Somewhere, somehow, the idea got lodged in our psyche that to be a goddess we had to be perfect, or at least better than human. We had to look beautiful, radiate energy, smile always, dance and move like we are 20 years old. We could never be angry, frustrated, bored or tired. Being a goddess didn’t include wearing the same underwear for two days, because we didn’t have time to do laundry. Or flicking on the TV and collapsing in the corner for a coffee while the kids watch cartoons. Being a Goddess didn’t include running from work to the gym to parent teacher night, stuffing a granola bar in on the way up the stairs and trying to smile greetings at other parents without opening our mouth. It somehow conjures up images of long dresses, and bubble baths by candlelight, elegant finger foods and red wine in tall glasses. All of which would be totally out of place in our house, where kids sprawl in the living room to do homework, dishes lie in piles next to the sink, and the bath mat has been peed on by the cat... again.
We wish our partners could see the inner goddess, underneath the old sweatpants, the messy bun, and the dark circles under our eyes because one of the kids had a bad dream last night and needed to snuggle, leaving exactly six inches of available mattress space on which to try and sleep. Even we have lost sight of her, the part of ourselves that know what it means to dream, to sing, to dance even.
Do we need to get all the outer stuff in miraculous order before the elusive goddess can emerge, floating graciously up to friends and family, and spreading calm and joy? If so, my Goddess is probably destined to forever stay imprisoned in my deepest places, her face hidden and unable to witness the chaos that is my life. I never seem to be on top of things, there is always a ‘to do list’ a mile long, and I always fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day. My goddess would faint with horror if I let her out, there would be no place for her to be ..well... Goddessy.
This is how many of us feel when we hear those people talk about ‘finding our inner goddess’ or ‘Three easy ways to live like a goddess’. We gaze longingly at the pictures of thin, female figures, dancing or embracing or cavorting with other goddess like females. We sense a longing to have whatever they have, to be in that image of connected beauty. But all too quickly, instantaneously even, that voice pipes up, the one that says, ‘you aren’t good enough to be a goddess’ or ‘you don’t have a goddess in you’. And even though I know that voice, the critic, has nothing helpful to say, it keeps me from opening the door to my inner goddess part. I would rather deny she exists than be judged as a failure.
The question that really needs to be asked though, is would she judge me? Would she turn her beautiful face away from me in disdain, wrinkle her nose at my piles of laundry? I wonder if she might roll up her sleeves, hike up her long dress, and do the dishes instead? Singing as she rinsed the plates, gazing out the window and noticing the wild flowers in the garden, in that patch that I didn’t get a chance to weed. Maybe she would dance as she wielded the vacuum cleaner, and kiss the kids as they came in from school. Maybe she would sit and let her feet be rubbed by a partner who has been missing connection with us. Maybe the goddess is much more about letting ourselves be. Letting things go, trusting that everything will get done in right timing. Maybe she would take out that bottle of bubble bath, the one we pushed right to the back of the cupboard in the bathroom because we didn’t have time, and pour it into the tub after dinner. Maybe she would leave the dishes, with a request that someone else do them, or just knowing that after a soak, the dishes may not seem as much of a chore. She would take out that soft bathrobe, and revel in the feel of it next to our bare skin.
Being a goddess is not about being perfect at all, I realize. It is about being in pleasure, whatever that is in the moment. Enjoying the sound of laughter as the kids watch some new comedy, noticing the sensual pressure on our legs, as the cat says hello. Taking a deep breath as we sink into the hot water, and let go of our daily stress. Noticing how good it feels to hug someone, the press of another body against our own. And all of a sudden, its easy! I am a goddess, I don’t have to try.There is no effort except to notice how many things there are in the world that bring pleasure. Little things, simple things, and as I grow into my goddess, I notice larger feelings also. The way that the sun shining makes so many people smile, turning their faces up to catch the light. A light snowfall turns the landscape into a wonderland. Spotting a school of dolphins in the ocean, brings delighted oohh’s and ahhh’s from people on the shore. That a starry night, can make us all into dreamers.
My goddess is so not about being perfect, she is about being me. I gaze at myself in the mirror and I see her face, looking right back at me.