Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dear Maida: Giving Children A Voice


Maida was a girl beyond her years. She had been here before. She was a very wise child who more than anything saw childhood as the blueprint for emotional life, the tea leaves in the cup, a precious vulnerability that needed protection and a voice for all the little things that matter. Subtle abuse: a disease of spirit affecting our children.

Dear Maida Bellpepper,

So how's your sista, red? Oh, okay...
No really, is she green with envy because you're the hottest little thing around? (!!)
Oh, oh, I'm dreaming, wake me up. I didn't really say that.
No really (again) Ms. Maida, I need an ear (do you have one?) to listen to me. Now my Mama, I love her, I do, and I know she loves me cause she tells me, but.......I'm confused. Love sounds so kind & comfy that I thought it was all things good 'n beautiful. That's what feels right to my little being. But Mama confuses me 'cause sometimes she takes my arm and yanks me. I tell her to stop cause it hurts (and because I really don't like to be treated like that) and then she yells at me. I think I have more self-control than Mama but I don't know how to talk to her about it. And she's so emotional that I cannot do a heart-to-heart stare as you once told me to. I know she really doesn't mean to hurt me or my feelings, but I'm gonna get mad at her soon and find a place inside me to keep that madness because it's starting to feel strangely comfortable. that love?

Love, I think
Little Boy Blue

Dear LBB,

Have you been here before? Or is the newness of life so fresh and clean and nothing but joyful until someone whose bigger than you forgets what it's like to be a child? They forget, my LBB, when the pureness of childhood gets tainted by thoughtless actions and mean speech and they, with a disappointment too big for them, stuff it just as you are ready to do. Don't stuff it, child. For if you do it will become a part of who you are (whya from now on). Your angry 'madness' is an ugly (bit of shit) and a poor foundation for building a happy life.

Turn your little head and see it from this direction: It belongs to your Mama. She throws it your way, but, you do not have to keep it.

You have a strong spirit, I can tell. My words may elude you but the essence holding them together is the perceptible truth. All kids everywhere know the bottom-line truth. They are born with it. And the greatest capacity for joy. Do not give that up.

Love is not meant to be contradictory. Adults get complicated and that is their excuse. They have stuffed something and that little ugly gets fed over years by their remembering with angry thoughts until the small cavity of ugliness deepens to their core....and their core lets it in to stay's the sad part.....because it feels comfortable. No, that is not Love. That is abuse passed on.

Feeling comfortable means you get used to it. This is the beginning of unnecessary life challenges, of behavior getting worse not better, of deepening ugly. If you accept that as Love then when you want Love you might do what you have learned to do to get it, but if will not be the kindness, sweetness and respect that Love is. You know all this. Don't be lured from your 'knowing spot'. Don't let it be taken from you.

Here's some things to do:

* Forgive your Mama in your heart and out loud keep telling her in the kindest voice you possibly can (remember our lesson in tone-of-voice?) to stop hurting you. If you're kind she might just hear you.

* You know that adult in your life who shows you the respect you want? Like an aunt, teacher, neighbor? Remember some time you spent with this person. Thank her in your heart. Send her a thank you Love message. You can close your eyes to feel the feeling or look into her eyes the next time you are together and think your Love message. She will know. But most importantly you will be building your foundation strong with true Love.

* Always remember who you are. Prayers and quiet times by yourself are always good for that.

* Touch all things alive with care. This will pass your sweetness on. This will make you stronger in your capacity to Love. And besides, Love touches have a way of finding their way home when you need one (or two).

You are bright and beautiful, a shining star on this Earth. May your child spirit protect itself then blossom with the light of your years.


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