#176 | Set Yourself Free – The Guide to Being a Good Enough Woman with Anna Rova
Women have this strange idea that the more things they do for their men, the more their men will appreciate and love them back.
It doesn’t work like that.
It seems like this is how things should work but they don’t.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
The more you do for him, the less attractive you seem to become.
The more you are like his mother, the more distance it creates between the two of you.
So the more you’re setting him free, the more he will appreciate and be attracted to you.
What are you talking about, Anna?
It’s counter-intuitive, I know.
“But I do so much for him! I buy him socks and underwear and I make sure our sheets are fresh just before going to bed.
I make sure the house is nice and tidy, delicious dinner is served and that he has everything he needs for tomorrow’s big promotion day… all while booking my pedicure appointment on the way to work!
Why doesn’t he see it?! Why doesn’t he appreciate it?! Why doesn’t acknowledge it and treat me with the same love and respect?!”
Being nurturing and taking care of everyone — women do this all the time.
We try to be everything for everyone.
We cook and clean, dress and iron, wipe tiny dirty bottoms, make sure everyone’s pillows are soft enough and that everyone has their lunches all packed for tomorrow.
We worry about the past and we worry about the future.
We have 20/20 vision when it comes to every single member of our household, every single person in our neighborhood and every single political leader who has a significant influence on world affairs.
Oh wait, and we’re taking care of it all during our second shift.
Because, of course, I also have to succeed at my career 9–7.
And so the only person we can’t really take care of is, of course, ourselves.
Our vision is quite blurred when it comes to seeing ourselves and listening to ourselves.
Knowing what we want and asking for it.
Simply because we’re too busy taking care of everyone else.
The volume on the outside noise is so high, we can’t really tune into what’s going on inside.
We wear this invisible “I’m taking care of everyone” badge of honor on our chests only to be disappointed time and time again.
Because no one sees it.
No one appreciates it.
We do so much and yet we don’t get a fraction of it in return.
And here is where the problem is.
We DO so much.
We’re constantly DOING at work and DOING at home.
We’re constantly thinking about what to DO next, what to DO in-between and what to DO after.
”Are kidding me? What present moment? I find myself responding to Whatsapp messages while doing #2 and you’re telling me to slow down and just be?!
Fuck that. Aint’ nobody got time for that?!
Haven’t had sex in six months AND you talk to me about meditation!
Orgasm? What’s that?
Pleasure? I don’t even know the definition of that word!
Forget about sensuality. That’s something Gwyneth Paltrow would be exploring in her Goop Lab because she’s got all the time and money in the world!”
And so we wear the busy badge and push and push and push.
No time to stop and smell the roses.
No time to pause and notice our children’s first steps.
No time to just play.
No time to be silly.
No time to be in your body.
No time to dance.
No time to laugh.
No time to touch each other without any expectation.
No time to kiss long and hard.
No time to just sit and stare into the distance.
No time to be and feel like a woman.
It’s a hamster wheel that never ends and will never end unless we put a stop to it.
We’re afraid to let go. We’re afraid to lose control.
“What will he have for lunch?
He doesn’t know where the oats are in the pantry!
He doesn’t know what the baby should wear in this weather!
No-one can do it better!
No-one can do it like ME.”
We hold on to control like our life depends on it.
And so we keep going controlling our lives, controlling our kids, controlling our men and controlling everything and everyone around us.
Until one day we can’t go on.
Just like that hamster.
Not because emotionally we’re a wreck.
Women are brilliant at being high-functioning emotional wrecks.
We can’t go on because we physically can’t go on.
The spinning wheel’s going too fast.
But we wait until that last moment.
We’re constantly exhausted.
All that builds up without an outlet for a release.
And all that is accompanied by blaming the patriarchy, toxic masculinity, the government, the weather.
You name it.
Cortisol levels are high, adrenals are giving up. Our monthly cycle is out of whack. Pains in the shoulders and back. A little bit of extra weight around the waist. Having a hard time to falling asleep.
Not glad you’re here but I’m kind of relived you’ve arrived because I can finally stop and pause.
Just for a while.
Mistake #1: Putting yourself last
We were raised in a culture that taught us that doing things for yourself is not okay.
That putting yourself first is selfish.
That if you want to “be a good girl,” you gotta share, think about others first and you gotta set a great example.
And so in that “be a good girl” teaching they forgot to also teach us how to properly take care of ourselves.
They forgot to tell us that women are the epicenter of the nuclear family and of the world.
They forgot to tell us then if women are burned out — the world is burned out.
That feminine energy is what gives and nourishes life.
That the feminine is life source.
That without it — without us — everything around is bleak, neutral and gray.
We come first.
And that being a “good girl” all the time doesn’t serve us.
If we are depleted and exhausted, our husbands, children and communities are depleted and exhausted. If we are okay, everyone is okay. If we are thriving, everyone is thriving.
Imagine a society where women are just happy and fulfilled. There would be no “he doesn’t appreciate me” in that society not because he started paying attention but because you now appreciate yourself. Because you have taken back your right to pleasure, sensuality and putting your first. Everything takes care of itself in that situation.
The principle of a “good enough mother” should be basically translated into a “good enough woman.”
You’re a good enough woman.
After you have satisfied your own needs, the minimum amount you do to fulfill the needs of others is good enough.
The question should be “Am I alive, fed, dressed and feeling well? Are my primary needs met and if not, how can I get them met? What support do I need? How can I listen to give my body, my mind and my soul what it needs?” and only then worry about others.
And thus, your relationships with men will change too.
You won’t be clinging to them for approval, appreciation and auditioning to be seen and noticed. You won’t depend on that. You won’t need that.
You’ll want it and it will come naturally.
Because a woman who is in her full being owing her pleasure, owing her sensuality and owing her worth as a good enough woman who doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone — is a magnetic woman.
