Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)
- TITLE: The Inner Parent
By Suzanne R
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Her cheeks are pink and fresh. Her laughter sounds like small bells tinkling in the wind and surely makes angels grin in delight. She loves to run across the grass and jump into the freshly raked pile of autumn leaves, then toss them into the air and watch them twirl to the ground in the late afternoon sunshine. She adores climbing broad strong willow trees and splashing in the blue vinyl lined backyard pool. Pink, purple and bright red are her colours of choice, regardless of what fashion dictates or what others might think. Frills, puffy sleeves, purple velvet sashes and red shoes with sparkly buckles are what she likes to wears. Ribbons and colourful clips often adorn her hair, although sometimes she lets it fall unhindered over her shoulders. Her eyes sparkle like water reflecting off a lake. The joy of life energizes every fibre of her being.
So why does her mother treat her so harshly?
It seems like her mother’s favourite word is 'no'. "Think of what others might say," Mother warns. "You have work to do – forget about play," Mother admonishes. "I will not have any child of mine behaving in such a frivolous manner," Mother growls.
Are not mothers meant to love, to nurture and to enable growth?
She’s just a little girl. Nevertheless, her mother seems intent on quenching her joy, in crunching her underfoot, in snuffing out her very life.
Oh, to be sure, the mother is not entirely to blame. Expectations of society and family have made her who she is too. But the mother is an adult. Surely it is the mother’s responsibility to see what is best for the child and to act accordingly, even if it goes against everything that has made the mother this way.
We read much of 'the inner child', but what about 'the inner parent'?
As writers, we have a divine calling to create. To put on paper something that will inspire, to bring enjoyment to others or to make people think. Yet to do so, we need to allow our 'inner child' her voice.
To arrive at work on time, to complete the allotted tasks throughout the day, to buy groceries, to clean and cook, to get to bed on time, these are all important. But is there not more to life than doing what must be done?
As writers, we are called to nurture the spark of creativity that we’ve been given. This doesn’t mean wearing pink, purple and red together … but might it help? This doesn’t mean irresponsibility in our community and workplace … but might it mean creating reasonable boundaries on our commitments to allow ourselves time and space to create? Perhaps it simply means stopping the car to enjoy the magnificent display of flowers along the side of the road rather than powering ahead. Perhaps it means allowing ourselves time to sit by a river and soak in the magnificence of the creation in which we live. Perhaps it means … shock, horror … saying 'No' to some very useful potential commitments.
How should the 'inner parent' treat the 'inner child'?
"Wander through the park for no specific purpose? As soon as this job is done, yes!"
"Red and purple today? Perhaps not to the office, but once we get home, of course."
"Chocolate cake for dinner? I'm afraid, dear child, that I’m going to have to overrule that desire because I actually do know best."
"Put on some music and dance? Why not?!"
"What a fresh insight, child! That’s perfect. Let me get it down on paper."
As Christian writers, there is yet another factor in the parent / child relationship. There is One who is 'The Greatest Creative Power'. He holds in perfect balance the tension of allowing free expression of 'the inner child' and of creating the disciplined boundaries set by 'the inner parent'. He is both Son and Father … and His Spirit is connected with our souls too.
Parent and child need to come to the Divine Creative Force regularly – daily – moment by moment. "What would you have me create, Most Holy One? How should I create it, Almighty Word? Please help me determine my priorities, Wise One."
As writers, we have the joy of connecting with our 'inner child'. We’ve been given a glimpse of the Origin of Creation at work in us. How is the 'grown up' part of us doing as a parent?
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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