Be a good girl. Be sweet. Be nice to people – even if they aren’t nice to you. Be the bigger person. Don’t let others get you down. Always smile. Never show them you’re hurt.

These things and many, many more were said to me when I was a child. I took those sentiments personally, seriously and turned them into what I call my Good Girl Programming. This was very intense because, as a Capricorn, I have an added element of perfectionism that can be a blessing and a curse.

There was something else that I learned very young,I have a warm and engaging smile. I’ve been told that it’s contagious. When I genuinely smile at someone, I am greeted back with a smile. People often say that I have a TV worthy smile and that my smile lights up a room. I knew early on that my smile was special; I didn’t understand why or how, but it was.

Then I forgot that I knew it. For a really long time.

Honestly, I feel the forgetting started at the beginning of Motherhood. Becoming a mom suddenly highlighted and exaggerated every shortcoming and blessing I possessed. My awareness of myself shifted rapidly. Enter the soft mom-body, sleep deprivation and LIFE… I began to measure how good of a person I was based on how I met everyone else’s needs. I learned to abandon my own needs in the process. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror for 20 years.

I was being as good as I could to everyone, yet feelings of failure and frustration fueled a downward spiral of self-criticism that I couldn’t seem to escape. I felt like I SHOULD be happy, but found myself acting in anger, and self-sacrificing my time, energy, and love for others. All the while not feeling like I was getting much of the same in return.

All of this anger, insecurity, and pain led to a spiritual awakening in my late 30’s. I decided that I needed to come up with something nice to say about myself and was bewildered when I just couldn’t think of one authentically nice thing to say.

I journaled and constantly thought about it – it weighed on me. I was beginning to realize just how poorly I thought of myself. That was a low point in my self-love level in my life for sure.

Eventually, gratefully, my higher self left a cookie crumb trail, and I remembered that a lot of people compliment my smile. So, I chose to create the following affirmation to say, “I have a beautiful smile. People pay for nicer smiles when they feel they don’t have them. I’m lucky, I got this one for free.”

Then, I forced myself to look in the mirror EVERY DAY and say it. Even when I didn’t want to.

Mirror work, my friends, is some of the realest self-love work a person can do. I am a visual creature. I LOVE BEAUTY! Beauty inspires me; however, I couldn’t SEE my own beauty when I looked in the mirror.

My ability to gaze at myself deeper and longer began to develop as I continued to practice looking at myself. Pretty soon, I did understand that I have a warm and inviting smile. I started to feel it, appreciate it; even love it.

That mirror practice up-leveled my self-love game exponentially. I was learning to be kinder to myself.

Being “good”, in my estimation, requires us to be kind: kind to yourself, kind to others, kind to Mother Earth. It means taking care of myself so that my thoughts are healthy. It means feeding my body nutritious food that nourishes me and works with my system. It means taking quiet time when I need it, and phoning a friend when I need support. It also means honoring all of my emotions and feelings – they’re a genuine part of the human experience. Being kind to myself means retreating to nature for replenishment when my soul is tired or my heart is heavy.

The world needs all the kindness that we can offer from a full heart. Less ‘Good-Girl’ energy based on faulty old programming that requires us to sacrifice ourselves for another’s happiness.

We are each responsible for our own happiness. Any time that we show up in true kindness for ourselves, good will always come from it.

And that, my friends, is really enough.

Until next time, I am compassionately yours,

Misty Pennington Signature