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Lap Time

By Mary Sorrells

Two days before I joined this meditation group, I wrote a self-diagnosis in my journal. I declared that I had "not-enough-itis." I did not feel I had enough love, enough time, nor enough money. How my perspectives have changed!

What have I received from the group? Gracious hospitality, acceptance, and invitations to grow. Because I have heard Shirley, Thea and participants share the challenges in their lives, I have begun listening to and going deeper with my challenges instead of ignoring them. I feel more honest with myself and others. I feel more whole.

A gift that stands out to me has been the safety of being vulnerable. Methods have been shared for coping with feeling not good enough and with owning parts that feel unacceptable. A tool that was new for me was honoring and embracing my inner child. Taking the time to picture myself as a young child, letting her sit in my lap, head tipped down, eyes avoiding contact, a lump in her chest, and relaxing into my embrace, had never occurred to me. One morning in February, Shirley spoke of doing this for herself. “Unconditional, unwavering, constant love is given the inner child,” she said. I recall trying the idea in my mind’s eye. It felt awkward even to imagine…at first. But now, it is a tool I can reach for. What a relief!

I don’t have to be an adult all the time. I do not have to have answers nor rescue people. I am learning instead to listen, to hold others and myself with caring presence. Feelings are recognized and acknowledged. Sitting together in silence brings comfort of its own.

An affirmation I noted from another session is, “I’m creative; I can work through this.” Using the word creative invites freeform discovery and exploration. No have-to’s, but possibilities…and hope.

The little girl in me can sit in my lap for as long as she wants, as often as she wants. The little girl in me doesn’t care about time. But she cares very much about feeling included, accepted, and connected with others.

Being on the earth at this time offers unique challenges and opportunities. The hard parts are made easier knowing this circle of friends. I feel rich in many ways, with love, time, and money to share.

Shirley has put the phrase, “Go gently,” into our bloodstreams. I believe that the gentle ripples spread in all directions. As we grow kinder to ourselves, we become kinder to others, and they to still others. The world is growing kinder and wiser because of this group.

May you listen to your longing to be free.

May the frames of your belonging be generous enough for your dreams.

May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart.

May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.

May the sanctuary of your soul never become haunted.

May you know the eternal longing that lives at the heart of time.

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.

May you never place walls between the light and yourself.

May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

Participants’ Reflections

  • Thank you. I loved that reading. The focus on the inner child is so important. I’ve had a stuffed bear with me since I was about 40 years old who represents my inner child. My therapist told me to treat her like a real person. I used to leave the little bear with a babysitter, which was a larger stuffed bear. I’d kiss her in the morning as I went off to work. I’d come back in the evening and greet her. I made her an absolute presence in my life. I think it’s one of the biggest tools I’ve used to learn to be loving to myself, so that I can be a loving person for others. It’s a powerful tool we’ve shared here. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you so much. It resonated with me. I do inner child work with my little doll. I feel like a child holding a child. When I go to difficult situations, I bring her with me and protect her and talk to her and tell her that I won’t betray her. She comforts me; holding her comforts me. There was so much in what you shared. Thank you for the reading and for your sharing.

  • Thank you so much. My inner child has been a very important part of who I am, really my entire life. I still have my teddy bear from when I was three years old who watches me sleep at night. I even have the head of my first doll. The work I’ve been doing lately around my inner child is different than what I’ve done in the past. I’m now holding her during a really traumatic moment. Not only feeling the love with her, but telling her that I know she can’t express what she’s feeling right now. She doesn’t understand what’s going on, she doesn’t have words for it. But I have words and I understand it, and it’s okay where she’s at. And to just comfort at the moment. I’ve never done that before, have a dialogue during difficult times with my inner child. It’s been very helpful. Yay to all our inner children. Blessed.

  • Thank you so very much. I was glad when your friend said you were a healer. Your words this morning are healing, reminding us of the inner child and the resources and tools and gifts that we receive from this group can ripple out to the world. For me, I know it’s already begun to happen. I will be in situations and I’ll think of something someone said, or I’ll see a face—and it will convert the action I was about to do. It’s like my brain goes to what would so and so do? I know you were going through a difficult time when you joined the group and you said the group was exactly the ingredient you needed at that time.

