Dear Inner Child,
For never letting go, never leaving me.
For holding on when I faced you with contempt and disinterest. When I thought you were something I needed to get rid of.
You were the first me.
The others weren't there yet. Stress, Doubt, Creativity, Patience, Heart, Confidence, Shame, Dream, Fear... they didn't exist. Then they came, slowly, as shadows in the edge of our vision. Fear, Heart and Confidence came quite early on, and Creativity. Then Confidence went again, when the others joined.
But you, you were there right from the start.
And yet, you got such a peripheral role for a while.
I thought growing up meant I needed to distance myself from you. I thought you were the immaturity in me, a phase I needed to leave behind.
How foolish I were.
Not understanding that the childishness of my youth wasn't you, it was my inability to handle all of those other parts that got bigger and bigger. How I couldn't handle Fear or stand up to Doubt. How I let them beat down Dream and Heart. How I didn't listen to Patience.
Now that I'm slowly learning to balance all of those parts, I see that you were never the problem. No, many time you could have been the solution.
You remind me of what's important.
When Stress screams about deadlines and money, when Doubt fills my head with thoughts on what everyone else will think. When Fear is terrified of every little thing that can go wrong. Then you know.
You know that all of that isn't the big deal. The big deal is the other things, the things that lights up my Heart and makes Creativity dance. You know that those are the ones to please, because they are the ones who will make the day better.
You understand what the adult me sometimes struggle to understand: that if it isn't filled with joy, it's not worth it.
When I fret and sweat and worry, you tip your little head to the side and ask, honestly
But what's the point?
And when I answer it's because of this and that, you just shrug and look at me like you don't understand.
That's the moments I thought I shouldn't listen to you.
I thought you lived in a child's world, without the demands and pressure of adult life. But now I see that's not the case. It's just that your priorities are different.
Yeah, sometimes there are bills to pay and rooms to clean, and that's not the moments you love the most. That's okay. I'll handle those. But you remind me to keep them to a minimum, and make the best of the situation. Even cleaning can be an adventure, if I let it.
You know that joy is the point. And everything beyond joy is secondary.
I'm sorry I let you get lonely.
I know you never left, even when I turned my back on you.
When I put you in a small room, shut off the lights and locked the door.
I'm ashamed to say it, but I think I tried to kill you. That's what I thought the world wanted me to do. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. I don't know and I don't really care. I just know you were stronger than I thought, and you filled that room with your own world.
I didn't know that by locking Creativity in the room next to you, you two would soon find a way to communicate through the walls I'd built up. You and Creativity together, even separated in two small, dark rooms, locked deep inside of me, you are almost unbreakable. You couldn't help yourself but create a Pandora's box of colors, joy and imagination. I forgot that you can sustain yourself just with your wonderful ideas.
At times, a crack in the walls would appear and those two rooms I thought were dark and quiet would spread it's light inside me. You would remind me of what you could do, but it took me a long time to believe in you. It took me years before I realized you weren't a bad influence on me, that I didn't have to lock you away, that you could actually help me.
Then it took me even longer before I dared to open that door.
Fear, Doubt, Heart and Dream stood all behind me, peeking over my shoulder, anxious and nervous.
And there you were, a bit thinner than I'd last seen you, shyer, not knowing if you could trust me or if I'd just shut the door in your face again. But we looked each other in the eyes and I saw all of that bursting energy and wisdom I'd once lived with, lived in, and I had to look away for a moment to not cry or curse myself for leaving you alone like this.
You just came up to me, took my hand, said
Hi. Are you back?
I nodded, too close to tears, but you didn't seem to mind. You didn't blame me or throw a tantrum, that was never your style. You just pointed into the room, at drawings and things you'd built, ideas you had, showing me your world. Said
This is who I am and this is what I want to do. Can we? It'd be soooo much fun. Creativity wants to come too.
By then I cried and the other parts stood stunned at the door, quiet for once. They started talking later, but just meeting you again was enough to know I had to believe in you. You were too good not to. You were me.
Thank you for being you.
I want you to know that I value you. Your understanding of me, of the world, is something I need. Without you, I get caught up in all the unnecessary shit of the world.
Always stay you.
I know you will, because you don't care what others think.
You're so sure of what you think and can, nobody can take that from you.
There even isn't much I can do for you except listen and give you as much room to play as possible. Let your voice be strong in my decisions. Let your wisdom guide me.
I will do my best, I promise.
Now, enough talk. Let's play, shall we?
Your scared little writer.