I deal with gorgeous amazing women all day every day to whom exercise has taken on the form of the greatest beast-like Should Dragon you can imagine. And when I ask them, hey, how does the little kiddo you want to move, they look at me like I’m banana pancakes (if banana pancakes were insane, of course).
Yoga this. Running that. Beefy beefcakes this. P908076XXX until I’m german potato soup strong. CrossHoopFit Sweat-a-thon. Heavy weights after slow burn fire breathing. Etc.
Oy. Vey. (I originally typed Oy Bey, to which I know all Beyonce fans at once declared in perfect harmony, blasphemy!)
You know the drill. You’ve been there. Heck, maybe you are there. Let’s talk about how you got there. And then we’ll talk about sex, baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. (salt n pepa love you)
Here’s how it goes. Once upon a time, someone expressed disgust/disdain for some sort of part of your general functioning. And before you get all “my mom did it” on me, have a kind heart. People, even your mothers, are human and humans will at least one hundred times in their lives feel disgust or disdain for someone close to them. It happens. What matters here is the recovery and the expression of recovery. Did this person own their emotional caca and tell you that they were sorry? Did they scoop you up and say, “Baby girl, you’re enough. That thing you felt was mine, not yours. I’m so sorry.”
So, since you are still reading this, let’s just assume that you did NOT get this recovery response. Instead, you were left to wallow in the pit of disgust and disdain. And stay there long enough, guess what your next move was most likely? Defiance and rebellion. You were like, “Oh yeah, you don’t like me just like I am? Well, then, watch out.” And after that you either became fancy-pants-goody-two-shoes-I’ll-show-you-an-A Plus-Marcia Brady OR you became rebel-Joe-who-snorted-Dostoyevsky-existentialism-for-breakfast-just-before-skipping-school-to-make-a-new-tattoo-in-your-shin-with-your-bud’s-pen,-the-one-she-used-for-spreading-your-*mushroom*-peanut-butter-sandwich.
Either choice you made, this was your form of response to the poorly handled disgust/disdain, which - let’s be really real - is actually abandonment.
I know! I said it! Ack. Hang tight.
So, you attempt to carve out your space and receive love by being defiant in your own unique way. And, because you’re a child, this feels pretty useful. And in some cases, it is. But, as you grow older, what you don’t know can happen is that this defiance against the disgust/disdain can then be co-opted against yourself.
Why? Because you override your natural impulses and your basic needs and wants in order to carve this rebellious space out. And as you get older, the only way you know to do this is to one or many of the following: You punish yourself, you numb yourself away, you force yourself into containers that don’t fit, you try to be someone else, you attempt to make others happy, you isolate yourself so you can’t be hurt, you tell yourself terrible things so that you don’t shine too bright, you forget your worth, you wish to alter yourself at your core.
But, if we were to simplify this (which I obviously suck at):
You annilihate the litte kid inside of you. Period.
From eating, to doing, to playing, to exercising, to everythingizing, you shame the Little Light inside of you who is an incredible compass for what your unique, possibly sensitive, definitely wanting self NEEDS to function wholly.
You shame her so terribly that you erase her.
Which is why people can’t figure out how to get off the couch unless they are being barked at or begged. Living with an erased shadow of your Little Light is freakin heavy. Joyless. And with that, there is ZERO motivation. And from zero motivation comes a life where your ass grows into the New United State called YourCouchLand and then you go down an even deeper shame spiral.
The good news - and, dang, this has been a wee bleak - is that lighting the Little Light up is so easy.
Shhhhh, if I say that too loud, the Should Dragon will awaken.
In a whisper: It’s so easy.
Ask her what she wants to do.
And then do.
Warning: Do not think. Do not shake your head or sigh. Just respond by shooting from the hip. Protect her from that stuff that isn’t hers. No one did it for her before, so now you get to do it.
And, in case you need permission, playing tag counts. Crawling. Dancing. Climbing. Swaying. Praying. Napping. It all freakin' counts because it’s what you need to be well. And being well is crystal clear ocean water motivation for getting strong.
What do you, Little Light, want to do?
I’m skipping away from this post, you just can’t see me.