In life, we talk a lot about relationships; however, we often ignore the relationship between our big self, and our little self. You may have the opinion that is a lot of psycho-babble. You may believe your child hood was the past, and what does it have to do with the way you are now? Those were exactly my thoughts too.
My psychiatrist suggested I talk to Little Shelley. She explained when you become shattered, and broken over a life event; it is time to talk to your inner child. Your inner child is your emotional core. To make this healing exercise work, you are to visualize yourself as a young child, you are to remember the little you is more vulnerable than the big you.
It has been proven, for example, when you feel insecure, it is the child in you that is desperate for approval, and acceptance. The child in you tries to make its needs known, and that child will control, and interfere in your adult life, in ways you are not even aware of. When you have been broken, it is time to accept, care, and heal this abandoned part of yourself.
To make this exercise work, allow your child to be childish, your big self is to take care of the little you, no matter what unpleasant things the little you may be saying.
This exercise is to be practiced every day. You are to start the conversation by greeting the little you. Your goal is to reassure the little you that everything is all right. It is best to write this dialogue in free form. That way, it can be reviewed by you, and your therapist.
When you first start this type of therapy, it feels like you are developing a second personality. That is a little frightening, because we are not accustomed to dividing ourselves into two people; however, it is not two different personalities; they are both you. I have just started this practice. I was astonished at how easy it was, and the answers that it showed me.
I am going to be brave in my writings once again, and share more of myself than is comfortable, but it shows how this works. Since the day I broke, and shattered, I have been digging out of a black hole, second by second, piece by piece. If my determination to rise out of the abyss, will help someone else; despite those who laugh, think you can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, or think I am silly to open up to the world, I can handle that. I am willing to expose my weakness, if it helps one person on their journey back to a life of joy and potential. It has always been one of my beliefs; we are on this earth to help each other.
Below is my dialogue with my adult and child self:
Big Shelley: Hello, little Shelley how are you today?
Little Shelley: Sad.
Big: Why, you have so much going for you?
Little: Because you made, XYZ, go away. I liked it when XYX, said, “I love you.”
Big: I did not cause XYZ to go away.
Little: Yes, you did. You were not good enough.
Big: Why would you say that?
Little: Even mother didn’t want you around.
Big: What are you talking about?
Little: Remember, she said she would be happy if you were more like Pat. Pat was perfect. You were not. Why didn’t you try to be more like Pat?
Big: I really didn’t want to be someone else. There are things about me that I like a lot.
Little: Mom punished me when I told her I loved her, all because of you. You were not good enough for her.
Big: What do you mean?
Little: She liked it when you won awards. XYZ was proud of you too when you won awards. You should have won more awards. Then they would tell you they loved you. When they were proud, they loved you, and that felt good to me.
Big: I understand. I like to make people proud of me too, and tell me they love me. It feels good to me as well. However, I never won an award to make me proud, or you proud, I always did it for someone else.
Little: Well, you should try harder.
Big: I am going to try harder. I am going to try to continue to succeed at things, but I will tell you about it Little Shelley. We will be proud of ourselves.
Little: So why did mother and XYZ stop saying, “I love you?”
Big: I don’t know, but I don’t think it was us.
Little: So why have you stopped telling people you love them?
Big: I guess I am scared.
Little: Well, what are you going to do now?
Big: I am going to make you, and I proud of what we do, Little Shelley.
With that dialogue, I learned the only way I thought I could get love, or respect, or friendship, was to prove myself worthy. I have spent many hours and many years pushing myself, just to feel like I had earned the right for someone to care about me. I hope by my example of this exercise; you can see how answers become clear, and you have reached the core emotion.
With the creation of Lemonade Ladies, it is the first time I am proud of me, for me. I have recognized my own validation. I have done something, not to make others proud, but because I thought it was worthy.
Where my next dialogue will take me, I don’t know. I am pleased with what I learned on my first try. I ascertained that I felt I always had to earn the right to be loved. Now, it is clear, that is a merry-go-round, I will never be able to do enough. I realized I need to be happy with my accomplishments for myself, not to do things for the approval of others. It is not easy to change that thought-process of a life-time. I achieved something today, I caught myself thinking, if only XYZ, or ABC, knew about this then they would see how worthy I am. I caught myself, and understood what I did was something I had desired to achieve. It is not going to make anyone love me more for reaching this goal, but it will make me proud of me.
If you don’t want to see a therapist, but want to learn how to do this, there is a step-by-step book, called, Separation Therapy, by Dr. Richard Robertiello, and Grace Kirsten.
I know if you read this, it is because you are dealing with something, I hope from my heart and soul you find peace and joy. I love you.