|Anne Hathaway from The Princess Diaries|
Once again it’s time for another one of those posts that explores the finer distinctions between two seemingly similar subjects (you may remember an earlier post of mine, What do you REALLY want: Desire vs. Craving).
Through the questions that arise in coaching sessions to observations made in nail salons to my own personal journey, I have discovered that we as women have a hard time letting go of the “good girl.” You know, the one all in pink who sat quietly in church, never tells a lie and is the apple of daddy’s eye? No, you don’t, because she doesn’t exist. As much as we try to be that “good girl,” our desire and orgasm sneak out in a lot of ways. It can leave us feeling exhausted doting on others and guilty in our inadequacy. Or perhaps we’ve rejected our desire for so long, we react in anger and blame those who “took advantage of us.”
In any case, we are grown now. Free women to choose what we want, whenever we want it…right? Well, not exactly. Our bodies may have matured, but the way that we interact with the world has changed very little from when we were 4 years old. In fact, we still live in a society that very much reinforces the notion of a high-class lady as being pre-pubescent thin, beautiful and, above all, very proper. Any other type of woman is troubled, too much, crazy, a slut, etc (you’d never see Prince William fight for the hand of someone like Lady Gaga, even if he were madly in love with her).
So I’ve come to set the record straight and help out my fellow ladies who are working on finding their voice and coming to their power. No, to break out of the “good girl” mold, you don’t have to become Lady Gaga (though I love that woman with every ounce of my being). But you will have to confront and let go of a lot of old ways of relating that kept you safe and comfortable in the past.
So, without further ado, I bring you the Top 10 ways of telling a “Good Girl” from a “Good Woman.”
1. A good girl runs from fear. A good woman embraces it.
A good girl doesn’t want to rock the boat. She’s afraid of hurting people, going outside the box…essentially she is afraid of life. A good woman doesn’t escape her fear, but she leans into it, because she knows her ultimate fulfillment comes from discovering the desire on the other side.
2. A good girl denies her hunger. A good woman relishes it.
“Oh, no thank you, I’m full.” “Oh I’ll just have the diet platter.” “I’ll skip dessert. I’m being good this week.” We’ve all heard the catchphrase of women still caught in “good girl” mentality. And we also know that women dieting are more likely than not having orgasms. And this doesn’t mean that a good woman is stuffing her face all the time and pigging out on cheetos and bon-bons. But a good woman slows down and knows herself well enough to choose what is nourishing and relish every bite…whether it’s the grilled fish and asparagus, or the double chocolate chip cake. She eats life to feed her soul, not to numb the sensation.
3. A good girl withholds. A good woman adjusts.
A good girl is going to tell her partner what she thinks he wants to hear, but in the process, she holds back a piece of her voice. That unspoken desire sits in her body and, over time, rots into shame and resentment. Over time, she will (consciously or unconsciously) do things to her partner to punish him…and ultimately herself. A good woman tells her partner the truth. She approves of him/her and learns to calibrate her words so she can be heard and received, while fully expressing what it is she wants. She adjusts her partner (and is desires to receive the same kind of attention and honesty in return).
4. A good girl receives with guilt. A good woman receives with grace.
Good girls may accept a gift, but there is always a string of “you shouldn’t have” or “that’s too much” or “you didn’t have to do this” that comes along with it. She has to knock herself down a few notches in order to make it acceptable to receive, lest she feel her hunger (and subsequent shame) that comes with receiving. A good woman says “thank you”. Just thank you. Because she knows she is worthy (without the insecure timbre of entitlement). She listens to her hunger, knows when she is full and pours out genuine gratitude.
5. A good girl does what looks right. A good woman does what feels right.
A good girl follows a tried-and-true structure that will elicit positive reinforcement from her partner and the people in her life. A good woman moves from an instinctual compass. While it may look messy from the outside, deep within her body, she knows it is the path for her.
6. A good girl stuffs her anger. A good woman alchemizes it.
Good girls don’t get angry. Bullshit. They just stuff it until it seeps out as passive aggressiveness. A good woman acknowledges her anger in the moment and feels into it so she can know where she is out of integrity in her life. From there, she can use the force of that anger as power to change course.
7. A good girl strives for perfection. A good woman lives in perfection.
A good girl lives her life seeking to perfect perceived “impurities” in her life, so she is never fully able to relax and drop into the present, lest someone catch a glimpse of her ugliness. A good woman sees every moment as perfect, with both it’s divinity and it’s humanity.
8. A good girl’s desire is frozen. A good woman’s desire is dynamic.
A good girl is bred to want the same thing every day and desire only so much as is socially acceptable. She has lost the connection to the freedom that comes with spontaneity. In fact, she will often deny that she wants the very thing that will give her the deepest satisfaction. A good woman’s desire ebbs and flows like the tide: small and humble in one moment, wild and tempestuous in the next. But it is always, always authentic and she is constantly seeking to expand her container to hold more.
9. A good girl submits. A good woman surrenders.
A good girl submits, relinquishing her power to perceived “authorities” in order to escape the clamoring cry of her orgasm. A good woman surrenders control to her orgasm, and thus holds her own amongst the truly powerful.
10. A good girl waits for the fairy tale. A good woman creates her own legacy.
A good girl is still trapped in a tower, like a virginal princess waiting in vain for Prince Charming to save her. Over time, she can turn jaded and bitter, a “victim” of the happily-ever-after story she bought. A good woman turns the key to the door, descends the tower staircase and, like a Queen, enters the vast terrain of her own pleasure. It is from this empowered place that she can choose the life she truly desires.