Last week I wrote about why feeling safe is the beginning of change, because I realised that if a part of us doesn’t feel safe to change, we will struggle in adulthood to make changes or allow changes to come about. We may resist change, be frightened of change, wonder if we can handle change or be unsure whether to begin new things because our safety is locked in our past.
So for me, my inner child did all she could to protect me from harm, not realising it was not her responsibility and because I didn’t have a strong ‘inner parent’ or ‘wise adult’ for a long time letting her know she was safe, that it was not her job to carry out the big role of taking care of me, I’ve lived most of my life feeling like a child who hasn’t grown up yet.
In my life choices and challenges, I was very committed to failure, because failure was safe. In my inner child’s eyes, to not do well, or put my head above the parapet meant I was safe, that there were no risks, but by doing so I was risking not experiencing joy, peace, love, passion as well the pain, fear, rejection or abandonment that my inner child was trying to prevent.
We can’t have one without the other.
As I start to give love to the part of me that had felt this huge burden to protect me, old passions are reigniting from my past. When I was a child up until my early teenage years, I loved to create art. I loved to draw, paint, and play in that way. I was pretty good back then and my dream was to do more of that in my adult years. As life had it, my dream was crushed early on, when my favourite teacher Mr Graham (the art teacher), gave me a grade D for my final year work.
I had been receiving all A’s for years and in the final year I did some artwork that went against the conventional art of the time. While my best friend did some castle in the sky with fairies and received an A grade, I did a detailed sketch of a man with a wolf’s head coming out of his mouth.
Looking back, I can see it was pretty cool, but as a child I didn’t consider my teacher may find this too disturbing to see its value or worth. He may also have been religious and saw this work of art as evil. So, I stepped out from the crowd of needing to belong and I freed myself to create something different and then received my grade D.
And like many children, who perhaps have no role models, no encouraging parents who know how to give them the ‘Keep going!’ attitude, I was crushed and I let my dream go and apart from little pieces of art here and there since, I have done very little.
Unlocking The Box
I had admired other artists, having this secret yearning to do art again. I have felt incredible envy for those in the artistic fields who got nothing but encouragement for their work growing up and do brilliantly well now and I wondered why I felt so desperately depressed when I never expressed this urge inside.
So fast forward to today, this week I realised that my passions and big part of my creativity had been locked in the box of ‘don’t even go there’ because of needing to keep myself safe, but as I unlock that box I realise I need to play, I need to create again, not just writing, or speaking, but through art and other creativity.
I have had small little snippets of expressing in this way through the posters I create on social media, but I need to do more now.
The thing with repressed passion is that it can cause so many issues for us, from body issues like throat problems, skin issues, aches and pains, depression, because we have stuffed down our childhood dreams because we were knocked back early on in life.
As a child I wanted to be an artist, a nun, and a vet.
And if I translate this into my life now?
I have been creating as much as I was able with regards to art, but I need to go further.
With becoming a nun, I think inwardly as a child I just loved churches and the sacredness of them. I was yearning for a spiritual awakening and connection and I have had this a lot in my life.
And as for being a vet, I love animals so much, I connect to the wild birds and creatures in my garden and to nature. My later life dream is to have an animal sanctuary, so who knows? Maybe it will happen.
So today I ask you, what did you want to do in childhood that you gave up on? What inner yearning or playful self-expression did you stop, to be a grown-up? And what do you need to revisit in your life?