Releasing the Good Girl

Nov 15, 2022

A Reclaim Sister Circle Message – Shared in Circle Nov 13, 2022

As women, we were told quite explicitly what our role was: to be the good girl. We were also instructed on how to fulfill that role. Humorously enough, the roles we were given, and instruction on how to fulfill those roles, always came from men. Yes, our mother may have instructed us to smile, sit still, be quiet, and let our father/brother make the decisions. But who do you think told her? Where did these opinions originate? Certainly not from woman herself. Man, and therefore, organized religion, has carefully crafted its argument so as to make us believe these roles, attitudes, and behaviors were determined by God (also, a man). Yet the curious thing is that the qualities of a woman that are seen as so offensive to man: being loud, opinionated, and having a voice, leading others, getting inspiration from a higher power, owning our sexuality, expressing our needs and desires, having bodily autonomy, etc. are the very qualities men pride themselves in having or traits man has determined only he can have because he is male.

Feminine-Only Traits Never Suited Us

So it is not that woman cannot have these qualities because they are not natural, but because they make men feel inferior. It is difficult to see a woman embrace both the masculine and feminine sides of herself, while they continue to belittle the feminine in themselves. Yet simply because man, for the longest time, has shunned the feminine, is no reason for woman to shun the masculine.

In leaving behind the “good girl” mold that we were shoved into as children, we are realizing that we never really felt comfortable being only feminine. We didn’t enjoy being quiet, passive, submissive, agreeable, accommodating. We are realizing that people-pleasing was never fun, and dammit, it sure would be nice to put our own needs before anyone else’s. Yet our religious indoctrination creeps up in these moments, plaguing us with guilt. To care for ourselves first translates to selfishness. And people-pleasing, accommodating all others becomes the easier road to take.

We Can Only Blame Ourselves

Yet we must realize that no one will ever put us first. That is our job. If we only ever please others, valuing their needs above our own, considering what would make them happy, and trying to always ensure everyone is ‘good’, we are only hurting ourselves. We are the ones who cry in the night, silent tears over not being cared for, not having our needs met, and never getting anything in return. The hard truth is that no one notices us putting everyone above ourselves. They dismiss it as a character trait, something we do because we want to. Consider the men in the same room and situation wouldn’t hesitate to voice their needs or opinions. So we lie to ourselves and assume the same thing, it’s a woman’s trait. We give, give, give, because we want to.

Yet when we end up miserable because we didn’t speak our truth, didn’t do what we wanted to do, we can feel the sadness, the betrayal of ourselves. But when we do put ourselves first, give voice to our needs, we realize they can be met with ease and no one is actually judging us for it. In fact, they’ll respect us more and expect less of us. And with practice, we’ll begin to expect less of ourselves too, and begin to prioritize our own comfort, happiness, and well-being.

The ‘Bad Girl’ …Also known as the ‘Sovereign Woman’

We are not becoming the ‘bad girl’ just by looking after our own needs, by being honest, by valuing our masculine side, by becoming authentic. We are stepping into ourselves as both the child to be cared for, as well as the loving adult who can do the caring. The ‘good girl’ from our old religious days was fearful, small, and belittled. She was the ‘good girl’ because that is what got her praise. She hid her masculine side because only her feminine was valued. And she stayed small and quiet because that’s what she was told to do, and following the rules meant survival. Yes, she was the ‘good girl’ out of fear, not out of choice.

In stepping into our authentic selves, we must acknowledge the pain this younger self endured, the false messages she internalized as truth, and recognize how difficult it is for her to now choose herself because she was always told that was the bad thing to do. In stepping into our authenticity, we step into sovereignty. We take control of our life, without apology. If we don’t speak up, we have only ourselves to blame. If we don’t show those qualities, we have only ourselves to blame. If we are sad because we put other’s needs and preferences over our own, we have only ourselves to blame. And in recognizing this, we can make a change.

It starts small. Perhaps you suggest what you want for dinner, instead of saying “Whatever you want.” Perhaps we divert from the crowd and do our own thing, because, frankly, the other idea sounds boring or miserable. We bravely disagree when someone shoots down our opinion, boldly call out when someone takes credit for our idea, and fearlessly speak out when we see something we don’t agree with. The ‘good girl’ is who they wanted us to be to accommodate them. Leaving religion is a monumentally important move, and has caused great displeasure.

Yet we did it anyway.

We Have Already Begun To Break Free

We have already begun to unearth our wild woman, sex goddess, wise priestess, and dark witch. Don’t mourn the loss of the ‘good girl’, but instead, understand her origins with compassion. Thank her for being who you needed her to be to be safe and loved, and remind yourself that this ‘good girl’ was never who you wanted to be nor who came naturally. She was carefully crafted. By doing so, you will allow her rigid exterior to melt away, to reveal the fiery blossom of who you really are.

If you’re looking for support as you release yourself from the stony confinement of ‘the good girl’, I encourage you to come to a Reclaim Sister Circle. We’re all striving to let go, to be ourselves, to come out of the ‘good girl’ and cease the endless people-pleasing. We’d love to have you.

Reclaim Yourself In Circle

Stop struggling! Your Inner child is calling out for some attention. Remember what you enjoyed doing as a child, foods you loved, and places you liked. Then give yourself that enjoyment. Take it to the next level by bringing her out in circle! 

About Me

About Me

I’m Shelby! A proud Ex-Mormon, psychonaut, animal lover, chai drinker, rain dancer, and sacred space facilitator. I hope to see you at the next circle! Contact me if you’d like individual space holding – I’m here for YOU!

You May Also Like…

Why Embrace Being Alone

Why Embrace Being Alone

Being alone has always been portrayed in society as something to avoid. If we were ever alone at school, we worried about being branded “loners.” If we didn’t have lots of friends, we were seen as lame. If we didn’t participate in lots of activities and clubs, we were...

You Are Not Your Thoughts

You Are Not Your Thoughts

If you’ve ever wished you could take your brain out and give it a good scrubbing, you aren’t alone. Our brains seem to enjoy tormenting us with perceived problems so that we can spend the time to “fix” them. From criticizing your diet and sociability, to commenting on...

Developing Resilience After Religion

Developing Resilience After Religion

What does it take to be considered “resilient”? Is it being able to keep a cool head when things don’t go according to plan? Is it laughing off challenges? Is it simply bouncing back when life knocks you down? I’m learning it’s all of those things. It’s being able to...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *