When I’m first getting to know a new friend, my curiosity is piqued. I want to know everything about them. I’m interested to hear their stories about childhood, where they grew up, their pets, their siblings, the relationship they had with their parents and how it was for them to be a child. I want to hear about heartbreak, funny stories, and things that they’ve never told anyone. I love hearing secrets. I love being able to share the thoughts that I hid from people as a child. And I find that there tends to be overlap with many people.
Open or closed
Sometimes people are mysterious. I have a variety of friends, some of them are opened, and others are closed. I love all of my friends, whether they reveal things about themselves or keep them close to the chest. Depending on what we’re talking about, I can be open, or I can keep things under wraps. I understand both ways of being. I find it hard when people are private because it’s more of a challenge to get to know them. I’ve had friends who were slower to open up, and it’s more rewarding when they do.
You’ll never know everything about a person. There are some instances where I’m less curious about people, for example, in therapy. I don’t want to see a lot about my therapist because I’m not there for them. I’m here because I want to work on my mental health. I might be curious and ask them questions about their educational training in the beginning, but other than that, I’m not going to get too deep into asking about them. That’s an environment where it’s logical to be less interested.
An open book?
No matter how open we are, there are parts of ourselves that we unknowingly or knowingly keep private. For me, there are times that I view myself as an open book. But today I was thinking; I’m not so accessible. There are many things that I hide from people. And it’s not because I’m ashamed of them. It’s because I’m trying to understand myself better, and I’d rather not share partial information with someone when I don’t know enough to speak about it.
There are parts of myself that are hurt, broken, and scared. I’m working on nurturing those pieces of me and holding them tight. I don’t want to suffer anymore. I’ve learned that the most tender parts of myself are crying to be heard. And the more I stifle their cries, the louder they are. I’ve started to listen more instead of yelling at them to shut up. I know that sounds harsh, but there are times when I’m tired of being in pain, and I want to throw it in the garbage.
It hurts. I’m tired, and I want it to stop. But here’s where questions can come in. When I lived in New York, I had a therapist who did Family Systems Therapy. She taught me how to speak to the younger versions of myself. I’ve learned to hold myself when I’m sad. And I don’t have to be scared, because I can give me what I need. All I have to do is imagine that frightened six-year-old. I can sit with and ask her what she needs. And she will tell me. I’ll rub her back, tell her it’s going to be okay. She believes me. My therapist taught me how to show her what my life is like now. I show her on a big movie screen what happens after six. She is happy that I’m successful. It makes me happy too.
When I do the inner-child work, I’m continually asking that younger version of me what she needs. And I’m giving it to her, holding her, hugging her singing to her, and giving her whatever she asks me for if I have it. I ask her what she needs, and I’ll provide it to her. What about you? Do you give the younger you what you need?