Good or Authentic? – by Christy Johnson, PhD (@IntuitiveHeal)
Children typically learn how being “good,” however their family value system defines it, brings approval or at least minimizes conflict and chaos. This pleasing behavior then can spill into friendships, school, work, dating, religious organizations, wherever human interaction occurs. Yet externally driven goodness can become a mask, a façade between you and the rest of the world. Conforming and pleasing, originating from a natural need to belong and be accepted, can leave you superficially rather than wholeheartedly connected. It can also separate you from yourself.
Since I came from an environment where shame and blame covertly stalked my every action and attribute, I learned vigilance and how to hide what was true and real about myself. I unconsciously played the role of perfect daughter in an outwardly ideal family. Maybe I could perform my way to goodness.
The emphasis on education by my professor father and teacher mother, led me to become the consummate good student, forcing myself to get my doctorate in chemical engineering, a field I didn’t love. Maybe I could study my way to goodness.
During graduate school, seeking relief from the escalating internal pressure to be good enough, I became religiously fervent. I got baptized at age 28, joined a Methodist church, and attended Bible study. Maybe I could worship my way to goodness.
I also unconsciously adapted to boyfriends who often mistakenly thought I was perfect for them. Maybe I could please my way to goodness.
I morphed for my employer as well and was generously rewarded for my efforts. Maybe I could work my way to goodness.
Eventually I realized I knew how to fulfill expectations, how to excel, and how to seek approval but I couldn’t identify my own wants, needs, feelings, or preferences. The pain and suffering this creates keeps prodding me to deepen my evolution from good girl to authentic woman.
Where am I today? Well, my religious good girl façade cracked within a year or two when I realized I’d fallen into the perfectionism trap again. I met and married a man to whom I can safely reveal myself. I quit engineering, selected to please my parents, to open an alternative healing practice, aligned to me. I tune into my inner wisdom around what makes a good daughter, a good wife, a good friend, a good you-name-it. I behave authentically more often these days.
External approval driven good girls and boys can grow into internally aligned authentic adults. Such evolutions reflect and support our personal soul work as well as our ability to positively impact the world by sharing our deepest selves mindfully. Perhaps true goodness arises when we allow life to authentically motivate our actions.
Please join us as we explore the relationship between good and authentic. Can we be both? What blocks authenticity? What fosters it?
– Christy Johnson
I invite you to join our weekly #SpiritChat conversation on Sunday, December 17 2017 at 9amET/2pmUTC with special host, Christy Johnson. Thank You, Christy, for taking over hosting duties for this Sunday! Do connect with Christy at her website, on facebook, twitter and LinkedIn! – Kumud (@AjmaniK)