Judge, Jury, Executioner…Condemning Our Inner Child
You are enough. You always were. When did you stop believing that you weren’t enough? We have all struggled with this on some level, at different points in our lives. When did the adult in us become so ready to judge and condemn the child? By way of examples, if you think back in your life, you may remember a time when you may have felt that you were responsible for your parents break up. Maybe it wasn’t your parents, maybe as a teen, you lost a sibling or a friend to some horrible disease, depression or addiction and you carried guilt because there was something that you felt you could have or should have done differently. Maybe you felt bad about choices you made as a child or teen that hurt others. It could have been any choice, a baby, an abortion, lies you told, things you stole, the sex you had, the gossip you shared. It really could have been anything, but you remember that thing as if it were the sum total of what shaped your character, hanging onto it as a part of your adult identity. To be clear, the thing you did, is not the person you are.
In your rational mind, as an adult, you may think or say that you don’t judge that child, but I implore you to dig deeper and ask yourself, don’t you? In some way, could you believe that the things you did as a child or teen, or things that were done to you, are your fault? For years of my life, I did, and I know many others who have as well. The secrets we kept to protect those that harmed us or the secrets we kept to protect ourselves are the things that we still carry with us and have pronounced a guilty verdict over. If you had a public fall or as a young friend of mine says if you, “took a Public “L.” Then there was already a jury of your peers, elders, and others who may have condemned you, to your face, behind your back, on social media, etc.. That said, the public wasn’t nearly as hard on you as you have been on yourself. The public has moved on, but you have not. But its time…..time to move on and forgive the child. Whether we are talking about a child or a teen, you were and remain innocent of the crimes you have accused yourself of and condemned yourself about, for years. It’s time to pronounce the verdict of not-guilty over your life and shut the door on the lies of the executioner.
Whatever IT was, IT was and is NOT YOUR FAULT. If the worst of life happened to you or you did the worst of things in your younger years, it’s time to let go and forgive yourself. I realize that some struggle with the notion of God, but for me, God is real and is not the God of punishment and hell fires that my religion told me he was throughout my life. No, that’s not God, that’s humankind’s notion of God, used to control the lives and minds of others and keep them in a state of condemnation. Break free of those chains and embrace the God of love, peace, joy, and forgiveness. The true God does not expect perfection but asks only that you love, deeply and authentically and that you love your neighbors as you love yourself. For some of us, non-narcissists, loving others comes easy but loving ourselves has never been seriously attempted. I encourage you to give it a try.
Self-love starts with healing. The healing begins when we can free the child we were from the chains we’ve placed on them, criticizing and blaming our younger selves as if we were adult people making adult choices. We were not. We were vulnerable and should have been protected by the adults in our lives. We should have been valued and protected by society. We should have been told that we were not at fault and we should have believed it. If we were not told, then it’s time we told ourselves now, to free ourselves from never again feeling as if we don’t deserve the good things of life. As an adult, you now have to do what the adults of the past could not, would not or did not do…you must take care of little you. You must protect, nurture and care for the child you were so that you can love the adult you are or have the potential to become.
You can finally be free. How you ask, how can I be free? It starts with faith-believing that you can be free, tapping into a higher power source to get free. It requires forgiveness-forgiving the child who never should have been expected to behave like an adult and who should have been protected by adults. Finally, it requires you to acknowledge that you need help to heal the wounds of the past and to seek counseling.
Find that child, forgive that child and learn to love that child. Then and only then, will you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are indeed….MORE THAN ENOUGH.