They say we need to get in touch with our “inner child” and that will be the key to answering a bazillion questions and solve a lot of our issues. Well, whenever I’ve gotten close to my inner child I’ve felt so sad that I just run away again. But slowly I have begun to buy into the fact that maybe there is something to it. Try it. Close your eyes and go find her or him. Go back as far as you can remember. Feel the place where you land. Do you feel the magic? The pain? The joy? The fear? Smell the smells, hear the sounds. Really feel the place right where you’ve found them.
The thing is… THIS isn’t just about me or women for that matter. I know men that need to go find that kid they left and learn to love themselves for the first time. Not in a puffed up egotistical, macho kind of way. But in a nurturing, in your core, gut wrenching, finally understanding kind of way. So many of our damaged relationships could be healed by just learning how to embrace that kid we left at the wayside of our life.
Picture this. (And we all will go back to a different age) Your inner child waiting for you. Find him or her and sit with that kid. Say the things you needed to hear. Bring them with you. Hug them. Be kind and patient and learn to love them the way you needed to feel loved all the way back then. Try to remember feeling loved, feeling lonely. I think We’ve all sat on a bench in the gym waiting to be chosen to be on someone’s team. In a way, I feel that the adults that put the kids in the position of choosing and the ones being chosen in a certain order are narcissists. Or maybe just preparing them for “LIFE” who knows. I do feel there is a bit of poetic justice though… I’m thinking that some of those that got chosen last, may very well be in a reverse role later in life, as being the chooser of the ones that got to choose.
As I just mentioned, it’s truly interesting… that we all land at different ages. I know some people that can’t remember before they were ten or so. I can’t imagine that. I remember standing in my crib. I remember waking up from naps. I remember vivid moments before I was even two. I wonder why we remember certain things so vividly and big chunks of time are lost? I used to be terrified that my mom would leave me somewhere. Maybe I thought she’d forget to come back. Who knows why? I mean, I know I was loved. I know I didn’t like Sunday school for that very reason. I hated the moments as everyone else’s parents would pick them up as I waited for my mom to come get me. And I hated being left with a baby sitter. As you go back and find that kid again, it will help you find the pieces to the puzzle. Why did we have the fears we had as a kid? As we remember the feelings, it’s interesting how remembering is our number one tool. And key to our journey back.
When I was five I got horribly sick. I had an allergic reaction to the strep bacteria and I got something called Post-streptoccal glomerulonephritis. Basically something to do with your kidneys. And I lost half of kindergarten and had my birthday in the hospital. And my whole 6th summer being bed-ridden, I had to learn how to walk all over again, as the kids in my neighborhood were getting their training wheels removed from the bikes we all got the Christmas before. I remember my friends gathering beneath my hospital window and waving up at me. Those friends are still my friends today. And they really did become my own personal template of friendship. The trouble was… I had to leave them in second grade. Though we’ve kept in touch throughout the years. That taste of belonging never left me, and I think I’ve always strived to find it again. And I have in so many wonderful friendships over the years. But in those formative elementary years, I don’t think I ever felt that sense of belonging that I left the summer before second grade.
As I got older, my dad got promoted a lot and that meant moving quite a bit. I think once or twice I attended two different schools during two different school years. So I was always the “new kid” All the friendships had already been made and I probably wasn’t the kind of kid with the kind of confidence that it took to integrate with the two grades at four schools I attended. And believe that all the transferring around had a lot to do with my foundation and why I don’t ever feel good enough. Though, I wasn’t always the only new kid and I watched as some of them just powered their way into those already established friendships and fit in just fine. (Interesting now how just now I realized I knew that.)
You see, as adults, going back and finding our “child” and making ourselves remember. Is one of the hardest but most rewarding things we can do. I know when I make myself go there, I am almost always on the verge of tears. Because the process is very painful but gives you some great tools to understand more about who we are and why so we can move on to a healthier place. So far I think I’ve discovered that I never truly learned how to love myself. That makes me so sad. But it also helps me realize why I let a lot of people in my life be the Alpha. I actually had a pretty great childhood. But when I started dating, I allowed myself to get into some abusive relationships and that is when I feel the real damage began. If I didn’t already love myself the next several years into adulthood really did a number on my self-esteem. So skipping ahead a few decades, I now fight to not ever repeat feeling that helpless and defeated again. To the point of getting in the way of my own happiness by ruining the good relationships in my life now. I see clearly how my need to control everything is crazy making for me and everyone around me. And so I keep going back and finding pieces of me as I try to makes sense of it all and learn how to take the next step. Which is going all the way back and loving that little girl I left back there in the past, so long ago.
I feel so much could be repaired if we all just took the time to take that journey back.