Say you encounter upsetting situations. It’s so painful that you can’t bear to feel the feelings. What happens is that you of that moment gets imprinted inside and gets stuck, unable to grow up with the rest of you. We are all carrying little children, the child you were when it happened. And s/he is waiting for you to come back and hear them out.
Early on I learned that I was not worthy of attention. That I was not “boy” enough. That I was ugly and unattractive. When I approached a girl I liked and received rejection, it confirmed what I feared. I received the same message when I showed up to an empty coffeehouse to play my music.
With a belief like that at the base, many things become unwinnable. I would exercise but I could not put in the necessary effort to make my body look the way I wanted to. Dieting wouldn’t work, either. I have not been able to succeed in any areas that touch upon that belief of being undesirable and non-manly. I have less problems in other areas, like money. I was poorer and in debt once, but I’ve been debt-free and quite comfortable for some time.
What do we need to do with children in distress? You don’t beat them up and call them evil! Imagine how that exasperates the problem. Instead, we need to hold them and hear them out. My craniosacral therapist Kim always asks me who believes these things. I tune in and can usually reply, like “oh this feels like a 3-year old me” or “that’s a teenager talking.”
It’s not easy. But you’ll want to go back and listen to these children inside. That’s how they can get dislodged and grow up to join you where you are. That’s how you reclaim the power of making your life whatever you want it to be.