EXCERPTS from Beyond the Good-Girl Jail: When You Dare to Live from Your True Self
What if there really is a me inside?
A self who is all me—and mine?
A unique set of quirks and qualities
To claim and develop?
To live from and through—and be?
What if I already have the right
And enough room
To be who I am?
What if I’m already here,
Capable of living my own life?
What if I’m actually meant to be
This me I already am--
My piece of the universal puzzle?
What if it’s truly okay
To dance, to dance in daffodils,
Fully expressing all that is?
And all that oozes through my soul?
What if I refuse to miss
The possibilities of my own truth?
© Sandra Felt
I expected to be a good wife and mother and live happily ever after, but life had other lessons to teach me. By the age of 30, I was emotionally drained and painfully empty inside. I had done my best to live life “right” and had found it impossible. I had so completely lost my connection with my inner self that there was NO ME LEFT to give anything to anyone.
When following the rules to be good and meeting the expectations of others didn’t work, I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know where to turn for answers. Was there a different guideline for living life? Was there something more to life than being good? What was I missing? What was I doing wrong? These questions haunted me.
Many of us spend our life following the rules and expectations of parents, spouses, teachers, doctors, ministers, and other authority figures. Now I know that we cannot simply follow someone else’s “right” way to live and expect to find our own unique path that brings us fully alive. Now I know that most of us are neither taught nor encouraged to utilize our own innate internal guidance system to find our own “right” way to live.
To be honest, being a good girl did feel “right,” but only until I discovered a passionate inner aliveness that felt more like dancing in daffodils. There simply is no one “right” way for us all to live life. That is a myth. No one else can know what our life is about or what we need. We each must find our own way to live our individual life—the path that best fits that me inside. There is no quick fix, and the journey can be full of distracting detours and challenging surprises. It is, however, also full of sanity, growth, meaning, spirituality, and hope—once we reconnect with our amazing true self.
Beyond the Good-Girl Jail will gently encourage you to find your own path, your own way to live your life. It is the idea I wish had been mentioned to me at 20 to tell me that living from inside—from self--is actually possible. It is the lesson I wish I had been taught at 30, when I was parenting young children. It is the permission I wish I had received at 40 to stretch toward my own aliveness. It is the encouragement I wish I could have trusted at 50, when I wanted to know that so much more was possible. It is the validation I wish I had received all through my life whenever I felt weird, numb, inferior, discouraged, or unacceptable.
Beyond the Good-Girl Jail is also the text I wish had been required reading in graduate school to teach me what is critical as a psychotherapist, especially when treating trauma survivors. I know now that coming home to self is the underbelly of healing from trauma. Perhaps it is the underlying issue of all psychotherapy, for when we learn to listen at a deeper level, we hear our own deeper truth. If you are a therapist and a client brings you this book, please pay close attention. You are being asked to listen very carefully. You may find these chapters helpful in more ways than you expect.