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?