Who is in charge of the decisions you make?
You … or an angry, fearful child who lives in your heart?
I ask because it might be time to get to know her.
You know she’s in charge if any of the following ring true.
- You find yourself drawn to difficult people in love or work … kind of like all those kids who bullied you in the schoolyard or your tough parent.
- You spend money too freely – or perhaps not often enough — getting a physical rush of satisfaction when you do so, despite any financial or personal mayhem that may ensue.
- You eat that last jelly donut or drink the extra martini, even though you REALLY ARE trying to stop. Because … well, it’s been a hard day.
- Financial, career or business chaos seems to follow you around, no matter how hard you try to shake it.
- On some level you feel addicted to excitement and drama, even though you ‘know’ it’s draining and debilitating and you’re sick of it.
- You consistently attract people who encroach on your boundaries in some basic way.
- You find yourself feeling mad for no reason sometimes. And really, you can’t help it.
- You long to do things you can’t get started with. Or finish the ones you have started. Yes, you’re scared but … why?
- Procrastination is second nature … though somehow things always finally happen. But not without a fair amount of adrenaline.
- You buy things on impulse only to return them later – or stockpile them in a room or closet filled with unused items. You don’t really know why.
Chances are some of this is true for you, it’s time to meet your inner child.
Honestly, the foot-stamping or frightened little self who lives in your heart is so entwined with your life that there is little you can do WITHOUT her involvement. And sometimes she feels completely out of control.
For most of us, our inner child operates like … well … a four-year- old. Decisions get made and impulses followed that mirror that distinct 4-year- old logic. Which is why the last jelly doughnut is impossible to resist.
Our inner child becomes the source of many of the unbreakable patterns that show up again and again in life. And it is not until we begin to work with this formidable power source that things can begin to shift.
For me, I’ve had to spend active time first of all finding my inner child … and then just plain old listening to her. I began this work in earnest after I noticed I’d attracted a string of difficult women in my life in love and friendship.
Yes, they reminded me of Mom. Point made.
I experienced a palpable gut-level fear around these women … the same fear I knew as the kid who got bullied at home and at school. But there was something deeper going on as well. Somewhere behind the annoyance and upset was anxiety ,,, as well as a strange, subtle desire to feel that feeling.
It was all incredibly familiar. So when I found one of these women it was an auto-yes to engage.
It’s this kind of recognition that can begin to break the log-jam and end the pattern. So I began calling my inner child out into the sunlight so I could get to know her, day by day.
This happens by sitting quietly, tuning in and inviting ‘Little [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE]’ to show up. When you do this, you may be surprised how she appears.
In the beginning, my inner child, Little Susie, was pissed. She was furious really, because I’d shown such a complete lack of interest in her through my entire adult life. I was taken aback.
First I had to just listen while she had a nervy tantrum. But over the weeks that followed, she began to lighten up. At the same time, I began to tune in to her more and more deeply.
In my imagination, Little Susie sits on my lap when I meditate. I stroke her head and tell her how much I appreciate her. I ask her what she needs.
Inevitably she just wants me pay a little attention to her. Or maybe take her to the beach.
My big take away is that this little girl was just plain bewildered by the circumstances of her childhood all those years ago. And so all that anger I bottled up inside has begun to finally dissolve.
I no longer auto-rant at myself for opportunities missed and mistakes made. Nor do I lose my head when I’m scared. Instead, I tune into this sweet little soul’s innocent heart. If I made a mistake, I assure Little Susie that the world will not end. If I’m afraid, we hug each other and hang on for dear life for a while.
Most of all, we now both know it’s all going to be okay.
We are all children of the Universe throughout our lives. It is when we can recognize that and feed ourselves accordingly that life becomes more and more beautiful. And so we become more and more transparent, allowing Grace to shine through us.
Take a moment right now to close your eyes and say hello to the little one who lives within. If it would help to dig out an old childhood photo, do it. Leave it somewhere where you can see it often and be reminded to check in.
Chances are she’s been waiting for you.