Stop feeling bad about feeling good

From time to time, I touch myself for pleasure. I choose to do this for the joy and rejuvenation effects, for the “I love myself and deserve to feel good” vibes. The action isn’t against my religion or belief system, nor does my hubby care one way or another if I touch myself.

But right before I masturbate and right after I finish, I feel guilty. A gnawing “This is wrong” voice and feeling find me. My stomach gets a slight knot and shame washes over me.

So why does something that is meant to refresh and relax me, also give me a yucky feeling?

The other day at the gym, I got closer to uncovering the answer…

I’m a member of Orangetheory Fitness. I regularly attend high intensity workout classes that a trainer leads. On any given day there’s a combination of treadmill, rower and free weight work. The trainer will give me my pace and put together a series of base pace efforts, all out efforts and rests. It’s a tough workout which is exactly why I love it!

After running and climbing hills on the treadmill for half an hour I made my way to the weight floor. I was given three exercises to do until time was called. After each one, I was supposed to rest. But guess what? Even though I was winded, sore and could really use some water, I didn’t rest.

Why didn’t I rest? Because I felt guilty. The gnawing “This is wrong” voice I get when I masturbate found me again every time I paused from an exercise.

This gave me an ah-ha moment. I struggle with allowing myself to feel good. Whether it’s experiencing the full bliss of some special me time, or giving my body a break after lifting, something deep within me associates being good to myself with being bad.

I have important answers I need to search for, like how to create a better relationship with the things that make me feel good. I know where I’ll start, and that’s thanks to doing similar self-work in the past.

Here’s what I’ll focus on now:

  • Reminding myself through reflection, journaling and affirmations that I am a human being not a human doer. Every day I’ll tell myself I’m here to work hard and to relax, have fun and enjoy life.
  • Adding more just for me things into my week so that feeling of being good to myself comes more naturally.
  • Exploring my past to see if I can identify any past experiences or limiting beliefs shared with me that I need to understand, give love to, and let go.

I’m hoping that if you can relate to this blog, you’ll put together a list of things you can focus on too. Life is too short and beautiful for any of us to spend too much time feeling low, overworked and ashamed.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Dr. Danielle Clark | Psychic Medium

PS – ‘Here’s an affirmation to give you a boost of self-love when you’re feeling bad about feeling good, ‘I am worthy of all good things. I give myself unconditional love always.’ 

PPS – If you struggle with putting yourself first or giving yourself some much needed TLC, grab your journal and a pen. Oftentimes, these limiting beliefs stem from our childhood, be it directly or indirectly. Did a magazine or TV show make you feel like it wasn’t okay to do something you wanted to do? Or perhaps that it wasn’t okay to feel a certain way? Did a family member tell you something is bad for you, when it’s actually the opposite? (for example – you wanted a second serving of food because you were still hungry, but your grandma wouldn’t let you eat more because she said you’d gain weight). Write anything that comes to mind. Then light all of these limiting beliefs on fire (or rip them up slowly into small bits) repeating, ‘These limiting words, beliefs and actions are no longer mine to carry’.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Dad treasured his wood furniture. Every week, he’d break out the Pine-Sol and polish his tables, his bedframe and his Lane cedar hope chest. He cherished his wooden possessions so much so, that when we were younger, he placed a strict “No touch!” policy on me and my siblings.

While Dad was never diagnosed, looking back on his behaviors I believe he had some form of OCD. If one of us kids was even an arm’s-length away from a wooden dining chair or God-forbid his hope chest, Dad’s body would tense up and he’d scowl, “Get out of here. You’re too close.” Dad literally feared a scratch or ding. This deep connection to his possessions always struck me as odd. I remember thinking to myself, Why do we have this beautiful dining room set if we’re never allowed to use it?

Regardless of my Dad’s quirks and flaws, I have always been a daddy’s girl. Dad is one of the greatest loves and teachers of my life.

So when Dad died eight years ago, I was crushed. My first instinct was to hang on to everything he owned and cherished, but I knew I didn’t have the space. And so, I got rid of most of his larger pieces (including the dining room set I never had a chance to eat on), but decided to keep his hope chest.

It felt odd taking his hope chest home. For all my childhood I was barely allowed near it, and then it was in my bedroom. I put a doily on it for protection and dusted it a few times a week. I’d get out the Pine-Sol every few weeks. I was always nervous about something happening to it and doing right by Dad.

Fast forward a few years. My family and I decided to move from just outside of Boston to the Tampa Bay area. Somehow in the move, the chest got a nick in it.

Although the size of the ding was smaller than ¼ of a Cheerio (Think: the size of scratch that an ant would leave, if it could), it felt like the size of a baseball. I felt guilty. Disrespectful to Dad. I’d go to sleep staring at the big horrific gaping hole (don’t we love the illusions of guilt?) and would pray to Dad, I am so sorry. I understand if you’re upset. I’m careless. I should have done better.

