Healing Your Inner Child

By Ashley Patek


The boy is told to
Dry up
Lock it in
Shut it down
He becomes the man unable to express, who fears to feel for fear that society will label him weak.

The girl is told her feelings are
Too big
Too much
Too loud
She becomes the woman who questions herself and mutes her light to stay small for them.

The boy is told to
Be quiet
Be good
Be tough
He becomes the man who is confined to the container of expectations set for him.

The girl is told
He does it cause he likes you
You’re overreacting
Don’t cause a scene
She becomes the woman who quietly whispers “me too.”

The boy feels
The swat of a hand
The loneliness of a room
The power of force
He becomes the man who believes power is in control and that to control is to love.

The girl feels
The judgments of their gaze
The sting of their words
The shame of their “shoulds”
She becomes the woman who believes she’s not enough and unworthy of love.

They ask, What’s wrong?
Why are you hiding?
Why are you triggered?
Why are you this and why are you that?

They fail to see
The child hiding underneath
The wounds, the hurt, messages
That creates who we become to be.

And while we may seem grown,
We are children raising our own.
Loving them in ways we needed
So that they can be free.

•  •  •

Be the adult you needed when you were young, and make it safe for kids to feel.

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