This is going to be an experiential piece. Get out your notebook and pencil! It’ll only take about 10 minutes. Ready?
Think of the last time something went to shit eight ways from Sunday, despite your best intentions. Please take a minute to think of a specific example. It’ll make the rest of the article much more worthwhile.
What place in your mind thought taking that action was a good idea? I don’t mean that in a judgmental way. I’m asking you to think about what the motivation was so that when you feel that same motivation again you’ll have have a clearer perspective on how things tend to work out when you act from that place.
Send that place lots of love. It’s a noble, sweet part of you. I also suspect it’s gotten you into a ration of shit where you didn’t understand why so many people were mad at you. Your good intentions got so twisted up. The ideas that come from that part of you need to be on tight surveillance, as they weave a tangled web of a life for you to constantly be fighting your way out of and through. This essay is handing you you a machete to cut through those bindings.
Here’s the thing, my love. That noble, sweetly-intentioned mind of yours winds all of that complication around you. Don’t be mad at your mind. It’s just job security. As long as you believe you need the mind, it keeps making snarls for you, and then insist it’s the only one who can untangle them.
I know, the mind is screaming at you right now. Take a moment of pause, get out a pen, and write down all of the objections that flood you. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Write everything that sounds like a screaming voice or uses “should.”
Thank you for trusting me. Now take a moment to reflect on how different you feel than before you started this exercise. Notice the more grounded part of you that sits back and watches this whole drama unfold. That’s the part of you that you want to be running your life. I’m calling that your watcher.
Ok, I have another voice in your head to introduce you to – the voice that generally runs your life, the manger. Manager is the voice you speak from and with most of the time and is also called your ego. It’s the face you present to the world and the one who holds all the shit together.
I’d like to ask your manager to step back for a minute. They can swoop back in at any time if need be. I want to talk to the wounded little kid heart in you if I can for a little bit. It’s ok to say no. Perhaps you’ll come back to this later when you’re ready, and it’s totally fine if you never do. Ready?
Little Kid Heart — I love you. I love manager, too. I love the fiery, sexual parts. I love the scared parts. I love the sweet and loyal parts. You, ALL of you, make up an exquisite being. You are exactly perfect for and in this moment. I see you all showing up in a brand new way for yourself, for the ones closest to you, and for the world. Thank you. Seriously. I am so grateful to hold space for you during this cracking open of your soul.
Your manager is learning how to hold you and love you. They’ve been on the job steadfastly since you were little, probably in the 3–4 year-old range. They brought you emotional stability so you could separate from your parents and become an independent human. Manager has done the best job of taking care of you that they knew how.
But, as you know, manager doesn’t let you play much. He likely doesn’t let many people see you. They might’ve even chosen to surround you with others who have even stricter managers than you because they really, really want to make sure you’re protected. Some of them might be at work, friends, romantic partners, or in your family.
Manager loves you though, they really do. They knows some of their favorite moments are when you shine through like a waggy puppy tail that can’t be held still. It’s just that manager fears that puppy tail will knock over a glass of red wine and ruin the rug you got for 60% off at the Black Friday sale at Crate and Barrel. Where are you going to get another deal like that? And besides, it took 3 months of fighting with your honey to agree on which rug to get. No one needs to live through that hell again.
“See, little boy heart, adulting is not fun.” I can hear manager lecturing you about the realities of life now. *Ahem* Manager — can I ask you to step aside once again, please?
Take a breath and come back to me.
Little Kid Heart, I love you. I know I said it already, but let it sink in as deep as you know how. Manager loves you. You’re surrounded by SO, SO many people who love you. I know it for sure. Let it sink in.
(Manager, can you give Little Kid Heart a hug right now and tell them how much you love them?)
The part of you that sits back and watches it all — how are you doing? Are you taking all of this in?
This is the path of integrating all of the different pieces of yourself. Each gets their turn to be loved. Watcher listens as manager, little kid heart, and manager all give their perspective. Each gets their turn to speak. Each has essential information that no one else has.
So then, what does Little Kid Heart have to say? How do they cry out to be loved? Meditate on these questions. There’s no wrong answer.