Wednesday, May 2, 2012

joy and our inner child

in trying to articulate my joy to someone, i think i bumped into something.

as i walked this morning i thought about it.

i don't know any other way to explain how i work besides sayin' there's two parts in me.
the kid part and the adult part. the kid part just pops in and out. you can always tell when
she's there tho. she pops in more often when i'm comfortable with those around me.

so.....let me just start with an example.
say you got a new car.
and i walked up and saw it.
if i'm comfortable with you, the kid part will pop in and be all excited and joyful over your car.

if for some reason your reactions kinda squash the joy....
like you get a serious face and say 'terri, it's just a car.'
well the kid part will leave.
if she's really comfortable with you, she might counter it -
'JUST a car?! why it's a GREEN car with really cool lights!'
and if you reaction again squashes the joy, she will leave.
and the adult terri will step in.
and she may still be gracious, but she's thinking 'yep. just a car.'

the adult terri doesn't care about stuff so much.
i may appreciate that it means a lot to you because you bought it with money you earned doing
something extra, or it's symbolic to you for some reason. the adult part can appreciate that stuff.
but truly, it's just a car.

the kid terri loves new and different and bright and shiny. the kid part looks for places to play
and reasons to celebrate.

well, i never thought of it this way before.
i just thought my joy was susceptible to negative/grumpy/no fun responses.
and then it kinda died away.

this makes a difference to me because i'm wondering if everyone works this way.
and maybe i can work with it better.
cause when the joy is squashed, it feels miserable.
and now maybe i can understand WHY it feels so miserable and work with that!

is our pure joy carried in our inner child?

something i think i'm lucky with - and i haven't a clue why it is this way - is that i have a wiggly switch
or's easy for me to switch back and forth from adult to child. which comes in handy.
not sure everyone's switch is as wiggly. and i'm really grateful that mine is. and thinking about it,
maybe i can purposely make it even more wiggly.

there's stuff here for me to look at and think about.
thought i'd throw it out for anyone else who could relate.

and one last thought on the whole inner child thing......i was on an art site yesterday and clicked on
the art listed for 'inner child.'.........oh man, talk about feeling miserable. there's a lotta darkness
associated with this i guess. which, at first glance, makes sense. but after that it doesn't at all to me.

i understand there's so much abuse that happens to us when we're kids. but it's not the kids
themselves who are bad and ugly and horrible. i believe that with all my heart. and looking
at this art i could see that a lotta people felt differently.

this inner child stuff.......i think it matters. i really do. and i think the more we look at it, the more it
can help us.


Merry ME said...

I totally get what you're saying.
Hadn't really connected joy squashing with retreating inner child, but it makes sense. I hate when that happens. I think when my Dad was alive that was part of my struggle. He just didn't get my kid side, and if he didn't get it, my kid feelings felt rejected or demeaned. That's no fun, so I turned inside myself all sad and pouty.

Yep, makes perfect sense.

Sherry said...

This is wonderful Terri. Joy squashing is the WORST!! I always say, never make fun of a person's laugh, or the way they dance, because these two things are a total expression of joy and love of life. I remember one time I was watching fireworks with a bunch of people, and we were all adults, but often there would be "oooos" and "ahhhs." One time, the guy I was with laughed at a person's over-exuberant "ooo." I scolded him, saying, "don't mock someone's natural expression of wonder!"
I think I want to coin a term for these "joy-squashers" to help identify it when it's happening. lol. any ideas?!? Of course..Joy squasher itself sounds kinda fun. The word squash is just such a fun word, really. Lol. Okay....going to stop rambling now and drink the rest of my coffee!! Thanks Terri!

terri said...

ah we all know the feeling, huh? thanks you guys. and sherry...i like 'joy squasher'!!! i remember when i discovered 'dream stealer'...i loved that. this is the dream stealer's cohort, ya know?