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Going Back for the Young You

From a talk by Tim Jackins at the New York City Teachers’ and Leaders’ Workshop near New York, New York, USA, June 2007

You can decide you are not going to sit alone forever. You sit there feeling alone, though you’re very close to someone. We’ve all figured out how close we can sit with that alone material1 still in place. Sitting close helps. It helps a lot. But we haven’t had the perspective, the resource, and the courage to face the central distress.

You are going to have to fight for yourself as hard as you have ever fought for anything. You’re going to have to go back and fight for that little one that was you. You know where she is. You know where she sits. You know where she sat down feeling like she simply couldn’t go on feeling that bad. And she has sat there, waiting, ever since—hanging on to that piece of your past so that the rest of you could go on.

She got frozen in the waiting, and you’re the one who knows where she is and how to lead the troops back to find her. You have to go back and find her. If she was any other little one today, what would you do to go find her? If you knew somebody was suffering the way you were back then, what would you do? What wouldn’t you do to go find her? Why won’t you do that for you?

You will. I promise, you will. But you can see the confusion—how we had to give up that little one to distress and go on and make good out of what was left. Now, because of that, when we try to go fight for other people and other things, it is not on a solid foundation. We get confused. We feel too small, too powerless, too confused, too unable. For you to really take on2 the challenges we have in front of us, you’re going to have to look there. You’re going to have to look for the places where the clouds of distress got thick and quieted you, and you left that little one and went on. You’re going to have to hunt for him and call for him. You’re going to have to tell him that you’re coming and that this time you are not going to give up. It may not be fast. He may have to yell even though he feels like he can’t do anything. You may have to tell him to yell to guide you there. It’s useful to dare the little one to not stay stuck with things the way they were but to take up hope so that you can fight back toward each other.

There are a lot of things we have given up on. Fighting some of these battles changes our picture of reality so that we don’t continue trying to go on simply in spite of past undischarged distress but instead free ourselves from it. 


1 Material means distress.
2 In this context, take on means face and deal with.

 


Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00