The Secret to My Superpower
Have you ever heard the saying, the obstacle in the way is the way? It took me decades to understand this concept. How could the issue that caused me so much pain and shame throughout my life actually be “the way?” And, the way to what?
Deeper learning and healing
Strictly speaking, from a physical experience, medication and a miracle were the only ways I knew and wanted to go years ago. However, as a result of my personal eczema journey, how I address eczema and what I mostly write is about life from the spiritual perspective and the mind/body relationship. In my opinion, because our journey as a human being is so much more dimensional than linear, there are deeper learnings available to us to better understand how we can live through this condition with more grace, rather than feeling like our only option is to trudge the road to destiny. Sometimes it can feel that way, and let’s admit, it is not easy. While there is absolutely something to be said for a positive mindset, just to be clear, I’m not talking about positive thinking, which can be a skimming of the surface or a Band-Aid for our pain.
Struggling to cope as a child
At times, I have to get creative to have a different perspective to make some sense of the “why?” question again, or I might be led back to a bad neighborhood in my head. Even though it appears we are hurting on the outside, there can be a younger version of ourselves still hurting on the inside, emotionally. When the younger parts of ourselves from childhood didn't get acknowledged, comforted or their needs met, didn't get to voice how they felt or weren't heard by any loved one, they found ways to cope and survive. However, those ways of coping become unconscious strategies. As an adult, they don't work so well anymore.
Growing away from old coping mechanisms
Since approximately 90% of our minds are run by the subconscious, we can easily respond or react to these younger feelings that can still reside within us. For me, I had been reacting to life from early childhood with eczema - ashamed, alone, and fear of being rejected or pointed out, not understanding why I looked the way I did. I can remember my little inner 9-year-old self felt so sad, unlovable, like she didn't belong. As an adult, up until recently, I found myself hiding from life from the fear of rejection in various circumstances.
A different definition of healing
I love the statement that healing is applying love to the places inside that hurt. So, last week, I set out to do just that! I decided to go inside and have a little heart-to-heart dialogue with that part of my younger self because even though I'm well into adulthood, she is still harboring the pain and judgments that I have carried around for all these years. I pulled up an empty chair, and I imagined my 9-year-old sitting in front of me. And I couldn’t believe what she taught me! The conversation went like this...
A dialogue with my younger self
9 YO me: What's wrong with me? Why do I look different than other kids?
Adult me: Absolutely nothing! You are perfect exactly as you are, precious one.
9 YO me: So why do people point at me?
Adult me : Some people's differences and challenges are visible, and some peoples are not. Those of us who are sensitive to other people have a very special quality. We have the ability to have compassion and empathy for other people, and it allows us to have a strong character. We have this beautiful gift inside, even though our differences show up on the outside. Sometimes, it's on our skin. Some people understand, and some people don't. We are perfect and lovable, exactly as we are.
9 YO me: [She sat very quietly, taking it in.] Ya know what? I have a secret to tell you: I have a special superpower! I have compassion and can be kind and understanding with people who feel different. I can help people with my heart :-)
Accepting myself for who I am
My inner 9-year-old taught me the most magical way to accept myself and heal her old misunderstanding. I felt so empowered by her! She revealed this superpower within me of empathy and compassion, BECAUSE of eczema.
Our experience of deep connection, vulnerability, courage, and a sense of belonging invite us to have a shift in perception: that our unique gifts can come from our cracks and scars. That is the strongest strength I know!
What Superpower might YOUR Inner child reveal to you?
Have you shared your eczema story with us?