the poison of trying to be a 'good' person

the poison of trying to be a ‘good’ person

(rather than an authentic person)

is that you find yourself living an unfulfilling life, constricted with self doubt, maybe giving your energy to things that certainly do not make your heart sing, not knowing what you actually want, manifesting everyday bla-ness that becomes a normal state of being, feeling unheard, unseen, enervated, jaded, feeling bad for existing, taking up space, serving someone else’s purpose.


for over 3 decades i have been a witness to a very painful dynamic in my family. 


i think i should share this because this dynamic is a major motor for my own healing. this dynamic is many generations old. it goes something like: “i am a good person if i withhold my own actual needs and desires in order to be accepted by _____.”   


i owe my fascination with this shadowy dynamic to my mother. it is demented how normalized it is, in korean culture which is what i grew up in, to revere self sacrifice as the highest expression of goodness, which earns you love/respect/belonging - (also says Patriarchy). 


i’ve built up a lot of anger, frustration, and sadness witnessing her staying in a toxic marriage that was traumatizing for me and my sister, neglecting her own needs, putting up with way too much shit, giving her power over into blame, - all in the name of trying to be a ‘good person'


the thing about withholding your own truth, real desires, needs, etc for the sake of a belief / other beings, is that it creates an inner pressure. and that pressure’s gotta go somewhere, so unless it’s made conscious, it will find unconscious relief through self-rejection and/or blame of the other/the trigger/the ‘annoying’ circumstance, which stems from one’s own feeling of inadequecy and unwillingness to face and own the shame associated with the pressure. which also perpetuates the illusion that “I” am the good person and the triggering person/circumstance is bad. or I am a good person if I punish myself. seeking relief by trying to eliminate or change the outer circumstance becomes enervating, it keeps you in an ineffective closed repetitive loop that can sometimes not be so obvious because though you may get brief temporary relief by deflecting, the change is inconsequential if you’re not looking deeper into your soul blueprint and healing the causation - which is about introducing a new pattern to disrupt the unconscious ancestral pattern. all emotional upsets and pain is a call to see and recognize the part in oneself that needs care and healing. the most vulnerable you covered in shame.


my ongoing work has been in extricating this belief. to break the pattern. to end the addiction to being a good person. by honoring how you actually really feel. to be allowing of the shame and terror of being ostracized for your authenticity. validating those feelings as real, not suppressing them. and then to decide that it’s better to feel the terror of uncertainty of how your truth lands in the world rather than to go on living a constricted unfulfilling life, and then die as a good person who stayed safe <— which ultimately must be asked, is that really actually safe?


the work now is in the unraveling of the shaming we do to our own selves. there is no more external threat. no more hangings, burnings, stonings, except “the piece of the oppressor that is implanted within us” says audre lorde. it is safe to allow healing to happen, healing for what has been passed down through all our mothers. we have all suffered immensely. the water the air the earth our bodies hold has been holding all that has ever happened. we drink and breathe it still. we all have generational PTSD. every time She was silenced. let us not continue that ever again in our own lives, and it begins with working with the voices we hold inside. the voices of fear condemnation shame shrinking clutching desperate hidden shadows are the prime material of what we have to work with. let us not banish them any longer but invite them in, finally. to look within, open your eyes to the darkness, and see. 

kwonyin kwon