The Inner Child
Not long after my mother died, my father said words to me that were crushing. He casually said, as if to get something off his chest, "your mother never wanted a third child" and yes, I am the third child. It's one thing to hear you were not planned but not wanted is something much different. I felt numb and began to look back over my life to think of incidences that would confirm such a painful statement and there were things to confirm it. It felt something like the ultimate rejection to me.
I don't blame my mother for her feelings, she felt she knew her limits and her own childhood was not full of wonder and delight. My grandfather was a spoiled rich kid, who had no concept of work or responsibility which played hard on the family. I don't remember feeling unloved ever in my childhood, but always felt that perhaps there was never unconditional love. I suspect there was but that was not what we heard about in our teenage years. Parenting in the 60's and 70's was not "touchy-feely" like it is now. It was not open and expressive. It would have been a rare parent in those days that told a child they were sorry for the mistakes they made in some aspect of their parenting. Times have changed, and we are catching on that the parenting skills of the dark ages no longer work so well in a world so totally different. I do think though that many parents now just opt for the easy way out and give up and give in. Another story there.
Parenting is hard work. Its hard to be consistent and its hard work to study all there is on helping your children become compassionate adults. Its hard work to weed out the stuff that is fluff and worthless too. Its hard work to be an example at all times that is good. But worth the work.
My childhood, although rich in learning, rich in stretching the brain, was lacking in that energy that parenting requires. My mother, a good woman to be sure, lacked that emotional strength to deal with the hard times of parenting. She would just get mad and not speak, sometimes for a week. It left you feeling like you were hanging off the edge of Unresolved Mountain.
So where is this all going ? To a recently purchased cassette tape at Goodwill Thrift store. It was by Divine design that I picked up this tape, "Songs for the Inner Child", by Shaina Noll. Actually I picked it up after reading the song list on the back, not even noticing the title. There were lullabies on the tape and I have grand babies ! A few days after purchasing the tape, I sat down with a cup of Cherry Vanilla Tea, (thanks to a wonderful blog friend) and played the tape. I was "blown away" and I don't use that sort of phrase often, by the first song I heard, not only does Shaina Noll sing like an angel, but the words left me in tears.
"How Could Anyone"
by Libby Roderick
How could anyone ever tell you
You were anything less than beautiful?
How could anyone ever tell you
You were less than whole?
How could anyone fail to notice
That your loving is a miracle?
How deeply you're connected to my soul?
I connected. Nurturing our inner child can be a powerful tool to becoming strong, to putting aside the very things that eat at us. Perhaps its our eating, maybe our spending, maybe our insecurities, maybe our need to please, maybe our need to over-achieve, or perhaps something deeper like having an obsessive compulsive disorder that rules your actions. The list could be very long. However, this journey to become whole in life, call it what you wish, nurturing the inner child, a spiritual quest, discovering the meaning of life, whatever, it is a journey of wonderment and yes, I will use the word enlightenment. Seeking something deep and true and in the end knowing who you are and what your true purpose is. there are song clips on Shaina's web site and ordering information.