not hold back for fear of being judged
Is the saying-yes-when-I-am-no-and-no-when-I-am-yes a female thing? Or, more prevalent at least, for females?
Is it a result of the difference (generalizing) in how little girls versus little boys are raised? The incessant you mustn’t do that, oh no good girls wouldn’t ever do that, be a good girl now, there’s a good girl a way of teaching girls to minimize themselves and their wishes, needs and desires? A way to introduce shame into our system at a very early age?
Or is it as common for boys to hear you mustn’t do that, oh no good boys wouldn’t ever do that, be a good boy now, there’s a good boy? Just writing it, something feels off to me. I am sure there are plenty of parents telling plenty of boys words such as these, but I imagine it being akin to the confusion adults meet when met with a screaming baby dressed in blue, pink or yellow. That experiment (that I’ve actually never bothered to google. Is there a research paper on this out there somewhere?) is one I’ve remembered ever since first reading about it. The baby wearing blue was told Oh, that’s a mighty set of lungs you’ve got there boy! You certainly know how to make your voice heard in the world! and the likes. The pink-dressed baby gave rise to reactions such as Oh, sweetie, don’t you cry, poor little thing, I’ll help you! And most interestingly, the baby dressed in yellow was met with… silence. The adults didn’t know how to respond to the baby they weren’t given physical clues about, informing them (or at least feeding into their assumptions) that blue equaled boy and pink girl.
When I look within, when I choose yes over no, or no over yes, when I actually deeply desire the very opposite of my actions, the fear of being judged is massive. I can hear whispers within, telling me Oh no, you can NOT do that! That’s nasty! Indecent! You’ll never be able to look people in the eyes ever again, knowing you’ve done something so deprived!
Which might make it sound as if what I desire is deeply dark stuff (which would be totally ok if it was!)… and I don’t believe it to be. I would say there’s a lot of vanilla in me. (If that makes sense to you, you’ll understand. If it doesn’t, well, then my desires are probably on a par with your own, a garden-type-variety of desires that abound.)
The fear of being judged.
That is at the root of my remaining shame.
And I will not let that fear dictate my doings. All the while, I want to thread carefully, gently (!) with myself. One way is to write about it. Another to talk about it. A third, to take action. Calibrating myself to pick up on the No’s and the Yeses within, and the signals are coming through loud and clear for the most part. That’s where I deliberately, consciously, take care to act in accordance with them. I no longer want to overrule my instincts and my intuition. That doesn’t necessarily mean I will get what my Yes indicates, but I can voice it. I can act upon it. I can not hold back for fear of being judged.
And the same goes for my No. Perhaps, even more importantly with respect to my No’s, actually. I must not overrule myself, exposing myself to that which my being does not want. I have done this too much. Trying to please, offering myself up without truly wanting to, and that’s not ok. Not for me. And not for whomever I am interacting with. It’s cruel, to both.
Clarity is kindness, and the clearer I am with my Yeses and my No’s, the kinder I can be, to me, and to you.