We Carry Wounded Little People
By: Natalie Collier, Founder, Our Anthem Is Hope I was in counseling a few years ago to try and figure out my anger and some of the pain that seemed to follow me in the shadows through the years. Once a week I’d drive into the city and sit in a cozy counseling office and we’d go back in time to where my heart was first really, truly broken.
One particular session I was given an assignment. My counselor, who I’d grown to love and trust very much, told me to go home and find a picture of me from childhood; specifically one from the time when my heart broke, which was age 5. The whole idea and unknown exercise made me feel forced and awkward. But, I trusted Barbara. She was pure gold to me.
So, I reluctantly arrived with a picture of a little Daddy’s girl who’s safe place had been crushed and she was afraid that her whole world and all the grown-ups she loved weren’t something that could ever be trusted again. She was always hiding and afraid inside but no one seemed to see.
I was told to place the picture on the candlelit coffee table that sat perfectly between me and my Barbara.
She said, "What do you think about that little girl? What do you feel about her? What do you wish someone would’ve said?"
My throat felt tight, but I felt detached and extremely anxious about what was trying to come up from somewhere deep in my soul…Then, a dam burst wide and flooded my whole body with a river of grief and freedom and all sorts of hurt I had never known was crashing around inside. And, it all poured out.
"No one asked her if she was okay. Why didn’t anyone ask her?! She was afraid and heartbroken and nobody fought for her,” I said as tears that felt like bricks fell out of my eyes and cut my face. I don’t know that I’ve ever cried like that.
"You have to honor her and love her," Barbara said. "You have to give her grace and stop abandoning her. She is the one crying out now. She is the one who needs soothing. You left her just like everyone else left her. We carry all the people we have ever been inside us."
…She is the one crying out…
…She needs to be honored and loved and made peace with…
I will never, ever forget that conversation or that day. Over the months that followed I got to know that brave little girl. I told her I was sorry I had left her when I ran to every other thing in this world to fill my broken cup… I finally forgave myself for leaving her time and time again to hide from all the painful shame. I grieved what she lost. It ached in me for a good, long while.
And slowly over time, she calmed down. There are still times where she feels tender and she takes a moment and we grieve together. But, now there is peace in her bones and bright hope in her soul. Her heart and voice is a compass during times that I question my own intentions. She is a part of me and I’m so grateful she is there.
Who do you carry? What wounded little boy or girl in you needs to be grieved and loved and honored and then restored?
We all carry wounded little people. Let’s take care of them and use their brave little voices to bless the world around us.
To find out more about Natalie and the work she's doing visit www.ouranthemishope.com.