Sunday, December 13, 2015

The little child within

No matter how old any of us get, I believe the little child we once were still motivates us often.  It's part of our makeup that I believe we should cherish.  My problem is, I have a tendency to let my inner child (the ego) be the boss.  

My inner child loves attention and praise.  She is a large part of the reason I blog, because in many ways my blog is a cry for attention:  Hey, I'm over here, world!  See me?  Hear me?  Tell me how great I am!  This has extended in a large way to Facebook, which is a medium I am trying to get under control without actually leaving it altogether.

When I write something that resonates with a few of you, I get praise.  I have to be careful, though, because the little girl within will take that praise, bundle it up to keep, and think, "Boy, I'm a big deal now!"

Many people can take praise gratefully and move on.  That would be the well-balanced folks of the world who know better than to allow the inner child to rule.  To others, the praise, while sometimes deserved and always gratefully received, is like a drug.

A preacher likes to be told when his sermon has hit the mark.  A teacher loves to hear from a former student who says she changed her life.  My mom made quilts and wrote letters, and basked in the attention it got her.  A good cook enjoys positive feedback on her hard work.

Everybody loves a compliment, but most people take it gratefully and move on to the next sermon, class, quilt, or recipe, motivated by the praise.  My inner child tends to relive that moment of positive feedback over and over in her mind:  "They liked it!  They really liked it!"  

Are any of you still with me?  See, this is what meditation does for me.  Once my mind is clear of the stuff I did yesterday or last year or any time in the past, I see myself as I really am, a spoiled child.  Not a bad child, and not one I am going to send away, just a kid I ought to rein in sometimes.  

Remember the poem I wrote in October, "An Old Man and His Tractor"?  (Click HERE if you missed it.)

I read it at our tractor club Christmas dinner last night.  It was well-received, with everyone laughing at the right moments and applauding enthusiastically at the end.  Last night when I went to bed I found myself going over the words and lines in my head, smiling at how well it had been received, hearing the compliments and applause again.  And that, my friends, is what sparked this whole entry.
  
Having told you that, I will share today's poem.  I have not been sitting down with the intention of writing a poem these past mornings, it just happens.  I don't know if this trend will continue.  I will take it as it comes.  I may not share every poem.  This one was so personal, I almost kept it to myself.  But then I thought I ought to introduce you to the little girl inside me, the one that wishes everybody would love her and flatter her and move to the beat of HER drummer.  I don't apologize for her, she has made me what I am.  I just need to keep her in check if I am to accomplish other things.

A LECTURE TO MY INNER CHILD
Donna Wood 12/13/2015

Go for the limelight.
Enjoy the praise.
Bask in attention
With each golden phrase.
Finally they know you
And what you can do!
You surely showed them
A talent or two!

No! Remain grounded.
Fame's an illusion.
Live in the moment,
Avoid confusion.
Accolades flee
Like a bird on the wing.
Moment by moment
Create a new thing.


Nobody is doing wrong by sharing compliments.  In fact, it's the right thing, it's wonderful.  I appreciate every kind word.  What makes the difference is that I accept the compliments and then move on.


4 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I think we all need some praise now and then. I try to that for my grandchildren and children as often as I can. Praising them is my way of telling them how much they are appreciated. I'm sure your tractor club appreciated you too.

Jon said...

Donna, you've hit the proverbial nail on the head with this post (and that's not false flattery). I can fully identify with your thoughts and I'm glad you decided to share the poem. Blogging is indeed a necessary form of validation for us gentle souls who secretly crave it. Also, I especially like to blog because I (most of the time) feel free to express my thoughts without worrying about being censored by an editor.

The child in me constantly cries out for praise - mostly because my father was always so brutally critical. My Mom always praised me, but her encouragement was immediately cut down by the sharp blade of my father's vile words and constant negativity. To this day, I am extremely sensitive to any kind of criticism. This sensitivity is my foremost weakness.

Anyway, your wonderful post brightened my dreary birthday (yea, I'm another year older).

Sister--Three said...

I so enjoy what you have to tell us, Donna. I appreciate it when it hits home with me. I also am a poet--not a very good one--as is my Sister Fleta--so your poetry brings pleasure to me. I know how difficult it is to make it read just right and fit together in verse, but most important to "get across" the message you are sending.

Sister--Three said...

Donna, when Erin was four she had ovarian cancer!! I prayed for help, strength , guidance and still I fell apart
Daily at Arkansas children's hospital. Erin felt may fear when she came out of surgery. They had informed us
The cancer was malignant. She said-- don't worry momma I saw Jesus and he said I would be okay and she was!!!
Precious savior who holds me in his hand!!