Originally Posted By: traveler
LAD - it just started to come up - the awareness that i'm responding as my 13-year-old self, or as a 6-year-old version of me or whatever. it's not like an out-of-body thing or any visual phenomenon. More like after i react - i sometimes stop and think - that's how i felt back then. Not a normal adult type of behavior - immature - but almost like an emotional flashback. sort of filling in the blanks. The thing i'm trying to accomplish is - if i could figure that out while i'm feeling it - which self is this and why? and then self-correct before i react inappropriately or immaturely or overly emotionally or whatever...


Sounds like you are trying to do an enormous amount of stuff in one step, Lee. Am I understanding this correctly? You want to trace the almost limbic responses you have back to different categories of your childhood, compare that child's response to other categories of appropriate adult responses, and temper your responses along those lines?

Not all of us can be Watson on Jeopardy (certainly not me!). I wonder if you have tasked yourself with something others have spent a lifetime trying to figure out.

For me - at this point - the journey is enough. It's plenty enough just to know that I do get transported back in time to the child I was. But then again, why not? So many people see adulthood as separate from childhood - the language gives it away. "I grew up" or "I grew out of that." It's as if the child dies and the adult emerges.

I see it a bit differently - more like layers of an onion. As we mature, the child is always there - deep inside the center of who we are. Some of us have so many layers we've forgotten that he's still in there. This thing we call adulthood? Maybe it's just a big fancy coat - dressing up that little boy and making him look, act, and think like a man. Our toys get bigger and better and more expensive, but we are still wonderfully selfish brats capable of all kinds of mischief and love under our austere exteriors.

I think that the center of the onion is more like a bright light. In some adults, you see a glow - that's the light beaming intensely through the layers. In others, you just see a dull exterior - the light isn't out, rather they've covered it in so many layers that they've lost touch with it. We're all just onion lights in this world.

So could it be that you need a paradigm shift? Maybe what you've accomplished is something truly wonderful and yet you see it as a problem. Maybe you have finally managed to take a knife, go to the heart of that onion, and touch the center for the first time in many years. And here you are, trying to get back to the outer layers.

Maybe the child's response is the most appropriate and emotional choice. Maybe you are trying to add more layers to the onion, when in fact you should be peeling it further to the fresher fruit below. I say let that onion light shine.