What should have been. The way our childhood is supposed to be is one where our biggest worries are about how to best spend our free time, how to deal with friends and conflict, and trying to see what we can get away with, to test the boundaries around us.
If we had that it would mean that our world around us is safe and secure. We could trust the environment enough to feel good about our days and try to live life to it’s fullest whether that’s chasing grasshoppers or playing tag.
The world around us is created by our parents. They ARE the world to us and much of the time they falter. So when they do we feel anxiety and the need to alter our behavior to cope with the threat that is the unstable environment.
When we grow up we look back with resentment and grief for what could have been. We should have had better and knowing our parents were human and that they weren’t bad people doesn’t always help.
We need to feel the loss and spell out exactly what happened, what we lost, what we felt and how it impacted us today. Journalling is a good tool for that. Once our feelings are out in the open we can begin to heal.
And we heal by finding out what it is we need now. What do we want? We need to allow ourselves to feel safe and secure while at the same time taking chances, going out into the world and interacting with it. What’s the adult equivalent of playing tag and chasing grasshoppers?
More importantly, what’s the adult equivalent of providing ourselves with an environment where we are able to speak freely, take up space and still feel safe – the pre-conditions for fun and happiness.
“When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn’t the old home you missed but your childhood.” -Sam Ewing.
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