There I was again. A little grown up, a lot of child. I stood proud on my tippy toes in my mother's couch looking joyfully out the window from our 9th floor apartment. I was waiting to see my dad's green minivan take a right turn at the light stop. My bag was packed with my nicest clothes, my favorite Barbie’s and presents I made for him in Kindergarten. My braided hair from the night before made me feel pretty and prepared for the weekend. And oh, the nail polish, I finally got to wear my mothers high-shine red nail polish. I didn't think about anything else than what we would do together during the weekend. I wanted us to sing along to our favorite songs and dance until we got so hungry he would drive us to McDonalds to get burgers, fries and milkshakes. We would watch my favorite movie and he would put me to bed playing his guitar while singing me a lullaby by the Norwegian band "DumDumBoys". I was as exited as I always was to see him.
Time went by but I waited patiently. Maybe he had to stop for gas. Maybe he was just at the grocery store buying candy for the weekend. Maybe he was stuck in traffic. My joyful smile slowly turned to a thick throat, frowned eyebrows and teary eyes as I realized yet again that he wasn't coming. He forgot me.. Over, and over and over again.
It's been almost 11 years since I last saw him.
In our society today a majority of hurt children are walking around disguised as adults. Most of you struggle with emotional baggage in one form or another from your past. I admit with every part of my very being that my adulthood has been a brutal battlefield in certain areas concerning my relationship with my father during my childhood. It took years for me to realize that my reaction and thought patterns created in my early stages of life, destructively affected me on a daily basis and ruined most my previous love life.
I've had to face the fact that to be able to heal my inner child, I had to travel back in time, back to the source. It was a long time ago, but as the wounds were never taken care of they existed in me, open and infected. First when I came to the realization that I had to acknowledge my emotions as a belonging to the past, they began to heal through a relatively long but effective process.
We exist in three realities; the past, the present and the future. I was hardwired in the past in my present anxious about the future. I lived in all three at once in complete suffocating ache as where anxiety robbed me of the gift of life, the present.
Wobbling unsteady through life with an inner child still suffering and a blurry vision of your identity is what may be causing you to be co-dependent. Co-dependency is being in need of and/or addicted to others to define who you are and what you're worth. Co-dependency describes the emotionally distress developed through lack of love, caring, support, approval, acceptance as well as rejection, neglection and any sort of emotional or physical abuse, which might lead you to question or even lose your identity.
How you organize and deal with emotions, experiences and memories from your past becomes your emotional survival strategy. A strategy developed over the years to manage and cope with life itself. It's a mechanism and safety filter created within which every new experience and encounter have to pass and be approved by for you to let it under your skin. It's the equivalent of viewing the world through a security lens, sub-consciously there as a result of your past. In other words, you find yourself in constant defense ready to run from anything that could point out a tiny part of memories from previous hurtful experiences. I could end up sprinting with major steps away from something or someone who didn't even put my emotional health in danger what so ever, but the existing fears of a possible outcome put me directly in flight and fight mode all at once, ending in resisting it all and running away. I admit I've lost great opportunities, denied myself of following my dreams and wishes and avoided encounters jeopardizing my spot within my illusion of a comfort zone.
I often asked myself - Who am I? .. I didn't know. I would say I've always been mentally strong, but emotionally weak and fragile. I was stubborn and dedicated, not afraid of speaking my mind or following my own path, but as I insecurely questioned my identity without finding the answers, I based it on my work titles, my relationship titles, my name, my age, my home, my clothes, my appearance and my belongings. As the years passed seeking to identify who I was, I realized there's no plausible answer to that. No one in is this world can say for a fact that there's a blueprint to who they are as we're all constantly in motion.
As I was seeking, looking, digging through dirt and darkness to find myself I realized that finding myself in a time that no longer existed was impossible. I understood that identification isn't a static snapshot. Nature exists in a state of constant flow and growth and it is essential to understand that you are indeed a part of that nature. It's a never-ending ongoing process. It's in your nature to grow, to be in motion, to change, to develop, to expand and to learn. It's not in your nature to be constrained and cemented in an old Self. I finally understood that I had to change my search from "who am I?" to "who do I wish to become?".
I'd come to the conclusion that I wouldn't find myself where I was looking or where I thought I'd lost myself. I wouldn't find myself reliving every encounter in my life breaking my heart open and tearing me apart again and again. The whole thing was just damn painful to relive. It didn't help me one bit. A light bulb suddenly struck flashes and smacked me awake with the greatest revelation of my personal self-discovery. "That little girl does not exist anymore! She belongs to the past. I was her and she'll always be a part of me, but I'm not there anymore. I'm not her anymore. I'm me! I'm the one who exists. Me, right here, right now!"
