Who were you before you became the good girl?
Before you inadvertently picked up the voice of the patriarchy and believed it to be your own?
Before you were taught who you were allowed to be, what you were allowed to want, and how you were supposed to feel?
I was reading an essay this weekend by Emily Hancock in which she wrote about how those of us who put on the cloak of the pleaser, the good girl, and the achiever must circle back to a time before we were that. A time when we were still whole unto ourselves and our choices and actions stemmed from the simple truth of our being.
I remember this time clearly because I didn’t fully pull on the cloak of the pleaser and the achiever till I was in high school. In my middle school years, I carried the cloak with me in my awkward attempts to figure out where I fit in, but I didn’t subsume myself in it entirely. So I distinctly remember when this new voice began to override my essential voice, my true voice. When this internalized patriarch started barking orders of what I should and should not do. The world became starkly divided into what was good and what was bad, black or white thinking was solidified as everything was polarized and divided into two camps. My mind split off from my body, as thinking and doing were cut off from feeling and being.
But who was I before that split? Before I took on that patriarchal voice as my own?
Emily Hancock says that we can recall the girl we were at 8 or 9 (though some of us may need to venture further back in time to find a version of ourselves that rings authentic and true).
What did that wild girl love? What made her come alive?
What of her remains in you as an adult and what has been buried?
At 8 years old, I was living in the mountains of Colorado on a dirt road where herd of elk would pass through our yard regularly. I loved building forts and making mud cakes in the large, outdoor stone oven that was never used. I wrote stories, so many stories, about girls and dogs and the wilderness. I remember finding old pieces of wood and hammering them together into a makeshift box-bed for Little Foot, the neighbor’s black and gray cat who would often come and sleep on our front doorstep, even after the family had moved away.
I played hopscotch with my mom on the blacktop circular driveway in front of our home, always closing one eye and sticking out my tongue when it was time to take aim (apparently this also held true for my initial attempts at selfies…). I loved my dog and riding my bike, sledding in the winter and coming back inside with rosy cheeks and damp wool socks.
I named my bouncy balls and would orchestrate rigged bouncing competitions where my favorites always won. My absolute favorite was the neon yellow ball; I named her Nikki. I loved the name Nikki. I can still feel the texture of the images that name conjures in my mind: this cool, rebellious girl who wore a black leather jacket.
I would play with my friends, but I also had such a rich and vibrant inner world that I could always entertain myself. My imagination was boundless.
When we begin the journey of reclaiming our wild and deep feminine, when we begin to unhook from the learned and internalized voice of the patriarch and the good girl, we often find this wild and whole girlhood energy within us. We find her voice buried within our bodies, down below our concepts of good and bad. We are asked to listen to her dreams and desires, what she loved and what she was excited about and what brought her closer to life. We feel how she moved through the world and what mattered to her. What mattered to us, back then.
She is the seed of our wild woman that was never allowed to blossom into maturity. Her growth was cut short when we became who we thought we had to become, when we took on the voice of the patriarchy as our own. Her wild and unruly sovereign energy was distorted as we cut off pieces of ourselves in an effort to fit in. To be “good”. To meet expectations of others. To find dreams that were more realistic.
But she still exists within us. Waiting.
Waiting for us to remember her. To re-member her. To welcome back those pieces that we cut off and integrate them into a greater wholeness.
Waiting for us to shed those voices that never belonged to us. Versions of the truth that we accepted as our own, but that never sank down into our bellies or our bones. Truths that clung to the surface because they had no real home within us.
Waiting for us to reclaim her, to listen to her, to guide her over the threshold from girlhood to womanhood and to finally allow her to grow into the wild woman she was always meant to become.
P.S. I have opened up two Sunday spots for Wild Woman Sessions at 11am CST, meeting every other week. Wild Woman Sessions are intuitive, one-on-one coaching sessions where I help to guide you to shed the patterns of the good girl so that you can rise as your Wise & Wild Woman. For more information, visit my website. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free 30-minute call to see if the Wild Woman Sessions would be a good fit for you, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org