I woke up today in despair over a group I’m in—It’s a group of wonderful women, which just makes my inner conflict greater. When I sat with my Inner Child this morning, what I heard was a wail. They’ll never listen to me. I shouldn’t complain about anything there because they are so nice. But I feel so lonely and unheard!
My mind immediately bounced to trying to fix it, what I’d say, what to do. How can we change the ways we interact and the structures we’ve set up…? I corralled my attention back to the inner child’s despair. I can’t do anything, I can’t say anything. If I speak up, I’ll hurt someone’s feelings.
I visualized my first-grade picture, a little girl with tight pigtails who looks so solemn, responsible, and repressed. I thought about my family’s pattern from well before that. My father would get angry about little things, my mother would shut down, and I would try to be good and quiet. When my older sister who had Down syndrome was sent away, I was supposed to stay cheerful, not mourn. There was no space for me to be angry or sad. There was a myth that the family was fine, just fine, and I was not supposed to ripple that picture.
Slowly it came clear that it’s important for me to speak up in this group at this time. I don’t know what to say or how to say it, but I need to give a voice to that little girl. It doesn’t mean that I need to spew out or act out, but I need to let them know my feelings. It will take more time to know how to do that, but this morning I assured the little girl that I will speak up for her. Then I sat and appreciated her, all her emotions and her energies, her loving nature and her willingness to take risks.
That’s how it works for me with the inner child dialog. It was really hard to sit and listen to the deep despair, but then, beyond hope, something shifted.