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On Denying Ourselves Pleasure

A month ago (exactly) I wrote about how I haven’t been blogging much, that maybe I was afraid to say what I needed/wanted to say, but that I wasn’t going to let fear hold me back.

I made a promise to myself that I would blog at least once a week, and I’ve barely been making that happen. I’ve been happy to share what others are doing in my This + That posts on Sundays, but I’ve barely been able to write much more than that.

Sure, I’ve had ideas…fits and starts of writing, mostly discarded.

And then this morning I had one of my beloved ah-ha moments.

Which, of course, didn’t come from out of the blue…I’ve been cogitating on this for a while now, and noticing how I’ve been engaging in old self-punishing behaviors (namely rushing through activities that are meant to be enjoyed, eating quickly, sometimes eating food that I know feels like crap in my body, drinking more than feels good, moping, distracting, etc.).

In writing about how it felt in my journal, I said: I am holding back, feeling like I am not sure what to say or how to say it. I start to write and then think it’s stupid or too…something. For years I was able to express myself often and beautifully. It came easily and joyfully, even when I was writing about “hard” things. And, for whatever reason, I no longer feel free to be me, at least not the way I used to. And it sucks.

So I was thinking about it some more and I asked myself, “Why are you holding yourself back from something you say you love to do? Something that brings you such pleasure and joy? Something that you believe saved your life several years ago? Why would you do that to yourself?”

Why indeed.

Two reasons:

1. On some level, I don’t think I deserve to have a pleasurable life (I KNOW I’m not alone on this one…).

Sure, intellectually I don’t agree with that, but the intellectual part of my brain isn’t always running the show.


2. I’m really good at punishing myself when I think I’ve done something wrong (or have taken to heart the opinion of someone else that I’ve done something wrong, and that’s exactly what I did in regards to blogging).

(And so ’round and ’round it goes).

It’s funny because there have been periods in my life when I allowed myself guilt-free pleasure, sometimes for relatively long stretches. And when I allow myself that, I am sooooo much more productive, effective, and fun to be around (even if I am by myself).

So what gives? Why now?

Because it’s what happens.

Old, deep, limiting beliefs don’t, unfortunately (but really, fortunately), just go poof.

As we grow, evolve, and transform, we revisit them with a new perspective. Years ago, I would have been pissed at myself for having not learned my damned lesson the first time.

Now, I am grateful that I get to revisit these lessons and learn something new from them.

I imagine that there will still be some fits and starts as I engage my voice again, and that’s okay. For now, I am finding pleasure in expressing this.

What are your beliefs about pleasure? Do you deny yourself pleasure? In what way? Why?




  • Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Superb Post.

    Many writers GET IT.

    Once I let go…I mean, really let go…
    not giving a sh*t about what others thought about me, it was beautiful & liberating!

    xx Love from MN.

    • KCLAnderson
      Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. Thing is, I thought I HAD let go. And then I grabbed it back again! Onward…

  • Posted August 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I hate that when I internalize someone else’s opinion and then act on that rather than what feels true to me. I also remember well the holding back on my block for fear of judgment or being ‘found out’ by my professional peers or bosses. It is only now that I don’t have a daytime job that I feel ‘free’ enough to rediscover my voice. But I think for me this will also always be a fine line I’m treading, no matter how much pleasure blogging brings me otherwise. Something else to remember: you say that sharing on your blog had always brought you a lot of pleasure. Well, it’s brought us, your readers, also a lot of pleasure! And still does xo

    • KCLAnderson
      Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Kerstin! I am still cogitating on why, at one time, I felt free to express myself and now I don’t.

  • Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    You always get it right on!!!!!

    • KCLAnderson
      Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Jody!

  • Posted August 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    This is hitting so many firing points especially past and very past….but what I have recently been seeing for myself…maybe its not writers block or fear at all…Maybe it is simply a time to be in the moment, feel the feelings, and re-fuel …The energy is focused inward to heal and use our voices in just another form of expression….

    • KCLAnderson
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      So very keen Jules…

  • Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Oh absolutely. For me it’s about self-worth and wondering what I really deserve!