  • We are an incubator. During the day, I remember what you’ve all said and I think about it. Things from the past resonate. It’s an experience we are all having collectively. It’s an incubator. It is so rich.

    • Mary said: I never thought this inner child work is a form of forgiveness. After I do it, I’m sturdier, I’m grounded. I think about times I’ve abused it and I am disappointed with myself. I did the inner child work this morning, and took a deep breath afterwards. It’s become a friend and companion now, and will be the more for having written this. During the waiting before we started, I looked at each face and felt so supported.

  • When we give our inner child that attention and love, then it lets us as an adult do the adult things. If we try to do the adult things as an inner child, it’s difficult being an adult from a child’s point of view. But if we give our inner child what she needs, then the adult can go off and do the adult things in a stronger and more secure way.

  • Thank you. It’s a good reminder. I feel emotion coming up after this discussion. I had a lot of trauma growing up and I forget about the inner child and I push her away. She is not happy with that. I can feel her, I can feel her in my gut when she’s not getting attention. Things can be fine. I can be in an adult relationship but sometimes she doesn’t like things because she doesn’t feel safe. I like the picture you painted of her sitting on your lap with her head down. That describes how I experience my inner child.

  • People have told me how they first connected with their inner child. When I first connected to mine, I experienced her holding onto me like a little monkey, so afraid of letting go. I couldn’t get her off my body, she was latched onto me. Someone else told me that their inner child was off hiding in a corner far away in another room. It took work to coax her out of the corner. Another person told me her first connection to her inner child was when she was falling down a hole and she had to grab her by the ankle to pull her out. It’s such fear. When we connect with our inner child, we start connecting with that inner fear and we reparent ourselves. Because we can be a loving, patient parent to our inner child if we do that connecting work.

  • Thank you so much. So often what people say I feel the same thing. I am a twin. The idea came to me that working with my inner child should include working with my twin’s inner child. Our lives took different paths but certainly as we were growing up, we had a connection and she had an influence on me. It’s interesting the paths we take.

  • I am also a twin and it never occurred to me to include her inner child. I love that idea. Our lives have been different and similar in different ways. Thank you. What a rich piece for me to explore.

  • Thank you. That was beautiful, what you wrote and I loved the poem too. I haven’t done inner child work. I hope we stay together in some way. I’m lonely and my family member is very ill. I have a brother but my relationship with him was a toxic and abusive. I feel lonely because there is no other family. You all are my family. Everyone is so kind and honest and open. It helps me not feel alone which is amazing, because we are from all over the place.

  • My inner child is Flick from A Bug’s Life. It’s a reminder of how we are grounded in nature. I really love that. The reading took me back to reflecting on the amazing influence my maternal grandmother with me. My mother had told me she didn’t think I needed to be told I was loved as a child. My grandmother nurtured me so much. I have vivid memories of doing projects with her. It had such an influence on me. When I was 12, she took me on a three-day trip around places associated with my ancestors and family history. It’s influenced my whole life. I have to investigate my inner child more.

  • Thank you. I love that you structured your reading like a prayer. I felt like we can internalize it that way. I am remembering this acronym from the 12-step programs—HALT. If I am hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, it’s a time to think about what I and my inner child needs and go back and parent. Stop before you get in trouble. How many people are lonely and go to a bar? Or hungry and eat what they crave? All the dangers that can happen. If we just take the time and actually stop, halt, we can already solve some of those problems.

  • Thank you all for joining us today. Thank you for sharing this reading and wise words and lessons and insights. We all benefit from it. Thank you all for bringing your inner child to this incubator. Thank you for doing the reparenting work that we all need to do in order to be healthy, vibrant, joyful human beings that we were meant to be, so that we can be the spiritual beings that we are. Thank you all. I hope you all have a blessed, gentle, beautiful day today. Thank you.

Photo credit: 2nd picture: Artwork by Mary Logan

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