You know these special childhood pictures of yours that you just love? Something about the setting, something about the people who you are with, something about the little smile that you have on your face and how all these make your heart shine with warmth and love?
“I love this picture”! You probably say each time you look at it, but the truth is that it’s not the picture that you love, but the child in that picture. The little you back then, who didn’t yet go through everything you have gone through, who didn’t yet see everything you’ve seen. Who wasn’t yet hurt, disappointed, discouraged, or beaten by the hardships and struggles of life. Your inner child. That little child is the essence of you, the epitome of everything you could become, the person that you could have been. The person, the friend, the partner, the employee, and the parent you could have grown into, if life would evolve somewhat differently.
The truth is though, that that child is still here, still in your heart, still carrying that pure essence that’s now hidden well behind your identity, well behind everything that you have become to protect and nurture your inner child, that little child you once were.
I know, I’ve been there. And I got it all wrong.
My Inner Child
Some years ago, when I was younger and less experienced (in a variety of fields), I spoke to me. I came across that picture, I sat down on my bed (still in my mother’s house), I looked at me, and I smiled. I rarely smiled those days, and that’s why I remember it so clearly. The love, the feather-like warmth that spread through me just made me want to hold onto that picture and never let go. I was pure, I was almighty, I was happy, I was me. Just like I was supposed to be.
I remember asking myself where am I now; where is she, where is that purity, that hope, that earthly knowledge that everything would be okay, simply because the world is okay?
Some time after that picture was taken, my parents surged on what will become a very ugly, yearslong divorce. I’ve seen and heard some things that are not worthy of a child’s ear, a child’s eye. I was four, I was five, I was six. And I will never again be that little girl that knows that everything is okay. Because she failed. She failed to live up to her own promise, the oath to protect the ones she loves, to shield them from pain and heartache.
I was four years old when I first tried to explain my mother’s words to my father. I wanted him to understand. I was four years old when I first tried to explain my father’s words to my mother. I wanted her to understand. I was four years old when I took on the heavy duty of making things okay. Those same things that were okay before, but no longer are.
I was five years old when I first witnessed violence and understood that I’ve failed, and I’ve failed miserably. Not only that things weren’t okay, but they were getting worse. I couldn’t protect anyone. Not them, nor me. And I was lonely; very lonely.
So I left. Not in body, of course, but in soul. That little girl who couldn’t protect the first people she had chosen to protect, and at the same time wasn’t protected by those who were supposed to protect her, moved on and became a true protector herself, a real fighter. At school I was always the one fighting to protect the weak, the newcomers, the outcasts. Those who suffered for being different, for whichever reason. Because kids can be experienced as cruel, and childhood can be painful. But I was there for them. I was their friend. I was their voice. Despite my childhood “popularity”, my friends were those who needed me, not those who wanted me. And little me was satisfied – she got to protect, and distanced herself from the dangers of the popular kids (even though she was one of them).
Later on I joined animal rights movements, human rights movements, women rights movements, minority rights movements; I did everything I could to protect the oppressed and fight against their oppression.
But that’s where I got everything wrong. I was positive that my mental escape away from home and from everything that bound my heart to my parents was my choice of freedom, my fight for freedom. The freedom to be, the freedom to do, the freedom to think. And God knows I was (or at least I thought I was) free. But it wasn’t that. Because my heart was never there. Jailed within all that freedom, seldom did I make a choice right for ME, seldom did I choose a person right for ME, rarely did I feel MYSELF as present in MY LIFE. Except from when I was busy protecting. Nothing I did was ever meant to serve me, my interests, or my desires.
But this is only visible to me now.
One of the very first choices we make in life, is the choice between protection and freedom; the choice between our true selves and the connection, the attachment of our loved ones. Since everything that has to do with leaving almost always feels like breaking free, I thought freedom was my choice, when I’ve actually chosen protection.
By detaching from those I couldn’t protect, I protected myself from further pain. By protecting the oppressed and the weak, I protected myself from that feeling of failure that little me had been carrying around for over twenty years. By only opening up to everyone who was wrong for me, I protected myself from ever experiencing the pain of the loss of right. By the pains endured upon me I was able to detach further and further, until I was completely closed to pain, love, happiness, or joy.
Until I became everything but free.
My Life Finally Make Sense
For many years I’ve questioned how exactly is it that a person who chooses freedom is, well, so not free. How is it that I was working in jobs that I didn’t really like, how is it that I went to university to major in something I didn’t really care for. How is it that I ended up in relationships I wasn’t happy in, yet were approved by my parents.
Because later on, well into my twenties, my parents and I reconnected. And as soon as that happened, even the imaginary freedom I’ve chosen was thrown out of the window. The circle of protection was holding me tight, but, from deep within it, I was blind to its grip.
Reconnecting with my inner child, again and again, shed the needed light on my inner motivations, on the raw little heart I held close within without giving her the opportunity to speak. So many aspects of my life were ruled and governed by that decision the little me had taken so many years ago, the decision I didn’t read right into, and the wrong understanding that was keeping me jailed.
A few years ago I finally broke truly free. I broke the cycle. I broke the oath I was too young to take, the oath I didn’t deserve to live by, and I broke free, emerging like Venus from the waves, finally me.
Here I am
I am still me. Everything I’ve learned is still here, everything I’ve seen, heard, and did. Everything that brought me to this day has a huge part in who I am, today. Nothing was a mistake, nothing is a regret, but today is a relief. The present is a gift I am FREE to enjoy. My child is a gift I am FREE to raise, my husband is a gift I am FREE to love.
Because I seek no protection, I seek no freedom, but I live the epitome of both.
The need to protect, to help, to encourage, empower, and strengthen is the reason to which I do what I do. This is a decision I made FREELY, for me.
And Where Are You?
If you are not sure why you do the things you do, if you can’t figure out why you keep finding yourself in situations, places, and relationships you are not present in, if you don’t know the source of your words or feelings – your inner child has all the answers, all the keys you need to open the doors to the present.
If you feel that your life is held down by forces greater than you, if you eagerly looking to emerge in your full glory, become the woman you want to be, the mother you want to be, the partner you want to be, but can’t find the door to you?
Together we can get there. I can help you. Contact me here.
Your Child: His Inner Child
Understanding how a single childhood incident, let alone a full-on childhood experience affects our individual development and governs the adults we grow up to be is the single, most motivating realization when it comes to parenting our own children.
Whether they are three or four, this is the money time. This year or the next they will, unknowingly, pledge that oath that will affect their entire life. What oath do you want your little one to pledge? What promise do you want him to live by?
For me it’s a no-brainer. I want my little one to never have to choose between my protection or his freedom. I want him to know that there is nothing he can do that will make me love him less. I want him to know that there is nothing he can do to make me love him more. I want him to know that my love to him is an independent and untouchable force that’s there for him to guide him on his journey of life.
Reconnecting with our inner children is like spreading the map of life right before us, and owning this journey, once again.
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