The ‘Old’ New me.
So whilst everyone fills up the internet with promises of the new ‘me’s’ I’m turning my prism, my frame of reference and I’m looking for the ‘Old’ (young) new me. Let me break that last sentence down; I’m looking deeper within myself for a part of me that’s pretty old now, but she is also very young and will become the new(er) me. I’m bringing out my inner child. The part of me that was (and is) intuitive, excited by life and new challenges and looking forward to my new future. I have and continue to get rid of the things that did not serve me well in order for this inner child to feel brave enough to show herself and become who I really am and always have been. So I will take you on the journey of the Old, New me.
This journey starts with the me that has been around for some time. It’s the me that I wasn’t really truly comfortable and happy with. There was something missing, something that was pushed away and silenced. I did not know what this was, I couldn’t hear and yet the silence was deafening. I decided to try and work out what this was, with the help of someone else.
“When I loved myself enough I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits- anything that kept me small. My judgment called it disloyal. Now I see it as self love.” Kim McMillen.
A beautiful quote that I did not fully understand when I began my training as a therapist and entered into my own personal therapy. I was working through my day to day stuff in order to try and understand who I was underneath this and why I behaved, thought and felt like I did. I managed to identify some things that were not good for me and began to change things. Some were small incremental habits other things were monumental life changes. These ‘big changes’ do not feel easy, nor comfortable and I will use another quote as an example;
“Man cannot discover new Oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” -Andre Gide
Indeed change must and can only occur by leaving those very things behind that are no good, cause you pain or hurt and distress. I was on a new journey and this time I was on the ship that was sailing away from the shore. I felt uneasy, unsure and most of all frightened. I could see the shore disappearing and although I was excited for my new journey I so wanted to hold onto the familiar and feel ‘safe’ or perhaps stable in my world as I knew the daily protocol, backwards and inside out. I knew all too well that days of happiness would be outweighed by more days of hurt and sadness. All the while there would be a voice saying “change, move on, sail away!” I could not hear.
This led me to think about how difficult change can be for people, (myself included) particularly those who enter into therapy because they are in distress or are hurting because things that do not serve them well are causing them emotional, psychological or even physical pain. Talking about these issues can seem far easier than having to make a decision that means they may have to ‘leave sight of the shore’ and make the changes that help them move forward. This can take time and can be difficult. It depends on the strength of the bonds that bind people to the very things that hurt them. Also the unconscious reasoning that sits behind these decisions. There is a similar concept in ‘trauma bonds’ as they are known. It can seem confusing. Why won’t a person leave the very thing that hurts them?
Perhaps you are confused as to why I am discussing trauma bonds. Well it is these very bonds that keep people stuck on one shore, too afraid to leave and discover new lands and oceans. These feelings of difficulty can be associated with leaving and being able to discover newness. The very newness that lies within them. Perhaps the difficulty has been there since childhood. Perhaps the bonds that tie them to their hurt are connected with one person/situation on a deep level of love and longing. Perhaps the uncertainty overpowers the desire, wants and needs to move away. Perhaps the voice of reason and intuition isn’t being heard. Perhaps this takes time. Perhaps you need to listen more carefully. So be still and be quiet and you will hear.
The discovery of this voice of reason and intuition can be very powerful. The voice brings with it excitement and fear in what can feel like overwhelming doses. The cognitive dissonance that happens can be irrational and rational at the same time. It feels wonderful and scary. It’s like an adrenaline rush of clarity and confusion. What it is though is calm and stable enlightenment and awareness. It is the inner child’s voice who has enough determination to begin to say how they feel and they begin to shout. And boy do they start to bellow. Like a toddler who has learned to speak the shouting becomes louder, more profuse and confident. The voice becomes a trusting ally. It becomes the old instinctive, intuitive and known you. The newborn, renewed and blossoming you. Evolving like a butterfly from a cocoon of misery, hurt and trauma something beautiful begins to emerge and with it comes a voice so sweet, truthful, caring and nurturing that it also hurts at first. Not in a cruel way but with an almost apathetic “where were you all this time when I needed you?” feeling. It can almost feel like betrayal. But then the child like inner voice whispers, “I never left you”, “It was too noisy for you to hear me”, “the voices/noises in your life were strong and loud”, “I stayed and waited, I knew you would hear me when you were ready”
I can hear my inner child. My new me is in fact a very old part of me who is young and wise beyond her years. She has more knowledge and wisdom of the world and chooses to care in a way no one else can. She is the part of me that I love and cherish. I am quiet and I can hear her in every moment. I love my inner child. She is the new me, who is in fact the old me. I’m looking forward to my new adventures with her.
I hope you can begin to hear your inner child and learn to meet them. I wish you all the very best for 2014 and your new journey, whatever that may be.