Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Always learning something

There are so many wonderful perks to being a mentor to a young girl. 

Of course one of them is spending one hour of quality time per week, painting, drawing, sculpting with play-doh, shooting hoops and playing board games.  All of these things I don't slow down enough at home to enjoy.  I love that I come home with glitter glue on my shirt sleeve or dried play-doh stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

And of course being a positive influence for a young girl, sharing one on one time, helping her to realize how special and important she is in this world feels amazing!

I was told by many that being a mentor would benefit the child immensely, but that it would change my life forever.  I experienced that on the first day of meeting her, I felt so blessed to have the time and opportunity to be a positive influence to a young girl, and the sense that greater changes are to come hasn't lessened at all.

Being a mentor to this young lady puts me in a space of extreme responsibility.  To myself.  Watching her interact with her sister and other kids reminds me of when I was that age.  Unsure of myself, quiet and accomodating.

A time when it wasn't odd to be called names, teased about my size and made to feel like a complete waste of earthly space.

When I see her reactions to certain people I can feel that emotion that lives inside of me.  That still scared little girl.  That little girl who is so afraid that someone will notice yet one more thing that is wrong with her.  Who feels obligated to nurture and please others before she nurtures herself (if nurturing herself was even an idea to be entertained in the first place).

That little girl scared to say what she really feels, afraid to lose the affection and 'love' of the people around her.

The self abuse, self judgement and self criticism inflicted on this inner child has left scars so big I'm surprised they can't be seen by the rest of the world.  Except, if I really honest about it, they can be seen if you're looking close enough.

They can be seen in the way I disconnect when I feel someone getting too close.  I'd rather be alone than run the risk of failing someone and losing their love.  They can be seen in my need to be perfect, maybe not so much in the cleanliness of my home anymore, but definitely in other areas of my life.  These scars affect my weight and eating habits too.

This mentoring role seems to be shining a spotlight on the things I thought I had handled pretty nicely at the time, but that I'm finding I had just put into a closet and walked away from.  It's helping me understand more deeply what makes me tick and how much more I need to forgive myself than anyone else.

So it's true.  Becoming a mentor will most likely change my life more than it will change the child's life. 

Because, it already has.

1 comment:

I enjoy receiving your respectful comments :)