And when that happens you will not only set yourself free but set him free as well.
The mistake women have been making, especially in the last few decades of feminism on the rise, is not knowing that they are life source — the energetic force for everything and everyone.
And that they’re different to men in that sense.
Every man knows that if they’re not taking care of their car’s engine, they can say goodbye to the car shortly. So they’re taking care of their cars.
So women need to start taking care of their own engines instead of waiting for someone else to refill their tanks and blaming external sources for not doing that for them.
Feminine energy is an infinite renewable energy source and I personally believe we’re also in a feminine energy climate crisis as well.
Women are depleted of their life force and don’t know how to recharge, renew and let go.
They’re constantly running on masculine engines and batteries and don’t know how to switch from go, go, go into flow.
From doing into being.
From thinking into feeling.
From pushing into pulling.
From proving and striving into letting go and surrendering.
And thus, more and more women today complain about not having a solid, stable masculine man.
But a masculine (and everything else) thrives upon feminine energy. If a woman is depleted and exhausted and burned out — it’s a not a pleasant space to be in for anyone and a masculine man won’t be able to recharge and sustain in a depleted energy.
A woman is like a gas station for a man.
He comes to recharge and receive energy. She fills him up. And when he is full, he can go back to hunt and conquer and bring home the bacon.
She doesn’t have to do anything. She just needs to take care of herself and make herself happy.
Not pile up all of her degrees and achievements, real estate and assets and climb, climb, climb that corporate ladder to prove everything to everyone…
Only to wake up one day realizing that the clock is ticking and in fact now is going backwards and she needs to find a man asap and get that ovulation working for her and not against her.
Mistake #2: The expectations trap
Armed with this idea of “I can’t be selfish, I gotta be a good girl and take care of everyone else” we do everything for everyone and then expect that everyone else will take care of us in return.
And here is where the biggest trap and disappointment lies.
We do things for others wanting and expecting that they will just take care of us as well.
That’s how the world works, right? Everyone is watching out for each other.
Hmmmm, maybe everyone is watching for each other but everyone is definitely not responsible for our own well-being.
Watching out for each other is a great concept and I’m teaching my daughter empathy 100% but I’m also teaching her self-sufficiency and knowing how to take care of her needs first — knowing what those needs are in the first place.
Expectations are dangerous.
Expectations put enormous pressure on others to adhere to your standards of living and loving.
And that’s a recipe for dysfunctional relationships.
Think about how comfortable you are with meeting your parents’ expectations in terms of career and success.
I bet you’re still hearing your father’s voice in the back of your mind not wanting to disappoint him…
And so now imagine living like that according to a box full of expectations from others.
In this box you’ve got little jars with names of all the people in your life.
And so every morning when you wake up you’re checking everyone’s expectations and making sure you’re living according to them.
“Hmmm… let me see… John’s such a good guy, He bought me coffee yesterday. Let me check what does he expect in return…?
Oh, Jodi checked up on me last night if I was okay… She’s such a great friend. Let me see what does she expect from me today…?
Oh, and here is my husband Dave. Hmmm, okay Dave, I’m still a little upset with your behavior from last night…. So you know what, Dave — I won’t even check your expectation jar today. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow…”
And so it would go on and on…
Yeah, I know!
But that’s how so many women live their day to day lives.
They give, give, give expecting to take, take, take.
No one can live up to anyone’s expectations 100% of the time.
It’s a trap.
A recipe for unhappiness and broken relationships.
When I realized this concept and dropped my expectations towards my family, friends, my husband and my daughter — everything shifted.
I’ve put the center of attention on me.
I started checking in on me more often and seeing how was I feeling that day and what do I need to feel supported.
And thus, I also released my man of the enormous pressure of being everything for me.
I’ve let go and surrendered.
I learned to trust that he is a grown up man and can take care of his own needs too.
It’s a win-win because I don’t expect him to always do things for me and I don’t always do things for him. We’re coming together in a symbiotic interdependent relationship where two whole adults are self-sufficient and self-reliant.
And only from this place we can build a healthy, thriving relationship trusting that if we need support and help, we’ll ask.
Mistake #3: Not asking for help
So I started asking for help.
I flipped the old notion of “I’ll take care of you and you take care of me” around.
I started living by the notion of “I’ll take care of myself and I trust that you can take care of yourself too, okay? And if I need help, I will tell you what I need. I will ask for help. And I also trust that you’ll do the same. Deal?”
If only I was taught that concept 30 years ago.
Oh well, better late than never.
I am a good enough woman.
The way out
So the way out of this mess is the way into yourself.
Turning the volume on the outside down and the volume on the inside up.
Starting to get to know that good enough woman that you already are.
Releasing everyone off the hook of your expectations.
Rewriting your “good girl” story.
(Some of us need serious rewriting of the “bad girl” story too.)
Putting yourself in the centre.
Becoming selfish-ish 😉
Because knowing that you’re the most important person for yourself is what’s going to save you.
And that’s going to save everyone else too.
You want your man to come home and tell you “I feel free with you.”
And you want to tell him in return “I feel safe with you.”
Because that’s what the two of you want deep down inside.
Primary needs of the feminine and the masculine.
Here is your mantra
You get the best piece of the pie.
You get to be taken care of.
“Mommy needs an hour to rest.”
“Wifey needs an hour to take a bath.”
“Daughter needs two hour to be in nature.”
If you don’t set your boundaries and ask for what you need, no-one will know.
People can’t read your mind.
People don’t know what you need.
And, remember, you’re a good enough woman.
And then watch your relationship transform.
Watch your life grow wings and flying high.
Watch yourself blossoming into the liberated woman you’ve always meant to be.
A good enough woman.
A good enough human.
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