Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I started seeing a psychologist and she told me I need to love my inner child. How cheesey is that? Anyway, it quickly became apparent that I totally wish my inner child would just grow up or go away, that I don't have patience, or even compassion with her at all, and that I am quite mean to her. The worst part, is when I hear myself say brutal things to her, I crack up. It sounds funny; I am cold. I know what she's been through and I just want her to leave me alone. She is the stranger in my midst, the enemy only because she is a victim, and I shrink away heartlessly, like a grumpy old scrooge; I don't want to go to that place; wish she'd leave me alone.

Damn, she is me. Well, part of me anyway. Truthfully, I've never done well with obligatory relationships, meaning any relationship I got stuck with for one reason or another that I didn't really choose with my eyes wide open. Gosh, I certainly didn't ask for an inner child! I have three actual physical children, a husband and a life! See, I am not nice to her; not welcoming. This week I am supposed to find pictures of me as a kid. Will they awaken in me compassion for her?

The thing is, I thought she was dead. I thought I had made peace with the crap she had been through, thanked her for getting me here, and said goodbye. I wanted it to be over, like the grandmother who is suffering in the ICU and her family is suffering to, and everyone is ready for her to die, even though of course it is all very sad. And it turns out my inner child wants to LIVE? She wants me to love her?


View from the Trekant said...

I think you are talking about something that most folks have in common, even if they don't admit to it.

Jesus said to love others 'as yourself.' The 'as yourself' part is sooo difficult for many of us. It would have been a cheaper, easier thing in some respects if he just said 'love them more.'

The 'as yourself' means that you have to heal the brokenness within yourself as part of the walk.

ktismatics said...

No idea what your situation is, but if I were your inner child I'd want a nanny to come take care of my outer children a few hours a day so's I could frolic in the sunshine once in awhile.

lisa said...

My favorite way to acknowlege my inner child and cut her a little slack is to turn music up loudly and jump on my bed until I collapse with laughter. It's good therapy. Cheap too.

Jemila Monroe said...

VFTtrekent, a big amen. Probably most wars are the result of inner kids fighting with grownup weapons and not even being aware of it.

Ktis, I agree, and I do make time for myself. The thing is, I only know how to play as an adult. And I am a very playful adult, but learning how to play in childlike ways is harder for me...fortunately my own children are persistent and excellent teachers!

Lisa, love the idea. I am a dancer by nature and I did used to love to jump on the bed -- esp really bouncy hotel beds! I'm going to have to try that one!

Deep_Well said...

From one struggling inner child to another, I'm right there with you. Trying to love our inner child is one of the most challenging tasks we ever face.
Having spent the past year working with 0-3 year olds and their parents attempting to help them develop healthy attachments, I learned that children form the core of their identity and their beliefs about themselves and relationships primarily during the first three years of life. During this time, if we learn that we are not lovable, we can spend our entire lives trying to convince ourselves otherwise.
On the upside, the only thing really required to form a healthy attachment during the first year of life is to respond to the baby's needs. You cannot spoil a one year old! The other thing I do with my parents is "floor-time" where the parent simply gets on the floor with his or her child and lets the child lead the play time. Their only job is to respond to whatever the child initiates, within healthy boundaries, of course.
Anyway, all that to say. Just take it one baby step at a time, no pun intended. Try some floor time with your inner child. She may just sit and look at you for a while, but after she begins to trust that you really are interested in letting her initiate, you may be surprised what she comes out with.
And don't be afraid of spoiling her. She needs to relearn that the world can be a safe place and that her needs are important.

wilsford said...

"loving your inner child" sounds like psycho-babble crap.

but it isn't. it is a huge part of becoming a whole person.

loving yourself is a quite an anti-christian theme, at least in the fundamentalist world i left. that alone oughta tell you to go for it with gusto. ;-)

best wishes to you on your journey.

Jemila Monroe said...

Wilsford, you crack me up, thanks :)