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  • Writer's pictureJosie Coco

Ditch the parental voice

Day 325/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.

"Well aren't you a good girl!" Directed to me just 3 days ago, this approving parental statement had the potential to invoke a grateful child persona in me that thankfully I have full integrated. I'm sixty something years old. I haven't been a good girl for a loooong time.

When I was a good girl I followed the rules. I sought out and tried to understand all the rules to follow to win favour. I never challenged the rules and I certainly never defied the rules. It wasn't worth my bacon!

Then I spent a lifetime figuring out what went wrong and why I never actually achieved the favour I sought. I wondered what was wrong with me.

You want to give up the good girl. You want to find your own rhythm and dance to that. It's tricky though.

When someone approaches you with an approving parent its all too easy and most common to respond with the child persona that it draws from you. You've been well conditioned to respond to parent's approval or lack their of, and you'll automatically fall into that trap if you're not aware.

Or if you find that you yourself are making those sorts of remarks to fully mature adults you might like to think of how else to approach it. She could have said, "thank you", or "good job", or "much appreciated". Instead, she said, "aren't you a good girl".

How we speak to each other matters. Especially it matters if you are speaking with someone who has experienced adverse childhood experiences including childhood trauma. They don't need you to speak to them in a parental voice, whether that be approving, praising, admonishing, criticising or any other iteration of the parental approach.

In my experience more disagreements, misunderstanding and conflicts occur through the careless way we speak to each other than any other way. When we speak with a parental voice to adults we are going to trigger them, or at least most of them.

Here's a novel way to speak to other adults. Imagine for a moment that they are capable, resourceful individuals who know about their own lives and what works for them. They have amassed a lot of knowledge along the way which may not always gel with yours, but hey, they have different experiences. We are not all carbon copies believing and perceiving things the same way.

Appreciate the variety that life shows you and approach others with curiosity. Curiosity to learn about how they see and show up in life. It's a fascinating experience.

Oh and if you are a good girl still, it might be time to throw out the rule book, tune into your heart and begin to live from your passions. You've left the next a while ago and it's okay not to carry those early rules with you. Make your own rules. Yes you have to consider the impact you have on others socially. After that you can ditch all the good girl behaviour for living life fully.

If you need help to do that, a therapist is your best friend.


Simple Abundance

366 days Towards Self-Mastery

When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)

I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.

As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.

My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?

I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.

Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.


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