-term relationships, have never truly and fully let their partner in. They have never experienced the joy of connecting and touching their own body, of being fully naked with their partner, or of even looking at their body in the mirror. This causes a sense of detachment to our own body, a sense of powerlessness. We have never owned our own body! It has become an instrument that needs protection.
The good news is that it is not too late to reclaim these parts of you!
The feminine can be healed by nurturing every aspect of her, especially those that were shamed and shut down by the dominant culture. The first step is recognizing the stories you are telling yourself. I get it! I, too, was “The Good Girl.” I know how hard it is to unlearn everything you know to be true and to not let fear, shame, and guilt get in the way of a thriving relationship. Go back to your younger self and see where these thought patterns started. When did the stories of fear and protection around your body start taking shape?
The next step is to start having a relationship with your body. You can’t expect your partner to be connected to you if you yourself aren’t connected. Find out what makes you feel sexy…maybe play some loud music when you are alone and dance around the house! Maybe start touching yourself and see what feels good. Baby steps! I realize you aren’t going to go from zero to sixty overnight.
Another extremely effective tool is to unveil your body in front of a mirror and look at it daily. It sounds crazy for some of you, but this is the only body you have, and you should embrace it for all the miracles it has given you!
These are just a few tricks to try out. If you would like to know how to take this even further, send me an email! I would love to hear from you. I realize there are so many layers to this conversation, and we are just getting started. So, be sure to get on the email list that way you don’t miss out on more of this conversation.