“Won’t you ever grow up?”
Many of us have been subjected to some form of confidence-eroding criticism by those we care about for sharing or following our dreams.
“Good luck with that, kid; why don’t you just get a job like a normal person?”
Over time, we may find that our goals become obscured as we make concessions to fit into a social or family structure with a certain set of beliefs. Eventually, our dreams become no more than distant memories, as we internalize these negative assessments.
By continuing to grow in a direction counter to our inner will, an undeniable pain also builds and we begin to lose touch with the freedom of imagination, joy and exuberance. Some people call this process ‘growing up.’
For many of us, the pain becomes so unbearable that we must begin to heal.
As we seek relief from a new, positive support system, we learn that we cannot play victim and blame an outside force for our current situation—for those of us doing healing work are forced to dig deep into the internal causes of our pain and actually root them out.
We come to realize through our personal healing that our now self–enforced boundaries are strengthened by fear and pain avoidance. Through this process of self-examination, we see that our loved ones have attempted to spare us from the pain of disappointment that they themselves have experienced, or that they have simply passed along beliefs that they too had learned and internalized.
And so we realize that fear actually spreads like a virus from those that we trust.
With this realization, we might find ourselves angry, though we are constantly reminded that if we want to avoid future pain, we must learn to completely forgive those who, in our minds, have held us back.
And so the process of emotional healing is a peeling away process, one that requires that we take a step at a time in the direction of the positive experiences that we aren’t having—toward those very things that scare us.
We learn to get a handle on the repetitive thoughts and actions that stand in the way of our happiness. Then something amazing happens:
As we work to overcome our fears, we begin to remember, strengthen and trust the voice of our dreams.
By moving toward this voice, we grow a system of self-care, learn forgiveness, discover how to receive the support we need while developing healthy relationships, and slowly but surely, we become the person that we count on, writing our own new internal scripts.
We may find our dreams may evolve from a hazy general feeling to a very specific plan as we get deeper into the center of our heart and realize with more clarity what really would make us come alive.
Through this process, we may face resistance from our original support system, at which point we must learn to draw proper boundaries. And we may yet find we’re ill prepared to accomplish the goals that are taking shape within us.
Though as we access the gusto of our inner child, with a bit of faith, we can learn the skills we need to make our dreams viable life options.
And so, through our healing process, we come to learn that growing up is not swallowing the bitter pill of an unfulfilled life, it’s truly learning how to pursue our dreams and become a big, awesome, and successful “kid.”
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Ed: Bryonie Wise