I decided to continue to look inside and dig inside myself all the way down to the core, not for the sake of my identity, but to understand how and why this little girl affected me the way she did.
And so it began; my self-discovery through re-discovering, re-framing, re-evaluating, re-organizing, re-thinking, re-considering and re-setting myself. Oh my goodness, my life took a U-turn when rather than asking who am I, I contemplated who I wanted to become. I finally understood the inverse correlation between looking for my identity in a girl from the past and in myself in the present. The emphasis of self-discovery shouldn't be on discovering who you are underneath it all, but on facilitating the emergence of who you are today, how you can use past experiences as personal growth advantages and what you wish to experience in your life.
Was it all a waste of time seeking my identity in a long lost place for years and years? Absolutely not, because where I thought I'd lost myself, I actually found myself. The sense of inadequacy led me to the question "Who am I?", but within the complexity of trying to understand myself, I found myself on a far better path where I could devote my presents to every unfolding process in my life. With that I can introspect, analyze my emotions, be aware of myself when I act out of old habits, discover where my reactions actually arise from and become more present in every moment through self-observation and create the Self I want to be Me.
How incredible is it to get to the realization that you can re-craft yourself through everything you're going through? There's always a new sense of Self waiting to be born. Rather than remaining wired up in fear, past illusions, misperceptions, old habits and destructive thought patters, you can gather the willpower and courage to discover yourself all over again, instead of seeking your identity in an old version of you from a time that belongs to the past.
Some of my friends questioned my route of choice thinking I might have lost my mind talking about healing, spirituality and seeking a deeper sense of my true Self. But who the hell cares? I for one did not. I had figured it all out by my self, for myself. "I'm not there anymore, I'm here which means so far I've certainly survived and lived through all of my worst days. I will find that child within me and I will hug her endlessly, loving her the way she's longing to be loved and see her for the beautiful individual she is. I will comfort her, I will tell her to relax and that it's all going to be ok. I will ask for her forgiveness as I've been looking for her in all the wrongs places for such a long time. I will promise her a lifetime of unconditional love and I will release her to the past, letting her know that in the future, she'll be safe, loved and exactly who she wants to be."
It was just misperceptions within my inner child living in my sub-consciousness affecting me as to where I believed I wasn't worthy of anything more than my father provided me with. That thought was certainly as false one. Of course I'm worthy of more than that! You see? There was no truth in the reason to my lack of self-love, it was a misperception planted in my mind during crucial times where I as a child developed a significant sense of Self.
What a blessing it was to finally be aware of myself knowing that there's nothing wrong with me. I was a perfect little innocent girl, just like everyone else, it was the perception of myself that was wrong. And my inner child came to the surface screaming to be healed for me to be able to release everything that was holding me back. As long as I'm alive I'm in control. I hold the power. I can chose to give myself all the love, the hugs, attention, promises and approval I never got from him as a child. And so can you, whatever your inner child is suffering from!
Some of my main issues projected on my adulthood was extreme fear of rejection and I for a fact did not believe I was good at anything resulting in me never being satisfied with myself. It was on a constant hunt to be more and better, not realizing I was already there, I was good enough. I didn't think I deserved love from a man, because if the man who was supposed to love me more than anyone didn't, then who would? I was afraid I wasn't important and that every man would leave me at one point, because that's what I was used to, causing possessiveness, insecurities and jealousy. Just plans that got cancelled last minute with valid excuses got to me as it reminded me sub-consciously of my father who rarely showed up. The list goes on. Do the work and observe yourself, your patterns, reactions, emotions and thoughts and figure out where they all come from. Read my post "Introspection" - to learn more about how to that.
Google became my best friend as I wanted to educate myself on self-love and self-acceptance and that's where I found a YouTube-video called "Heal your inner child". I'm happy to able to share with you the first YouTube-video I came across which led me a the path as to where I truly healed my inner child, released the agony within my heart and became able to fully live in the present moment. There are still scars left behind stabbing me once in a while, but I always know the cause to my reactions now, which makes me calm down rapidly if I do react to something. This video is exactly where it all started for me and I hope with all my heart that it can be the beginning for you as well. (Link to YouTube here)
Last, but not least.
My first love was my mother and my father. One ended in years of heartbreak and the other in an never-ending love story. Despite all the love my mother gave me, the broken part of me was living in blind distress inside affecting my adulthood in ways making me feel inadequate and worthless. Looking back, what she did for me 24/7 for so many years can't be justified with me trying to explain how I grateful I am. It's beyond words. Thank the heavens my mother is and was the mother of her caliber. She was able to be my mom and my dad when I needed it the most. To all the single moms and dads out there doing the whole job yourselves, we could never do this thing called life it without you. You deserve a spotlight like no other!
I LOVE YOU MOM!