Conversation with the Inner Child


Dear Guilty Inner Child o'mine,

Hello there. I see you shrinking in the corner, hiding in the shadow. Yes, it’s true: you screwed up. We’ll get to what that was about in a bit. Right now, let’s get you on your feet and back to yourself—standing tall out in the open. You’re okay. Let’s look at this together.

The simple fact is you missed your appointment. You failed to keep your agreement. I know that’s a big deal to you; keeping agreements is important. It is the foundation of trust.

And, there’s truth in your justification that working across multiple time zones is a new skill that you’ve not-quite-yet-mastered. But that doesn’t solve the problem. You made a mistake; it’s a human thing.

I hear you. After days of anticipating your meeting with this fellow, you missed that small window of opportunity to talk with him, and you’re disappointed. I get it. But enough feeling “bad” about it. That is no longer helpful or useful. Let’s see instead what correction(s) you can make to set things right and get back on course.

Apology made. Responsibility acknowledged. Regret communicated. That’s all you can do in this arena for now. If you don’t hear back from him, you can reach out again and ask what amends, if any, you can make to move on from here. You will have to allow him some time to respond, but there’s no need for you to spend that time in grovel mode.

Now for the next step: self-examination. What happened? Was it a mathematics problem: You “saw” 3:00 and called at 3:00, but forgot to translate from your time zone to his time zone? Was that your blind spot?

Or was it something else. Did you recognize a “familiar funny feeling” about working with this guy? He’s big and loud and filled with an over-bearing authority. Is that what sends you back to your young days of helplessness? Is this a wake-up call for you to make peace with Goliath? And, if this is your alarm clock ringing loudly, will you throw back the covers, stand up and face this wake-up call with courage?

With your guilt put aside, your apology made, will you seize this chance to grow?

You have in front of you a learning opportunity that goes beyond the curriculum you’ve hired this fellow to teach you. You have a chance to strengthen your sense of self-possession. Can you respect his knowledge and expertise as a master of his subject without losing faith in yourself?

You may be fumbling around in the dark, new to the art, while he practices it with smooth grace after his years of long experience. (After all, that experience is why you hired him as a teacher.) Can you sit at his feet as student, empty but not worthless? Can you set aside your fears and intimidation to learn from him without belittling yourself for what you don’t yet know?

There. It’s something to think about. And, by the way, I like watching you shed the guilt and free yourself to learn new things. It makes me happy.

Posted in acceptance, education, inspiration, judgement, self-help on 01/21/2016 04:58 pm

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