Tag Archives: wounds

Little Children Come Out to Play

26 Jan

It would be nice if they would ask our permission, but they don’t. Our little children come out to play without any warning at all. I’m not talking about our sons and daughters. I’m talking about that outer child we all have. the outer child that protects the inner child inside of us. Sound confusing? Maybe but you know the one… they are always causing problems for us. They get in the way of happy, healthy relationships.

One little comment to a grown up can come off one way but once the outer child hears it, it becomes quite the problem. Not because the comment was anything big and not because the outer child is overly dramatic. It is solely because the outer child feels the responsibility to protect the inner child also known as the wounded child. And they are hurting – always. They lie beneath our surface and wait. When they hear anything that sounds remotely like the hurtful words of our parents or they see something happening that reminds them of the hurts and fears of childhood, they call on the outer child and well let’s just say it is downhill from there. As adults we can no longer see clearly or think rationally. We are overtaken by the tantrums and fits of our outer child. We operate from a place of hurt and start moving further and further away from healing. Who knew these little people could do so much damage?

The bad news is the inner child and the outer child are a part of us now and forever. The good news is they are not strangers to us. We know them well and they are close enough to call on and speak directly to. First you have to make sure you recognize your outer child is there. Go back to a previous blog called Identifying Your Outer Child and see if you recognize yours.

The next step is to get to know them a little better when things are calm. Start talking to them now before they jump out and yell at your partner on your behalf. The irony is they think they are helping. They go into attack mode to try to defend because they are protecting the hurting child inside of you. It gets even more complicated because as it turns out, they weren’t really yelling at your partner at all. They were fighting with your partner’s outer child. Now we’ve got multiple children who have come out without permission and they are really getting into it. It can be ugly.

The best way to get to know your inner and outer children is to start talking to them. Be kind, because they are typically in a state of hurt most of the time and only have the reasoning of children. Be patient when they are immature and not listening to you or your partner. Then… lay down the law. For example, I had to start by explaining to my inner child that she is safe because I am a grown up and I will take care of her. That job belongs to me I will never abandon her. I am here, always. I tell her that I understand she needs attention and that I will work hard, in a grown up way, to get it. I explain that fits of crying and sarcastic comments from the outer child will not help me and my partner. I tell my outer child that she needs to stay quiet and let the grown up part of me take care of my relationship. I tell my inner child that I love her but that I’ve got this and she is not to send out the outer child and start causing problems. Most of the time she listens and the grown up side of me gets to stay happy and healthy.

But there is something else that is really important. It’s not enough just to see your own inner and outer children. You must recognize that there is a wounded child inside your mate. That child was told ugly things and hurt in ways you may never fully understand. You don’t have too really you just have to keep your outer child at bay when dealing with your mate’s “children.”. The grown up in you can step up and soothe their inner child. You can say kind things to build them up or calm them down. See the child, be the grown up. You would never yell at a hurting child on purpose but that is essentially what is happening if we are not clearly seeing who is standing before us, our grown up mate or their outer child who has come out without permission.

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Intimacy Defined

26 Jan

Intimacy. Even the word itself sounds intimate. It used to make me blush. It used to cause me to look anywhere but at the person who so easily let it slide right off their tongue. I was so busy squirming and trying not to think dirty thoughts I never stopped to wonder why the other person wasn’t near as uncomfortable as I was. You can imagine my surprise as I sat in church last Sunday, watching my pastor on the big screen preaching about intimacy.

Guess what. It turns out that intimacy means more than sex. It’s more than make out sessions and naked bodies. In fact, it is so much more than the romantic ideas that sometimes swirl around in our imagination that I am excited to share with you all that it means.

In my search for a new understanding of the word, I found several definitions of intimacy. It is defined as a level of closeness, a familiar and affectionate way of being, a deep knowledge and understanding of one another. This means we can have intimate relationships with our friends, our brothers and sisters, our parents, and our children. What I wouldn’t give to know some of the people in my life at a much deeper level and truly understand who they are with all their hurts and all their victories that made them so unique. The catch is, intimacy is a two way street. I recognize if I am blessed enough for someone to open up to me in hopes to be understood and accepted, it is likely they are seeking to know me too. A truly intimate relationship requires vulnerability from all parties involved.

My pastor says that intimacy is one of the building blocks of relationships and it’s a natural place for people to be when they truly love each other. We were designed by God and put on this Earth to connect with others. There was never any intent for people to walk through life alone without the human connection. The truth is we are wired to be with others. Isn’t it funny that we recognize this truth most often, not when we are in the presence of others and feeling good, but it is in our darkest moments, when we are lonely and afraid? It’s the uneasy feelings of being alone and isolated, it’s the endless quest to secure a sense of belonging that tells me this is true. This life is not a one man journey and it never ceases to amaze me how people enter your life and cross your path at precisely the right time. There is always something to learn from our relationships. Keep your eyes and ears open for the lesson and your heart open for the joy and love it was intended to receive.

For the broken hearted, it must be terrifying to consider opening yourself to another person. What if they see your wounds? What if they aren’t mindful of them? What if they pour salt in them? I encourage you to look at your wounds as your greatest gifts. What lessons did you learn from each of them? What wisdom did you gain? While you may be inclined to harden your heart for the sake of self preservation, I assure you that not loving and trusting is far more painful than any setbacks that will come from loving another person.

When you are feeling afraid to love again, remind yourself of intimacy and how it connects your soul with another and expresses an unspeakable love. Allow yourself to be transparent and love with everything you have. Love first. Put down your defenses, hand over your weapons and bare your wounds. Engage in the greatest kind of intimacy. Be authentic. Be you and offer your gifts, knowing it is more than enough and it’s the way it was intended to be.