A little more of my story.
I have been on the healing journey for as long as I can remember, determined to be different from the examples I had grown up with but not knowing exactly how to do it. Some of the things I have had to heal are from the wounds of abandonment (adoption), sexual abuse, emotional abandonment, a rage filled parent, mortifying embarrassing experiences, and a core wound I describe as, 'oh my god, I'm all alone!'. That's just childhood. From there, I became heavily involved in the purity movement of the 80's and 90's and because of that, found myself married at the young age of 19, determined to please god and make him happy. I had 6 kids, home-schooled them and believed my highest calling to be of wife and mother. I still pursued my inner healing but only in the framework of the church, so mostly about trying to be more accommodating and forgiving, without really accessing my own pain or blocked emotions. I went for various counselling and inner healing sessions over the years and it was good as far as it went, but it mostly helped me keep doing what I was doing, helping the good girl of me be even better.
The good girl of me was and is, an aspect of my inner management system whose brilliant strategy helped me survive my childhood. I picture her holding a clip board and wielding a wagging finger, like a stern inner teacher. She made sure I accommodated others at the expense of myself and fed me the story that it was okay because I was stronger and could handle it. She helped me suppress my anger to the point of not even being aware that I had it. She kept me trying to say and do things right, and criticized me when I fell short of the goal. She ran a tight inner ship. She had determined that the way to keep my wound of alone-ness and the wounded child of me that carried it, at bay, was to be so pleasing and easy to be with that no one would ever abandon me and I would never experience the pain of that existential alone-ness again. She did her job well. As long as I was good, funny, pleasing, accommodating and non-boat rocking, I would belong to any social system that I desired. I could belong, or at the very least, keep striving to belong.
This way of being, served me for a long time, until it didn't. I was experiencing painful chronic tension, loss of my voice and a general feeling that there was more to me than I was living. I was avoiding conflict, giving myself a pep talk about how I 'should' love my life or relationships, and recognizing that I had more healing work to do. Oh, and I had experienced depression and anger at the birth of my fourth son and realized that I really had believed that if I was good, kept up my end of the bargain, god would do his part and give me what I wanted, which was a girl. I was disillusioned, the entry point to any transformation.
Our good girl management system works, until it doesn't. It's actually designed to break down at some point. The tragedy is when we prop it back up instead of pulling it apart. I pulled mine apart. I got to know that manager, good girl of me, how she had become that way, what her fears were and most importantly, I got to know and healed the wounded, abandoned one of me that she protected. This is the work I offer to you. While our stories are all different, getting to know our fragments, our sub-personalities, our managers and healing our wounded children, is the work for all of us. Finding where and how these ones show up in our body is another piece. We do not get rid of these ones of us, we integrate them, we help them to not be stuck in our past, we heal what they protect so they don't have to manage our lives so fiercely. In doing this, we discover our own truth and discover the courage to live it. We gain clarity in our lives and true compassion for ourselves. We gain the freedom to choose our lives, not just respond or react to what is happening around and inside us. And, we stop rescuing and enabling others, we heal our co-dependent selves. We learn to work with our emotions and we learn to stop managing the emotional experiences of others. For me, it boiled down to finding my heart. I didn't know I wasn't living from there because the role I was living in was all I knew. Discovering and trusting my own heart and what I continue to find there has been the treasure I didn't know I was missing.
Healing the good girl is a journey, not a destination. She's actually a part of you that you need. In her healed form, she brings gifts, resources and insights, but in her extreme role, she limits the way you show up in the world and she limits what is possible for you. Let's invite her to the table and see what she has to say.