Daily InspirationFocus today on kindness and caring for yourself and others. Focus on compassion for your own feelings and for the feelings of others. Caring for others without caring for yourself is self-abandoning and can be manipulative. Caring just about yourself and ignoring the feelings of others is self-centered. Caring about yourself and others is loving. By Dr. Margaret Paul
The Monster At The End of This BookBy Suzi Korsak
July 09, 2012
What stops you from being curious? What makes it easier to judge than get the information about your feelings? Read on to possibly try on a new metaphor, perhaps there is not a monster at the end of the book....and maybe there is just a frightened part of us that needs love before we can open to learning.
There is a wonderful picture book from Sesame Street that I read to children when I was a babysitter. I, in dramatic fashion, would act out Grover's petrified voice as I would beg the children not to turn the page...often adding a few more pleases and exaggerated exasperation as the children would turn the page waiting for my next crazy reaction. When I had children of my own, I would reenact the book almost nightly. "Puleeeeeeeeze, please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top....Don't turn the page!" I would plead....yet the pages kept turning. At the end of the book we would be greeted by the same loveable furry old Grover that had been on every previous page and he was indeed happy to find he was the monster at the end of the book.
What is your monster at the end of the book? What is it that you are fearful of discovering that you numb, ignore, distract or indulge in rather than feel....show up for your inner child? More often than not, one of the beliefs of most people, regardless of their backgrounds, is "I am not enough, and I will not be loved" and for me was often "if they only knew who I really was, I wouldn't be loved". This took me years to admit, but crazy enough this wasn't the monster after all. In fact as I heard a description of this belief, I understood why it might be common. Think of it, as babies, our mothers are pumped full of the chemical oxytocin and this creates the bond so that most babies for a short period of time feel the connection to their mothers. However, this wears off, and the bond if not created in a real and healthy way, disappears. When it does, we no longer feel that we are enough to be loved, and when we are cheered on for crawling or another event, a performer is born. We link up doing something right with being loved. Yikes! When I heard this I was both excited and curious. Why had I not put the two together earlier? Yet, I knew that this understanding was just the beginning of learning about becoming a more loving person.
What was underneath that belief? For me it was loneliness and heartbreak. I took years to uncover these simple emotions because I had built up years of beliefs to avoid them, very much in the same way that Grover tries to create a block to turning the next page in fear of the monster at the end of the book. "He hates me, that's why he didn't come home last night", I would say to myself as I would cry in an endless pool of victim pain. The tears that would leave me in puddle on the floor, without energy, and without the sleep that I needed to take care of my children. I thought this depression was my monster....but again....I was wrong....I was heartbroken and lonely and not only had my husband left...I had abandoned myself. I had moved into my wounded self, unaware that I had another choice to care for myself in this moment of heartbreak, loneliness and grief. At this time the heartbreak was so clear - there was physical pain in my heart and I did not know how to attend to it.
Fast forward nearly four years into Inner Bonding and I can clearly see my patterns of not wanting to change pages in the past, to look at what was on the next page because I thought my history was an indication of my value. I had abandoned myself long before my husband drove away. On the other pages of my book I had beliefs about my values that were determined at a very young age. Yet on other pages my bricks and mortar were the ways I had been trying to prove my value, each and every day because I thought it meant the difference between living and dying. Turning another page would reveal that the belief about me not being enough would be true and I would be alone and without love. Fortunately, through Inner Bonding I continued to turn the pages, at first with fear and then with curiosity....what was it that I believed? What was it costing me? What was the truth? I began to turn the pages as I did for my children as a loving adult knowing that the information on the pages (my feelings) were worth looking at so that I might find the love that I was truly searching for.
At the end of the book I found that it wasn't a monster at all, but my wounded self and she really was scared and not scary. I found that she had been at work tying together pages, building walls with nails and bricks to protect some ideas and beliefs that were no longer serving me as an adult. At the end of the book I brought in my loving adult to bring compassion to the frightened wounded child and told her she didn't have to do that job any more. I could embrace her as I had learned to embrace my inner child with love. She still has more to teach me, but now that I don't call my wounded self a monster....that there are parts of her that are funny...she often used humor....and that her goal had nothing to do with harm. She was just scared. Now even my wounded self smiles when she sees me (the loving adult) coming to ask the questions...knowing there is a mom and she loves me. She can stay open to her truth and tell me, because there is no fear of being wiped out. At the end of my book there is no monster, just love, I have to be willing each day to open another page to the next lesson presented with curiosity and strength...bringing light to each and every belief.
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