IN a recent discussion of cynicism, someone said that hers was the result of having been frequently disappointed. The following comment was made in response:
“I have a very good friend who isn’t on Facebook who is kind of in this category. When life kicks you down and then kicks you WHEN you’re down from the time you’re a child and continues to kick harder for not having skills that you should have from a childhood of not-kicking, it tends to make you very skeptical about good things.
Sometimes, I think cynicism is externalized depression. It sure is in that case.”
This is good stuff, giving an opportunity to explore and adapt some basic concepts of self-love.
If you expect the worst, you are rarely disappointed. Lower your expectations as a means of avoiding pain. Stay numb, as opposed to keeping an open heart and getting crushed, again and again.
Totally understandable. Let’s apply the “Ancient Child” approach to this, shall we? (I’m going to apply a specific thought to each step, but there are other things one can do, and other ways to interpret or define the stages, of course).
Once upon a time, there was a broke writer named Steve. He had a chance to pitch to a television show with a problematic premise, and devised an idea he thought would work, but that he would also feel proud of. When he pitched that idea, the men who held the checkbook vetoed it, said that it would take the “fun” out of their weekly mass murder. Steve was too desperate to walk away, and tried to come up with new ideas they might like, but nothing worked, and they showed him the door. Once outside, he heard the voice of the little boy in his heart saying “what’s wrong, Daddy? Why did you have me talk to those terrible men? Don’t you love me?”
And stopped talking to Steve. Cut him off from his creativity and joy. Leaving him alone and horrified at what he had done. Because what Steve had done, unwittingly, was very much like sending your children to work in the coal mine rather than working there yourself. Or worse…whoring your child out for money.
For a year, Steve struggled to keep writing, but it was miserable, had no soul. He remembered a broken writer whose business card read: “Freelance Hack and Literary Mechanic” and understood why the man had died of alcoholism. Finally, one of his teachers suggested that he create a safe space in his meditations, a place that little boy loved in childhood, and meet that child there to apologize.
It was the beach, and every day Steve would bring a basket of toys and goodies, and for the first six months(!) nothing happened. No Little Stevie to be seen. Then one day Steve noticed that toys he had left the previous day had been played with. And some of the food eaten. Tiny footprints in the sand. And a distant image on the horizon.
Day by day Steve returned to the “beach” and that little image got closer and closer…and one day Little Stevie ran to his arms and said “where have you been, Daddy? I missed you so much.” And they cried together. And Steve swore on his life that he would never leave Little Stevie alone again.
And never has.
Let’s unpack this story I…ahem…heard from someone once. General principles applied in a specific circumstance in a specific way.
- First, there was a time you were nurtured and protected, before the damage kicked in. The evidence? You’d be dead if you weren’t, from “failure to thrive.”
- By meditating and visualizing the “light” inside your body, then condensing the “light” into a human form, you will create a “child” self. The size and apparent age of this child will correspond to the period before the damage occurred.
- Commit to protecting this child, no matter what, even if it costs your life. Tap into the core survival “protect the children” programming wired into human beings at a deep, deep level. Imagine your own child…or tiny niece or nephew cowering behind you, and allow yourself to feel what you would do to protect them. Feel that protective about YOURSELF.
- The more prepared you are to go all-out to protect that “child” the less predators will want to do with you. “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to out-run YOU” as one hunter said to another. That’s the ugly truth. There is always a weaker victim, and that’s where they will go. (Becoming the protector of OTHER children is another subject. In case of cabin depressurization, PUT YOUR MASK ON FIRST!!!)
- There are various techniques you can use to strengthen the communication between the “child” and the “adult/parent/protector” personality. Meditate deeply enough to hear her whisper. Give her a crayon and let her draw a message. It may take time before she believes you will protect her. In my case, a violation required a year.
- Once you have that connection, ask what the “child” wants. What her dreams are. Harlan Ellison said “success is bringing into existence, in an adult sense, your childhood dreams.” I believe that it is not possible to hold a dream in your heart without finding a way to fulfill its essence. Your first task as an adult is to navigate the adult world in alignment with those dreams. If you can find a way to connect them, you will find all the energy, aliveness, and passion you need. Remember: WHAT you want to do is important to know. But WHY you want to do it is critical. Connecting your “why” to your child self is a short-cut to focus, and focus over time leads to mastery.
Love yourself. If this is hard, love the child within you, enough to be willing to fight to the death for her. Once you hit that place, you will find her offering you her full heart, all of the love you have ever sought. No one will ever be able to manipulate you by withholding love if you have all you need from within.
It is the closest thing to a Perpetual Motion Machine you’re ever going to find, and something of a miracle if you’ve not experienced it. A “Perpetual Emotion Machine” perhaps. Yes. I like that.
All you’ve ever wanted was the love and peace you experienced in childhood, in the womb. And its hiding in the last place most people look…their own hearts.
(The “story” you tell yourself about your life is critical on an individual level. AFROFUTURISM is merely this concept taken to a social level. Join our exploration of this idea on a free webinar today at 6pm pst. www.octaviatoblackpanther.com)