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I'm Proud of you

By Phyllis Stein
December 10, 2009

What if the wounded kids inside you had someone who was genuinely proud of them?

This evening, I was having a telephone conversation with my ex-husband, and now more recently Inner Bonding buddy, Vally.  As we were chatting, he said "I can feel that you are stirred up."  I could feel it too.  "Why don't you tune in and see what is going on?  What is the image of what you are feeling?"  I was driving at the time, so it was kind of hard, but I managed to say "Water, water being stirred up."  "Go deeper" he suggested, what is the image you get of the feeling?"  "A cylinder," I said, "like a water glass."  "Go deeper," he ordered, "does it remind you of anything?"  By then I was in my garage remembering an incident that happened when I was four, when I dropped a glass of water.   I had already remembered (and I had gotten into this memory before Inner Bonding) that at that moment a kind of thought balloon had floated thru my head "Okay Mommy.  I hate myself for breaking this glass, so I am just like you now.  Now will you love me?"  "I've already dealt with this," I said.

By then I was out of the car and able to sit down and concentrate.  He suggested I bring love to that little girl.  "I have to take her out of there," I said.  So, I did, I took her to the safe place where there is nothing but love, but when I did, I realized that part of me was still back there.  That nothing I was saying about how it was not about her, etc, etc was really going in.  "I have to do something back there," I said. 

I went back to the scene and tried putting a shield around her to block her from the false belief that her worth depended on not breaking glasses, but then I realized that I needed to deal with the part of me, the wounded self, who had been created in that moment.  So I looked at the little girl who had just had that terrible thought and as I opened my heart to her I said "I'm proud of you.  It took a lot of courage to make the decision that you just did.  You did a good job of doing what you had to do to survive."  And she melted completely and leapt into my arms like she had been waiting for this for a very, very long time. 

            I don't know why it never occurred to me to say this to my own wounded kids before.   I had gotten that they are not wrong or bad (or thought I had), that they had good reasons, that it was the best she could do, etc., etc., but I guess I was still looking at them as problems to be solved.   And that view was a subtle kind of judgment - there is something "wrong" with them which, without my realizing it, created a box that they could never escape.  So I understand now that validating myself is not just about seeing who I really am.  That is almost the easy part.  On a deeper level, validation is really, really loving, accepting all of the kids inside, perhaps seeing them as having problems but NEVER seeing them as BEING problems.  An important difference, don't you agree?



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