Be Kind to Your Insides (Guest Post: Robert Miller)
So, I KNOW very well that I’m not Jade. But, she’s letting me hijack her blog a bit here while she’s…um… *not writing? She’s off being awesome, and I’m hoping the two of us will empower one another to write and create and dream. And you too!
So, I (Robert) will probably be posting bits and pieces of life here and there)
Sometimes Jade and I will refer to one another’s various “super powers” admiringly.
For me, I’ve had to dig deep to recognize mine over the last few years. I’m extremely emotional and sensitive.
I was raised to have my senses finely tuned to every mood, emotion, and shift of my mother. I was responsible for it.
Of course, this is far too much for a mama’s boy to bear. No child should ever be held responsible for their parents moods, actions or otherwise. But, it is what it is.
It’s MY story, and I own it.
It gave me my powers… or at least, it did partially. Maybe it’s partially just who I am.
This sensitivity translated into intense religious experiences as well. I would be a prize member of a church due to my intense sensitivity to the other members. I would carry the responsibility and put the weight on my shoulders.
It was exhausting, but the reward was admiration, encouragement, words of praise and so forth. So, I kept going.
This intensity was also mocked at many stages. I cry easy. I hurt for people, and I can have very bad boundaries with taking on their pain when I am weak. I was called “big girl” and more throughout school. This was both due to my tendency to cry, as well as my overweight body, and large, floppy chest for a boy.
I wanted to be hard.
But it’s not who I am.
In the last few years, I’ve come to view myself as a sort of X-Men character. My powers could be wielded to create a co-dependent mess, a nightmare of neediness. Or… I can fine tune my skills to heal, pay attention, empathize and love.
I believe that this is the case with SO MANY of our “faults.” These are our gifting.
But I wanted to tell a story…
So, the other day I was furious. I had been treated poorly over an email, and I was at the dinner table writing a furious and emotional reply. It was the sort of triggering interaction that comes from, as well as invokes deep pain and panic.
Click click click! My keys were on fire.
Jade was moving around the kitchen, being very quiet. (god I love her) But, I was paying attention to her too, because, my superpower. I don’t miss a move. I’d already had this messed up interaction with this person over email, and now I didn’t want to blow it and make Jade pissed as well. That would suck.
So, I’m tuned in to her, and the email, trying to type the email but, then my mind goes, “Oh crap, what if she’s getting mad now too” and I start thinking about managing both at the same time. Ugh.
I was so hurt by what this person had written me, I was shaking. My inner 25 year old, a terrified, desperate man had taken over all function.
I know Jade saw this. I was holding back tears of pain, because it was from a long, hard relationship.
“Babe,” she finally speaks. “I know you’re not asking my opinion but…”
Her voice was gentle. I wanted her to read me a storybook.
She slowly moves toward me and I reach out for her, half scared, half seeking comfort. She laces her fingers in my hair and pulls my head against her. My very being softens to my core.
She gave advice, and it was very sweet. I was in lizard brain, and she was outside looking in. She could see through the fog. She knew the way back to safety.
I didn’t listen because she was right, I listened because she was kind. (and yeah, she was right)
You see, in the past, when I would fly into these intense frenzies, especially as a child, I was scorned, beaten, verbally berated and more. The terror would double. Not only was I already upset and terrified about something else, now, here I was being victimized by someone, typically a parent figure that I NEEDED to understand and help me.
I expect this. My body looks for the abuse and expects the rejection. I expect them to
But, I can’t help but see the parallels to how I treat my own fragments within. I feel that we typically will treat them the way we’ve been treated when we are in our default mode, the mode we’d been taught by parental figures and abusers.
But Jade modeled something beautiful here. She went inside and gently understood that THIS IS NOT WHO I AM NOR WHO I WANT TO BE. And loved it, stroked its hair and gently woke up the calm in me.
I am learning to do the same for my pain within, to listen, caress and care for that which is screaming in pain, rather than berating and hating it.
Treat each other with love… but first, treat yourself with love.
Thanks, Jade. I’m so glad that one of your superpowers is understanding and patience.