We go back . . . and back . . . and back . . . until we discover the exuberant, unencumbered, delightful and lovable child that was, and still is, in us. And once we find it, we love and cherish it, and never, never let it go."
When I think of that quote, it brings to mind this picture of me. I want to go back and remember the joy of this moment and to embrace the freedom of childhood that I feel I must have had at this age. What a precious picture this is to me, reminding me that I did have "exuberant" and "unencumbered" moments in my life. This other picture also reminds me of my inner child, I think mostly because of the little doll I'm holding. It is sweet to me and reminds me to be a child and cherish little things, the dolls, the moments, it is all so very precious and I lost that for many years.
As long as I can remember, I was "mom's helper," the "second mom" and "mom's angel." While these are sweet sentiments, they are also the cause of my co-dependency. I was an adult at a very young age, I tried too hard to take care of things as a child and was way too serious. I worried always about where my sisters were, what they were doing and if they were safe. Years later, we found out that they weren't safe and that fed into my co-dependency as well, with thoughts like "see, I should have been worrying about them because something did happen to them." I didn't realize that as a child myself, it wasn't my job to be worrying about them and to try to do everything I could to make things clean and sane at home. To my mom and dad I want to say: "I wouldn't have done anything diferently, except maybe I wish I had known how to share my feelings instead of locking them up." To my sisters I have this to say: "please forgive my worries about you, I know some of you thought I was judging you, but I wasn't, in my mind I was your 'second mom' and loved and worried about each of you just as a mother would." To the child in me, I would say: "play, have fun, enjoy this time as you have your whole life to be an adult, laugh and feel every moment."
Do I feel as if I have uncovered the child in me? Not as much as I would like, I am still on that quest. I do have moments, but they are just glimpses of the child in me. I still find myself worrying, trying to rescue and be the adult most of the time. I wish I could see the world through the little girl's eyes above, it is a worthy goal and I will go back, and go back, and go back until I find her and I will cherish her as I should have when I was young. But I didn't know, I didn't know I would lose myself in life. Isn't she sweet, this little baby, it is time to love her and cherish her. To Jim, my husband, Adam and Megan, my children, I want you to know how much I appreciate you standing by me through the last few years and how each of you see me, see when I am doing something co-dependent and call me on it. The three of you have taught me more about myself than I knew. Thank you for letting me take some time for me and to reach back and search for the child in me. I love all of you!