What I remember more than anything growing up is hearing "the rules" about how I was supposed to live my life. And that if I just had enough discipline or willpower, I'd be the "good girl" that God and all of the other adults in my life told me I should be. I tried. As a matter of fact, I tried with every fiber of my being. But ultimately, I always failed in some way. And of course, that failure was a result of my short comings - so then there's the guilt and shame to add to the failure.
But then one day, with the help of some very wise people, I began to realize that I was looking in the wrong direction. In other words, I was looking "out" at what the rules were instead of "in" at who I already was. While absorbing that was eventually a life-changing experience, it didn't come without a price...
Yep...I was free of the rules, but I was on my own. No daddy, or preacher, or god to tell me what to do. That was a frightening moment. But as I (figuratively) stood there for awhile and began to look inward, I saw something with the potential of authenticity and wholeness that could never be attained in my failed attempts to follow the rules. Discovering who I was and what I wanted (warts and all) eventually became my journey.
For all of us "good girls," overcoming this kind of conditioning is hard to do. We've been trained to spend an inordinate amount of energy calculating what it is others expect of us. To abandon ourselves to our own dreams, wishes, desires is something that feels dangerous and frightening. Perhaps that's because we know, at some instinctive level, that there's power there - authentic power just waiting to be tapped into.
And that's why I've always loved this song by Pink...you can feel the power!
So I'll cash my checks and place my bets
And hope I'll always win
Even if I don't I'm fucked
Because I live a life of sin
But it's alright, I don't give a damn
I don't play your rules I make my own
Tonight I'll do what I want 'cuz I can
Here's the Dixie Chick's take on the same theme.
Shania Twain calls her "Juanita."
Does abandon lead to mistakes? Of course.
But Indie Arie tells us what we'll find when we take that journey.