As I learn to reparent myself, I have also learned that I have many triggers.
Triggers that prod at my little girl self and wake up the places where her pain hides.
I’ve become pretty aware of most triggers and can usually breathe myself out of a deep dive into an absolute spiral by staying emotionally grounded.
I go to my breathing, nice and slow, long and deep. I look for things to smell, touch, and hear as I readjust back to my center. I go into myself, and I scan for the treasure of knowledge that I hold and tell my little girl self that she is okay.
I show her and let her feel that we are on solid ground, so there is nothing to fear. I’ve got her safe. She doesn’t need to escape. However, the one that gets me every time is when my adult children are navigating through life with a familiar scene of which I have played many different parts in my past.
I own it all, all the many ways I learned to survive. Things I learned to hush my screaming child self. Things that would prove destructive at some points.
I am aware of the script; I know the characters and the roles. I know how the story goes and how it ends. I know regret, remorse, and the guilty feelings that come along with each episode and how they can haunt us into sleepless nights. How they follow us tugging at us to numb the pain and quiet the incessant noise.
There is a hunger and emptiness that each character carries, and I can hear their inner child screaming to have its needs met in a fairy-tale story of rescues and happy ever after.
My heart begins to race but not faster than my mind that has already visited 10 different scenarios of disaster, some of which I’ve lived in my own ground zero.
A cord gets hit, a switch gets flipped, and I feel the immense calling of the sound of the alarms. My hypervigilance goes into overdrive, and I grab all the treasure of knowledge that I have and shine a light and say look!
In the first picture you will see is a mammoth-sized lighthouse holding a light as powerful as the sun. Don’t go that way! Then I want to take my light and not create a blockade in front of the path my children are on, but to line many different paths with this treasure, creating easier ways to travel where I am certain there will be less pain.
Now we could say my job as a parent is done. But is it? What if they are still working with the same script that I have given them? The same script I was given that proved to be dysfunctional with obstacles I placed there in moments of fear instead of love.
I know I am only responsible for the script that I’ve given them.
If I am learning to reparent my own inner child with different tools than what I’ve parented my children with, shouldn’t it be my responsibility to share my new knowledge and then let them take what they will?
I have faith that this can be achieved, not just by my talk, but also my walk.
On Children by Kahlil Gibran
“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”