Thich Nhat Hanh says there is a wounded child in all of us in need of comfort and needs to be brought into our mindfulness practices in order to facilitate healing. He talks about bringing her along on meditative walks, maybe even spending a whole week with her, etc. As flippant as I’d like to be at this concept I can’t find it in me. He’s right. The wounded little girl in me has been sending up flares for me to pay attention to her for a long time now. I’ve just thought it was a way for my anger to flare at my Mom in retaliation to all of her self-centered demands for things like they never were when I was growing up.
Memories of being hit, of going hungry, of being isolated in corners while my mother slept have been coming up in my mind. Of remembering, or rather not remembering, my mother ever showing me how to clean house, just demanding that it be done, and yelling or spanking me when it wasn’t done right. Of being called stupid, weird, strange, fat, pig, etc. I won’t allow myself to believe these taunts, beatings and shunning were malicious, intentional attacks on my as a child, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.
I guess this harkens back to the whole “getting in touch with your inner child” psycho-babble of the 70’s and 80’s, but as I recall, that just encouraged the rich and self-indulgent to be childish. This isn’t about getting in touch with your “child” but the “wounded” child. Two completely different entities. Christ talks about how we need to become as children, but He was talking in faith, in wonder, in guile. The wounded child had her wonder and guile taken from her. Luckily I still have my faith. I need to work at bringing her back to that child-like state and get away from the angry, child-ish frame of mind.
It seems appropriate for me to comfort her and pay attention to her because I’m trying to re-raise me as well as my mom. To not only be the mother to her she always wanted and for me to be the mother to me I never had. An integral part of that is going to be spending time with my wounded poppet and comfort her, tell her she is loved and wanted and that I am grateful she was born and is a treasure if to no one else but me, and I value that treasure beyond all worth on earth.
I’m not sure how to apply this concept though. Do I schedule something on the calendar or do I try to remember it in my daily practice and life? I hope she tells me what she needs because I don’t want to mess myself up more than I already am.