Managing the Tender Child Within

January 5, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. Henri Nouwen

I often refer to the source of my times of misery as activated by the Demon within me. Generally I am talking allegorically and not factually. (However, I do believe in evil forces with the intent of disenfranchising us from the love of God.) But mostly I speak figuratively when I talk about my Demon. But that is not about to prevent me from talking about that Demon today.

The Tender Child

Many of us (probably most of us) have experienced times in childhood that have had a devastating impact on our lives today. It is frequently referred to as The Wounded Child or The Inner Child.

What you find below is mostly from lifted from a year-end piece I wrote for my Life Coach. She encouraged me to write on my Tender Child.

In reading my notes on the Tender Child it is uncanny how closely related are the two psychic truths of Demon and Tender Child. It appears that my Demon relies heavily on my experiences as a rejected and unwanted child as grist for undermining any attempts I may make at living a worthy, exciting and useful life.

In thinking back upon those early childhood times there was nothing to look forward to, no home and no loving family that wanted me. Excitement was anathema. I wonder if my desire for excitement is merely a distraction from loneliness and rejection?

It is almost ironic that my so-called Demon is in truth a Protector from emotional rejection and disapproval. Its desire seems to be to keep me out of the public eye as means to guard me from potential rejection. By “hitching my horse” to this Demon I easily become “stuck” therefore leaving little space for the excitement I so desire.

Perhaps it is good to identify those fears, reframe them from the eyes of an understanding adult, and recognize a tender childhood is part of life and it, in no way, defines you.

Let me start. I’ll give it a shot.

My Psychic Fears Stemming from the Tender Child

  1. I am afraid to be popular. It leaves far too much opportunity for rejection and disappointment.
  2. My fear of attachment. What if someone leaves me? That is why I am evermore attached to Pam and Austin.
  3. My Tender Child believes he is fundamentally unworthy and cannot anticipate a world in which he experiences radical acceptance. EXCEPT: My life has proven over and over the untruth of this belief.

Do You Relate?

Perhaps our 2019 mantra should be taken form the Nine Inch Nails lyric in the song Piggy, “Nothing can stop me now cause I just don’t care anymore.”

Let go and trust life. Trust the positive muses including the ever so divine, Holy Spirit.


Can Stop Me Now 

Photo courtesy of kiankhoon at istockphoto

2 thoughts on “Managing the Tender Child Within”

  1. This is very special Charlie. And so are you. Nick and I are honored to have your friendship and leadership and consider you amongst our favorites. Thank you for this brave and honest share.

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