For the past couple of months I have really struggled with "little big feelings"; not being sure if I am feeling emotions and hearing messages from the past or the present. The other day I was walking through the store with my son and I came across this cute card and my eyes got big and fixed on the word "Thank You" and I picked it up and I felt excited and wanted to get it for my therapist!
It was a card that said thank you for being here" on the front and on the inside it said another thank you and ending with the words "You're the Best!"
We use a lot of those words in session and when I saw the card I got so excited - even child like, and the adult part of me argued with this saying to myself "this is immature to get that card for Andy" and the young side of me said "yes but its cute, thoughtful and he will love what it means and appreciate the thankfulness".
The young part won and I bought the card. The hardest part was giving it to him. I had a tug of war with it the whole night and morning . I had a sense of shame tied to it from the adult part of me, but the little part of me inside that is still healing in this process thought it was a great way to bond more trust to the work I am doing.
I was giddy excited inside when I gave him the card, and the adult part was embarrassed when giving it, and I realized that this is a part of the healing work - being with little big feelings - being stuck between feelings from the past and feelings right now in this moment.
For the longest time I was against any talk about the young part of me. I could tell a story from my past to what happened, but to actually work with the young part was a struggle for me - and its still a struggle, but I am getting closer to something.
When my therapist made me realize that even he has a young boy inside of him that he cares for at times, I started to warm up to the idea that maybe there is some truth to healing the young part of me - that maybe its okay to honor the young abused little girl inside of me, and maybe its okay to let that part be present when needed.
I have worked with accepting the young part for a while now, and I still go back and forth in accepting that .. and I realized something over the weekend, I realized that maybe the reason I struggle with the young part so much is because the young me - the little me holds the most pain and emotions, and that is something I have struggled with my whole life - emotions!
I think there is an underlying fear of really "being" with the young side because she holds the most shame, anger, sadness, embarrassment, unworthiness - so the adult part wants to shut that off.
The card I gave my therapist was a step towards acceptance. It wasn't just about the thankfulness or the content in the card, it was about allowing that giddy, excited child inside give my therapist the card in hopes he would be joyful and accepting of it, because if he is accepting of it, maybe there is more to trust and talk about from the young part of me.
My therapist loved it, he even "got little" in his expression - an excited goofy look that appreciated the thankfulness.
I gave him the card because he has been so supportive and has worked extra hard in the past couple of weeks with me not feeling well physically and just really helping me to get grounded around that.
He has helped me to reach out to my family for help as well by not isolating or protecting them .. and that has helped the people around me to understand more of what I was feeling and going through, so the card had a lot of thankfulness from the adult part of me, and the little part of me.
Giving him that card Friday really helped me to see that I have so much going on inside that needs love, care and healing. It helped me to see that my struggle with the young side of me feeling so much pain inside needs an outlet and maybe the card was about taking that first step in saying "its okay, I am and can be the very mature 40+ year old, and I also have a young part of me that holds a lot and maybe its time to open up both and let that be okay!
I saw my struggle Friday and maybe that was the best thing that could have happened for me. Sometimes it's the harder things that we are forced to see that helps us to grow - even with the little big feelings inside!