The Inner Child

This one's personal ... the key to self-confidence? Part 2

Part 1 (recap from Feb. 29)

As anyone who’s ever watched an episode of The Louise Log might imagine, a lack of self-confidence, has been the bane of my existence. I’ve tried ignoring it and acting as if I feel sure of myself, I’ve tried affirmations, read every self-help book in reach, gone to psychics and to therapy, consulted the I Ching and The Runes. It all helps.

But it’s all felt like band-aids, that I’m a broken person pretending to be okay.

Part 2

Over the past number of years, the gobbledygook of ‘The True Self’ and ‘The Inner Child’ has been in the air. Both sound corny enough to be right out of Roz Chast cartoons which, as far as I'm usually willing to admit publicly, is where they should stay.

But I've heard that ‘connecting’ with one or the other can be a crowbar to change. And though I’m a very practical person with little patience for forays into the rat’s nest of my past, who wouldn't be curious about psychological crowbars?  And then the question arises, just in case you wanted to ‘connect’, how would you?

Being visual, I figured that if I ever wanted to, I’d do it by looking at the pictures I have from childhood. Unfortunately, studying them gave me only the usual sense of rooms and places. It wasn’t until I read about ‘non-dominant hand writing’ that the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.

I finally got around to giving it a try the other night at 3AM. After tossing and turning for an hour, I got up and went to make a cup of tea, looking forward to the single good thing about insomnia, the bonus ‘found time’. Waiting for the water to boil, I figured I had three minutes to kill and tried writing a question to my “Inner Child” with my ‘dominant hand’ (the hand I write with) - nothing fancy and no expectations:

“Hello (childhood nickname too embarrassing to reveal). How are you?”

And then I put the pen in my other hand. Within half a page of very bad handwriting, I’d crossed over into The Twilight Zone.

It was as if a periscope had dropped into a specific moment of my childhood: the past and the future stretched in opposite directions away from a precise present. I’d made contact with (and was channeling?) a presence or a personality of a very young version of me but whose perspective, until then, I’d only imagined.

This didn’t feel like imagination. It was too distinct, she was too mysterious. And as we wrote back and forth, I felt more aspects of her personality, especially her innocence and her vulnerability.

And then it got even better: I was flooded with an unusual calm and a sense of being 'enough'. Something like the feeling of falling in love, I was relaxed, with a sense of compassion and of being exactly where I was supposed to be. And it felt as if I had all the time in the world.

This may be, for me, the brass ring of life. After decades of yearning to feel strong, to feel capable, to feel enough, in a matter of a few minutes I somehow tapped into what feels like the source of self-confidence.

It’s so radical, I can hardly believe it’s true. But for today, it still is.

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On my mother's lap, wearing tap shoes.

On my mother's lap, wearing tap shoes.