When I was a young girl I didn’t fit into the mold of the “perfect” student; the “obedient” child; and many other cultural “norms.” I was reprimanded for being too loud – too opinionated – too mischievous.
Some Sisters may have been told they are too skinny; too fat; too shy; and many more comments that never help our self-esteem.
These personal comments to what was considered normal affected us in myriad ways. At times, it could and would make you feel that the real you — the person you were meant to be was wrong and imperfect because you didn’t fit into the paradigm of what was typical and accepted.
And that was the start of feeling guilty for everything you did that came natural to you.
So what did I, and so many like myself, begin to do? I felt guilty. I felt inferior to those who seemed to fit into the perfect mold. Of course, once I was reprimanded, I would tell my parents, teachers and any supervising adult, “I am sorry — I will try to do better next time.”
But truth is — although I tried and sometimes was a bit quieter, or talked less in class –fact was that was me! And that led to continually saying, “I’m sorry.” Frequently feeling guilty that I was doing something wrong.
Now I’m not even talking about what my peers might be saying to me… I am speaking about the people that I wanted approval from — the adults, the school teachers, family, and anyone else that I really tried to please, but always fell short for one reason or another.
And as we grow older, although we may mature and follow the rules a bit more — chances our core is still the person who we feel did wrong. Did not fit in. Who felt guilty that she didn’t and who sought out ways to soothe that guilt of being different.
Some of us may have looked for approval and love in the wrong places, with the wrong people. Others may have soothed our insecurities with food, drugs, or alcohol. Now for those of us who were considered a bit “out-of-the-box” — add the fact that we were females. We belonged to the Divine Sisterhood that was expected to not only behave and conform — but to be care-takers, compassionate to others, and basically every wonderful attribute one could think of.
Because we are woman – being polite, perfect and proper was the only way – the right way!
We were to grow up to be perfect girlfriends, wives, mothers, neighbors—that seemed to be our fate in life.
So, we learned. We learned how to feel guilty.
We acquired a pattern of either putting ourselves second and doing what was asked of us – or feeling guilty that we couldn’t – followed up with a profuse apology.
I once read that the word “No,” which is seemingly negative could be made to have a positive meaning. It simply said that if the truth was that we could NOT do something asked of us and we actually said “No” – that it was a positive move. Not only for ourselves, but for those around us.
It would eliminate eventually feeling resentment for those we help when we can’t—and better yet it would build respect for ourselves. A most positive outcome.
Can you think of the times you’ve said sorry and take the blame for, just being you?
What would happen if you said “no” all those times you felt you had to say “yes”?
In honor to the sacred you,