On the subject of being opened minded I look at a situation I am in right now. My life coach is also a therapist but one title has a positive connotation to it, signaling self improvement, the other signals something is broken somewhere. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly is broken, but she asked me to get in touch with my inner child at our last meeting (not session). She encouraged me to talk to my inner child, calling her by her childhood name, saying “It’s ok ____, you’re ok” as I gently pat my heart. I thought “Oh my goodness, this is bad.” I have crossed over from someone sane trying to improve herself and see her self in a “beautiful light as she ages” to reaching deep into my psyche to talk to… well basically to myself.” I’m having a hard time keeping an open mind on this. It’s odd.
A couple of months ago I was watching an old movie where Kevin Klein was talking about his therapist telling him to take his inner child on his knee and gently hold him. I remember being drawn to that idea but dismissing it as something that was just in a movie. And now my “life coach” is asking me to do the same kind of thing. Since then I have looked up the concept of the inner child and my mind is opening a bit. It is quite interesting.
There really is something to the phrase “a kid at heart.” I talk to older people and the common link is that they still feel young inside. I feel that our bodies are a vessel for “our kid.” Who we become happens at the earliest stage of our life. This is where our confidence develops or does not depending on the upbringing and surroundings provided. Even if one parent falls short on the nurturing side, as long as the other parent picks up the slack, you have a good chance of becoming a competent, confident self being. At least that is what I have witnessed with two people I know. I really hate it when they say, ‘ I became successful BECAUSE of how crappy my father, for example, treated me. I say, No, You became successful IN SPITE of how your parent treated you. Credit your other parent who took the time and love to nurture you, and did the best they could.
I always take in such happiness when children are around me. Their innocence and happiness is contagious and you just know they have not become marred by life’s disappointments. I saw three boys playing at a sandbar the other day. They were collecting crabs and making a “living room” for them by digging out a shallow hole and filling their beach buckets with water for the hole. I was taken in by their sense of innocence and brought them a crab to add to their collection. A little action like that made them even brighter with happiness. What a great place to be I thought to myself.
My early inner child is gentle, shy, quiet, and has a vivid imagination. On a completely dark canvas, she bubbles up with colors, rising towards the surface, but not quite to the top. She wants to be brave and ask questions and express the curiosity that comes with young inquisitive minds, but she never does. She was graced with the title the “good child” never asking for attention, but really needing it. Thank God she has a dog! ( which explains why she loves dogs so much.) She delights in sweets which will carry into her adult self and become a defense trigger for stress.
So me today is supposed to view myself as a beautiful, smart, loving woman, and I am. But I don’t say it easily. It comes with hesitation. I am a person of faith. I hope I did not disservice my children, for I was conscious as I raised them that I needed to spend time with them, play with them and put them in social settings that would encourage self confidence. That experience also gave me a chance to revisit my inner child though I did not know this was going on. Active parenting is very important and I do hold a few regrets as my children were growing up. I wish I would have focused more on some areas less on others, but I suppose that comes with the territory. I can only control what I can control.
Self Care is empowering. I can count on myself all the time. I can challenge myself to be more social and to establish healthy boundaries with people who may not have my best interest at play. I can treat myself to new experiences and push myself to be a better, kinder, positive influence in this crazy world( no offense to my therapist, a compliment to my life coach), to be a better mom and wife. I can be a better listener to my inner child, and take comfort that she is with me.
Post Note- Day 82 152.4
Really love the online support of peers that know the journey of weight loss and achievement. A man wrote me the other day saying he knows my blog is meant for women going through a similar aging acceptance process as I am, but he enjoys reading my blog. By all means, I invite men to read it as well and see the amazing, beautiful women in their lives in a new light! Come join the ShiftinBeautyMovement with us!