Within every one of us is a little child who has leftover childhood needs. Many times our parents did not listen to us. Our boundaries [personal limits] have been violated and often result in anger, resentment, procrastination, promiscuity, various physical ailments, introversion, perversion, and even self-destruction.
We lose our ability to communicate during childhood by often being told the “appropriate” thing to do, (what to think as opposed to how to think) therefore, not allowing us to express our true feelings and emotions. As we become adults, the rush of unchecked adult passions, frustrations, and anger can run rampant within us. We may feel ready to explode, yet unable to even cry. We’re hurting too bad to laugh. We may experience rage due to the inability to turn thoughts into words. It is crucial that we develop safe relationships so that we are able to vent emotions and frustrations through appropriate channels.
From childhood, our feelings of not being loved and validated especially from our parents, can leave us tempted to use sex, food, drugs, alcohol, shopping or a host of other vices to temporarily self-medicate the pain we are too afraid to face. We hesitate to grieve the true losses. Grief and acceptance of what we cannot change are the stepping stones to healing and freedom from damaged emotions. It requires courage and a true support system to develop the skills needed to learn to grow from our experiences.
Distorted childhood perceptions and conclusions often bring consuming thoughts of inadequacy, and have the potential to produce a lifetime of insecurity. Fear and insecurity can prevent us from developing an intimate relationship with God. We try to impress Him with our performance, struggling to realize that it is not our “efforts” He is seeking. He is pursuing us with the love we’ve looked so far and wide to find, in order that we can be healed and whole. Our wholeness brings us to a place that we become the conduit whereby He is allowed to love others through us.
“All that I express, speak, and understand is relative to my childhood. You will never understand the man / woman I am on the outside until you have touched the child within me. If you never develop empathy for the little boy or girl in me who is holding a blanket and sucking his thumb in a doorway, watching everyone leave, then you will never understand my erratic behavior on the job, in bed, or with my own children.” (“Loose That Man and Let Him Go” by T.D. Jakes) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child… [1 Cor 13:11]
There are hidden things in us that we belittle other people for. We carefully conceal what lurks in the secret and dark chambers of our hearts — but they are there. Under difficult circumstances, those secret weaknesses can erupt with terrible results. We can be incredibly hypocritical, often strongly condemning others for the very things we are most guilty of. The greatest and most lethal weapon I am challenged with, is ME.
Who I am when no one is looking is who I really am! I am alone anytime I am surrounded by people who don’t know who I am. Anytime I am in a situation where I can’t fully be myself, I am alone. Anytime I have to put on a facade or camouflage who I really am, I am alone and isolated.
God has been calling us through the problems we experience. We may avoid it because we assume that open confrontation with God will be negative. His plan is for us to surrender to His will and purpose for our lives. Regardless of how rough or tough we act, a real friend will look us in the face and say, “I hear you, but you are STILL wrong.” A true friend loves you enough to stand up to you. God comes to stand up to you and to move you away from mediocrity.
True friendship and intimacy are achieved when we feel so comfortable around others that we can be who we really are. We need to stop hiding ourselves and from ourselves. If we don’t, we may lose our true selves and become the lie we’ve pretended to be. We will be more than pleased as we discover the true depth of relationships we can enjoy as we allow our true selves to emerge. The best part is the stress that is reduced when we just “get real”!
Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Writer, Wife & Mom