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    « 39 Days At Clint University (Body Addiction part 3) | Main | Love Warning »

    Clint & Little John

    A very powerful skill I developed during treatment was the ability to parent myself when I most needed to. Most adults have difficulty connecting to their inner kid. They find it difficult to really let themselves go, to release their inhibitions, to give that kid space in their life, and to allow that kid to come out and play. That is not my challenge. I'm very connected to my inner kid. He's alive and well, shows up all over my life, and contributes a lot to my personality. 

     One of the ways I define a person who is whole is that they have a balance between the elements of themselves that are childlike and the elements of themselves that are adult. When I am at my best, when I am most fully alive, when I am living my life at maximum throttle, I achieve harmony between my inner child and my adult, my Man. When I'm in balance, both are present simultaneously; both show up powerfully; both provide valuable contributions to who I am. They compliment each other perfectly.


    In my last intimate relationship, my love paid me a beautiful compliment when she told me how much of a man I was. I could also be the boy with her. What she was able to do was help bring out the best in me. She made it easy for me to be my full self, or at least the fullest self I was capable of then; that's what people who truly love us usually do. Being madly in love with the woman I wanted to share the rest of my life with, my Man knew he had to show up, and he wanted to show up. I wanted to be there for her. I wanted to be there for myself. And, she brought out my kid as well. I was incredibly silly and playful and childlike with her too. Again, I brought a fuller self. I know I did the same for her. I brought out her Goddess and her little girl. That was part of the magic between us.


    Notice I didn't say "Flawless Self". I was far from perfect. I fucked up plenty. But I was more balanced. More whole. More fully Me. The Kid and the Man both showed up, simultaneously, powerfully. And the Man could usually parent that kid, if need be, when I was with her. It's when I wasn't with her, when I was alone and left to my own devices, that I got myself into trouble being unbalanced. At that period of my life, when I wasn't with her, my kid ran the show far too often.


    My Man didn't know a lot about parenting my inner kid when that kid was suffering. Whenever this kid was in a lot of pain, I was in a lot of pain. I had trouble separating myself from the kid when the kid was in real agony. That's when My Man would often disappear. In treatment, I learned, literally, to bring my Man, my adult self, into the conversation and talk to this inner child when my inner child acted up, when he was in pain, when he was afraid, when he didn't want to do something he needed to. My parents, god bless them, weren't very good at that, so I had no role model on how to parent myself when things got really difficult or really painful. I had to create that parent from scratch, with the help of a very skilled therapist. 


    The crazy thing was, when I dug deep, my Man knew exactly how to talk to this kid. I knew what to say and how to say it. Because I knew this kid so well, loved him so much, and knew he needed my Man. And because the Man in me was there and well developed (my ex-love saw that, everyone in treatment saw that, and so have lots of other people in my life). My man could show up for other people, especially when they were in pain and needed a strong, loving presence. It was myself I had trouble showing up for. I needed lots of help accessing that Man at some of the times when I needed him most. Like when my kid was suffering. Like when my kid was trying to run the show. And like when I was depressed.


    One of the biggest "Aha!" Moments whilst in treatment (one of biggest "Aha!" Moments of my life, actually) was the realization that the constant negative self talk within my own head wasn't my adult talking. It was my kid. For all these years, when I would hear that voice, I had assumed it was my present self. It isn't. I started telling myself I was no good pretty young. I've often said I'm a much happier adult than I ever was as a kid. That kid was afraid, lonely, didn't like himself, felt unloved, unworthy, and unacceptable. That voice stayed with me. That voice was always in my head; sometimes just as background noise, like a tape loop you can't turn off, even when I felt good and things were going well. And sometimes, that voice was as loud as fuck, all I could hear, and drowned everything else out. When I learned that that was my kid, I found a way to talk to that voice, to that kid, as a Man. As a parent. The more I did it, the better I got at it. It's another practice I will continue for the rest of my life. 

    I got an assignment to write a letter to my inner child. I called this child "Little John". A perk of changing your name when you get older is that, when you talk to your inner child, you can refer to him as your former name. It actually helped me separate the kid from the adult in me, which, could be challenging when both share such a strong presence within me. I wrote this letter to "Little John" as Clint; as his parent; as the Man I am today. 

    When I got the assignment, I let the idea percolate and marinate inside me for a few days before actually writing it. WhenI did sit down to do it, it was like magic. The words pored out of me. It felt as though I was a channel. It took me under two hours to write, and it was over eight long legal pages long. And once I started writing, I didn't stop until I was done. No editing. No rewording. I did it long hand because I had forsaken all electronics during treatment. 

    Writing that letter was truly transformative. When I read it to my group, the experience was profound. My therapist called it "A Masterpiece".

    I'll be sharing direct excerpts from that letter in upcoming posts. 


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All Rights Reserved. 

    Reader Comments (2) relatable.

    May 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTK

    Thank you TK. I know you get this stuff. Balance onward.....


    May 27, 2017 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

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