Fast forward again. This time to a few months later. I was on a call with my spiritual mentor April who’s also a psychic medium. Seemingly out of the blue she said, “Honey. Your Dad is here. You keep hurting yourself every night. What are you doing to yourself, sweet child? It has something to do with a piece of furniture. Did something get wrecked? Your Dad is saying he doesn’t care. All he cares about is you. You need to stop being so hard on yourself.”

Tears poured down my face. I cried and cried some more. In that moment, I released it all. The anxiety Dad gave me as a child. The need to be perfect and follow his rules. The false idea that Dad is up in Heaven upset about a furniture scratch (I mean really, in hindsight how crazy of me to think that Dad has the ability to travel pretty much anywhere he wants and enjoy the freedoms of afterlife, but instead he’s worrying about a small dent on a piece of furniture).

Today, Dad’s cedar chest is in my bedroom proudly displaying its ding. Sure, I could sand it down. Put polish over it. But why? It’s a perfect reminder that mistakes and imperfections are only perceived and that my loved ones in spirit aren’t spending their time sweating the small stuff – and neither should I.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s a self-forgiveness affirmation, “I release the past and the weight it has brought me. All that exists is now.”

PPS – Oftentimes we let a perceived bad experience sour the way we look at a person, place or thing. For example, the waitress accidentally spills the tray of waters on you, and you decide never to return to that one Mexican restaurant. You were wearing your green socks the day you got fired, so you’ve sworn off green socks (not hard to do, but St. Patty’s Day does find us once a year). Grab your pen and journal. Is there an opportunity to create a new story with that person, place or thing? Perhaps you could go order some carnitas with friends and create a new positive memory, or wear green socks while you give an epic presentation? This activity will remind you that you hold the power to write your own story.

From shame to acceptance: it’s possible

I have herpes type 1 (HSV-1). Yes, you read that right: I have herpes and I’m sharing that with you (well not literally so don’t worry). Remember, we can’t take ourselves too seriously.  

So why am I telling you this? Because I sensed you may be harboring shame about something that feels deep, wrong and maybe a little taboo, and I wanted to help you release it.

Here’s my story:

When I was a young teenager, I aggressively sought out male attention from older guys. When I was 15 years old, I flirted with a man I worked with who was in his thirties. He was funny, kinda cute and we had worked together for a few weeks. I trusted him. This guy flirted back and before long, I found myself at his house. We kissed. We had sex. It gave me what I thought I needed: to feel pretty, to feel wanted, to have an adult finally pay attention to me.

The day after our hook up, the outside and inside of my mouth were filled with large sores that tingled and burned so bad that I got a fever and swallowing was a task. I eventually ended up in the hospital. I had no idea what those sores were and feared something was terribly wrong with me.

At the time, I didn’t know herpes was a thing and when the doctor started to ask me about my sexual activity, it finally clicked: “I caused this. This was my fault. I’m a slut.”

For the next few years, my herpes breakouts would occur every few months and each time they’d come on, I’d feel deep shame and spew nasty comments to myself, “Danielle, you’re a whore. You’re nasty. You’re dirty.”

Not once was I ever mad at the guy twice my age who infected me when I was a kid nor was I mad at my parents who didn’t give me the love I craved resulting in me looking in other places for it. Instead, I was only mad at myself. Funny how that is, huh?

It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized I was ‘that girl’ (the stereotyped label of ‘promiscuous’) because my story was complex; my early childhood trauma of being raised by addicted and neglectful parents shaped my behavior. Although I shouldn’t have been flirting with older guys, that guy (and many others) shouldn’t have taken advantage of my vulnerabilities.

Fortunately, I only get a herpes breakout about once a year. When it does come back, instead of shaming myself like I used to, I fill my mind and heart with love, “You’ve come a long way Danielle. You’re beautiful. This and everything you’ve endured has made you stronger. You are loved.”

From my story, it’s my hope that you:

  1. Unfold your shame. Don’t perceive your past actions and decisions as poor choices or wrongdoings. Rather, see if you can find how people, events and circumstances connect to the shame you’re holding. This may give you a deeper understanding of your feelings which will help you release them.
  2. Forgive yourself. It’s a fact: You didn’t know all the things you know now. Every day, every second, we are learning and evolving.
  3. Consider sharing your shame with someone. a friend, your partner, a therapist. When we talk about our shame, it loses power.
  4. Know healing is possible. Although we can’t change the past, we can move forward from it.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this newsletter to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

PS – Here’s an affirmation to help you release shame, I heal and forgive myself for harms I and others have caused. I love myself and accept the past.

PPS – Are you looking for other ways to release your shame? If so, here’s a writing activity. Find somewhere quiet. Go deep into your shame (I know, a hefty request but this will be rewarding!). Be honest with yourself about your experience with shame. What happened that caused the shame? What are you feeling guilty about? Disappointed in yourself about? As you dive deeper, allow yourself to feel all your emotions: sad, scared, frustrated, confused. Write them all down. Don’t judge what comes. When you’re feeling ready, stop writing and burn or throw away your notes as you repeat the affirmation, “I release what no longer serves me.” Symbolically releasing your shame can be magically healing.

A higher version of YOU

A higher version of YOU

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