I posted the following in my book club forum last week and it was well received so I thought I would share it here. It was an eye opening exercise for some of us who have let the negativity of the world and outside influences tear us away from the inner child inside that “grew up” and changed sometimes not for better in the process.
Here’s the original post:
This morning a few of us jumped on zoom and had a discussion regarding the first few chapters of Revolution of the Soul. We discussed “triggers” or “thoughts, feelings, smells, tastes, sights” that can bring on unwanted and sometimes unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms aren’t a problem with you, rather they’re signs of a sensitivity you possess.
One of my triggers is when I see the skin on my outer thigh and recall the time when someone I loved asked me if He should let me know next time my “cellulite is showing.”
My true self knows that besides being a total asshole thing to say, that the person who said that was insecure with HIMSELF and it had nothing to do with me, and that he was put in my life to be a lesson. So even though i feel as though I’ve healed from that pain, I still get triggered from time to time and I have many other “sensitivities” that can evoke certain feelings or thoughts and even physical symptoms. We all have these sensitivities.
I think too often we medicate these “sensitivities” by suppressing the feelings that arise, turn to addictions, unhealthy habits, and ultimately resorting to negative self talk and low self esteem which is like attempting to turn the smoke alarm off while the real fire rages inside of us.
The truth is something is profoundly off in our lives today. In ways, we are all still operating from our internal “childself” focused on striving toward the good (love) and running from the bad (withdrawal of love) because we got the message, at some point in our upbringing, that the good was welcome and the bad was, well, bad. As we run from the bad, however, we abandon the part of ourselves that needs reclamation. It is that part of ourselves that we have been taught by society, our parents, and our internalized inner critic to hate. That shameful, lazy, weak, stupid, ugly loser “with cellulite” inside us.
It’s like we have locked our childself in a bedroom, bolted the door, and turned up the music loud so that we don’t have to hear her wailing and banging. Then we arrange the furniture just right, dust the house, and wonder why it just doesn’t seem to feel quite like home. In that bedroom is your neglected childself, begging to be unconditionally loved, to finally feel seen, heard, and safe. If denied, that child will continue to tantrum in order to get your attention. Those tantrums look like self-sabotage, depression, anxiety, and avoiding triggers that will aggravate the suppressed feelings.
So let her out of her proverbial cage!
I’d like to propose that we keep a photo close by our desk, our nightstand, in our cars, our phones, or anywhere else we will see it often.
The work begins by acknowledging that there’s somewhere you have not wanted to look. There’s some primal fear that you’ve been running from your whole life.
Maybe it is someone you have to forgive, a conversation you know deep down you have to have, a heavy secret you’ve been carrying around. That house of cards you’ve been holding might need to fall.
So take out that photo of yourself as a child. Try and send her love and let her speak. It might be hard to see yourself so young so innocent so pure so hopeful and so unaware of what was coming down the tracks, but you know that you can’t hate her, loathe her, punish her, hide her away, judge her, or shame her. How could anyone do that to her? You would never say that to her. So why do we say it to ourselves? Why do we let others say it to us? Or think that others are saying it about us?
Send her love. Give her love. And know that she is you. And, you are her.
Post your photo below and tell us what you would say to her and then make it a daily habit to look where you haven’t wanted to look and let that screaming child out to be seen and heard and unconditionally loved.
Here is me at age 6 and what I wish I could have told her.
You are safe, there is nothing to fear. You are loved unconditionally and nobody can take away the love that is inherent in you. You look great in that bathing suit and someday you’ll have children which may make your skin stretch and sag, but you earned those tiger stripes and your true beauty shines from within. Now jump in that water and have fun, girl!