Reparenting Yourself

The day my first child was born, the inner child within me awoke. It makes sense that a child so close to me, my son, would have the power to do this. His beautiful little face, his vulnerable little body, his screams and his cries tugged at something deep within me, something I hadn’t felt for many years. It was my own vulnerability, my own innocence, and all the feelings.

Ultimately, I suppose this was a gift for me to be able to connect to myself, understand myself, and give myself what I needed.

It didn’t initially seem like any kind of gift however. You see, what I had ignored for so many years was not a peaceful and quite angelic cherub baby within.

Inside of me an innocent child yes, as there is inside all of us. But, my child was an angry, scared, confused, and sad little boy. And also probably a little pissed for being ignored for so long and not being able to be seen.

I don’t think I ignored my own vulnerability and feelings on purpose. I walled myself off from my feelings for a reason. It’s what I had to do. It’s also what I saw other people do, especially other boys and men.

It’s funny, my son was pissed off from day one. Almost as a way to make sure I got the message. “Deal with your crap Dude”.

His screams and cries bothered me. His fussiness, his colicky behavior. I didn’t know how to BE with him. I didn’t know how to be calm and patient with him, because I didn’t know how to do it with myself. I didn’t even think that I deserved to have difficult feelings.

But… he was persistent. Never “easy”.

Thank God.

I’m so glad that the point got driven home in a way that I had to face myself. Seriously though, parents who don’t have highly emotional and sensitive children might never get the chance to be broken down… and then build themselves back up in a new and loving way.

I can’t imagine any other situation really that could have: A) Brought to the surface such buried and vulnerable feelings, and B) Given me the motivation to learn how to deal with and learn how to navigate what was going on inside of me.

It was perfect. Although, if you would have told me that at 2 in the morning while I was trying to get him to sleep, I probably would have punched you in the face. So, retrospect….

I’m not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg. Did I learn to be with my son’s emotions, or did I learn to be with mine first? Or, did it happen simultaneously? I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter.

But it was healing.

As I was learning to be an attuned parent to my child, I was learning to do the same with my own inner child.

We’ve all benefitted. 🙂 So much so, I wrote a book about it, a blueprint toward self awareness and peaceful parenting.

What’s your relationship like with that vulnerable little child within you and how is it affecting your parenting?

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