At six years old, I was a wild little rascal who liked to try out studio wrestling moves on my unsuspecting friends. I was fearless back then in an untamed kind of way. But gradually my wild spirit got crushed in my upbringing.
My Dad believed in the scared shitless variety of psychological punishment. One time he got me good. He had a friend with a black sedan pull up the drive way and told me they had come to take me to Morganza, the local reform school. I believed him and I ran away and hid out I the woods until I thought it was safe to return.
Our conditioning is the cumulative affect of our upbringing and all the applied thoughts that shaped our version of who we think we are.
I’ve talked with hundreds of coaching clients about their upbringing and the norm was a general beating down. We were not celebrated for the special beings that we are. Often we were not encouraged to go for our authentic greatness but instead cautioned to play it safe.
Even then, as five and six year old children, we tried to make sense of this irrational parenting so we made up explanations. Often what we made up had us feeling less than capable.
But those events really only had the meaning that we interpreted them to have. The good news is that now we can go back and give those events new meanings that serve us well.
Now we can honor the little person within so that a stronger and wiser self if running our lives.
Your Inner Child As Hero
It truly is remarkable how you’ve turned out in spite of your upbringing. Look at the four choices we have in any challenging situation. We couldn’t really remove ourselves because we were dependent on them. Change wasn’t an option either. Try working with an alcoholic parent to change your relationship. Good luck there.
Acceptance wasn’t even a concept I could fully understand until my forties and many adults never learn it. What was left? Resistance, but even our resistance was thwarted. It never got full expression, so the only thing we could do was to swallow it and turn it back in on ourselves. As a result we made a series of false conclusions to try and make sense of things.
That’s why we need to write a whole new story about our childhood. Your inner child is still influencing your capacity and in many cases right up to the limits of what you set for yourself in first and second grade.
But your inner child was and still is quite courageous. Don’t you think it’s time to honor his or her courage?
Now You Know Better
As adults we are responsible for our destiny and that includes any and all needed adjustments on how we recall our history.
Truly, as tragic as it was, our parents did the best job that they were capable of at the time. But now that you know better, it’s time to write a new life story. It’s time to tell the truth to yourself about your remarkable capabilities.
Have a dialogue today with that little guy or gal (who is still within affecting your results) and allow him or her to understand what happened. Talk it all through. Explain that you made it all up in order to make sense of the world and now you know better.
Essentially recondition your conditioning.
Give it new meaning. Give a new meaning that serves you well. Here’s how to do that. Your story needs to be strong enough to heal the little boy or girl within.
Give Her What She Needs Most
Imagine a spot where you sat and pondered in your home when you were six years old. I sit with Little Tommy on the back porch steps and talk with him while he sits on my lap.
So sit with your little gal and talk with her. Ask her what she needs. Really get into imagining that you and her are sitting in a place at the home where you grew up. Invite the dialogue; she’ll welcome the opportunity to get it all out.
Don’t judge her, just give her all the time she needs to say everything that comes up. If you cry, that’s very good, just let it all flow. Some folks do well setting the scene and then writing out the questions and answers. After she says what she needed, that she didn’t get back then, your job is to reassure her that all is well now. Then give her what she needs to feel whole.
Tell her that you’ll give her the support, recognition, celebration or encouragement that she missed out on all those years ago.
Assure her that you will love her and acknowledge her and give her all that she needs. Give her a closing hug and be sure she feels like she can come to you to talk things through any time.
Your inner child is still setting limits and running your life. You might as well give her or him a new script to follow because you are the creator of your destiny.