When you feel down on yourself, do you ever wonder what parts of you are at play here? I mean, ‘someone’ has been not enough and ‘someone else’ is persecuting the inadequate part. In working with people around self-esteem and relating, I realize that no amount of skillful communication or reasoning can assist you through certain situations if you have not taken care of the inner wounded child.
The specific strategies one needs to employ to care for the wounded child are as unique as the individual, but absolutely pivotal in order to fully implement lifestyle design and unconditional loving relationships.
Imagine that your partner tells you they would like to spend more time apart — they want to read more, their friend has a motorbike reconstruction project they want to be involved in, and they have been meaning to make the time to regularly catch up with their best girlfriend. You become unexpectedly upset, even though this sounds reasonable and in fact healthy, and you have this inexplicable feeling of shame for being rejected. Rationally you know that your partner loves you, but you feel alone and unloved and on top of that angry at yourself for even feeling this way. Then you realize this reminds you of a very painful time in the 6th grade. You ate clovers from the schoolyard, which are edible and considered a delicious green salad in some cultures mind you, and everyone at recess thought it was really weird. All of a sudden now you’re not getting invited to birthday parties anymore and on the weekend when you ride your bike over to your friend’s house, you see through the glass windows four of your friends duck and hide behind the couch when they see that it’s you. You walk up and knock anyways but nobody answers… in fact you hear them whispering not to let you see them. This was the beginning of a painful half year of no fun before you finally found a new group to hang out with. You never even told your mom, and tried not to think about it.
Now here it is again, this lingering feeling of dejection and rejection, back just as alive as that time in middle school. As an adult you reparent with loving compassion the dejected child within. You process as an adult and give assistance to help the child to make sense of what happened. Your self talk includes the fact that eating clovers is basically wild harvesting, and that you were just way before your time. That being unique means that sometimes people reject concepts they don’t understand and that it’s a two way street– you don’t want to hang out with those kids anyways! Then, with all that free time you have since your partner is busy, you sign up for a wildcrafting course and meet some like minded herb nerds that TOTALLY get you. Now, with the loving compassion you gave yourself instead of voicing the internalized bullies from you childhood, you and your partner have so much more exciting stuff to talk about and share with each other on date night!!
And that’s the win win that can happen when you recognize the wounded child for who she is. I mean that sounds like much more fun than the downward spiral of self loathing that happens to the best of us right?