"Finding Angela Shelton" - Day Twenty-three...
See that picture up there? That's me when I was in kindergarten. That's the face I see when I think of my inner child. Anyone who's been through this journey with me in real life knows how much of a problem I've had embracing the fact that there really is this whole "inner child" thing that I need to deal with. It's taken me years to even get to a point where I could accept that there's something to the inner child theory. If I had a nickel for every time I've rolled my eyes at a therapist for saying the words "inner child" - well - I could probably at least buy myself something from the Dollar Menu at McDonald's. Today, I had to write for 20 minutes about my inner child. Put another nickel in the piggy bank. I'll admit it. I literally rolled my eyes when I read today's task.
In my 20 minutes of journaling, I had to complete the following sentences:
If the little me could say anything she wanted, she would say _____________.
The way the inner me child had to cope and survive while I was growing up was_____________.
My inner me loves _______________.
Getting started was the hardest part. I sat on the couch with a pen in my hand for over 30 minutes because I was so weirded out by this task. I've mentioned before that I've done a lot of work outside of this joy journey, and this is not the first time I've written about my inner child. Once, I even had to write her a letter. I know. Weirdness. But it wasn't so bad. And that's what I had to keep reminding myself as I sat frozen, trying to make my pen move. Once I got going, believe it or not, it was a piece of cake. Seriously! I know... strange, but true! Call me crazy. I don't care... because I get it now more than ever. I can't really explain it, but I get it. I really get it. Let me share my journal entry with you to see if I can help you get it too... and if you don't get it - believe me - I respect that. Feel free to roll your eyes at me at any given moment during reading (I probably deserve it after all the grief I've given my therapists over the years):
"Finding Angela Shelton"
January 14, 2010 Day 23
If the little me could say anything
she wanted, she would say...
I AM FREE!
She would say that she's happy to
finally be able to play like a kid
again instead of constantly worrying
about what's coming next... She would
say that she is having a good time getting
the chance to paint, play, read, sing,
dance, and smile a really happy smile.
She would say that she is glad that
I'm finally acknowledging her and that
she's glad I'm not mad at her anymore
for staying silent. She would say
Thank you! ♥
The way my inner child had to cope
and survive while I was growing up was
by completely engrossing herself in the
lives of others and by doing everything
in her power to deny that anything
was happening including "splitting" or
"dissociating" in order to remove herself
from the reality of the situations she
was faced with. She made up stories
and played pretend a lot in order to
convince herself that she was okay and
My inner me loves laughter and
dancing and being silly and expressing
herself through art and music...
My inner me loves life!
So there you have it...
I'm willing to accept the fact that the world may think I am beyond bonkers because I believe I have a little girl trapped inside my brain. I'm willing to watch people roll their eyes at me. I mean, it could be worse. I could be bitter and hateful and spiteful and in complete denial that finding joy means trying something different every now and then... and I'd rather be bonkers than bitter!
I'm glad I've loosened up a little and done these tasks instead of pretending I'm "too good" or "too cool" to try them. I'm glad I'm letting go of the fear of being labeled a "joy-fool" because of the things I'm doing to heal... So what if people might think I'm a little silly? If I'm being true to myself, does it really matter what they think? Heck no! I'm a happy girl. So is my inner child. And that's what matters to me.