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I recently took a solo trip for my 40th birthday and sitting in my hotel room I came across this picture of myself in my phone. I sat there and stared at the picture for few minutes and thought to myself, "what would I say to him." So, I pulled up the notes app in my phone and just started writing...

"You made it to 40 yrs lil guy...I'm proud of you! You took on a lot that wasn't yours to carry. Over the past few years you have begun to set yourself free. No more tearing yourself down and hiding in the shadows. Be YOU authentically and unapologetically. You're not aging, you're maturing! The emotional and mental pains were tough, but the work you've been doing has produced healing and strength. No more stressing and worrying over things you can't control...ride the wave and be present. You know you can handle it, you've done it before. You're more than capable. You're more than worthy. Tearing yourself down is no longer an option, build yourself up! Love starts with you first...invest on the inside and outside will take care of itself. You've done great so far. You choose what fulfills you, no one or no one thing can. Smile more. Laugh more. Be more grateful. The next 40 is about to be greater! I love you Derek Marvis Silver!"

Once I finished writing, I cried for him...I also cried with him. The past few years I have been trying to heal the man I've had to become to protect him. I have been trying to find my way back to him, get to know him.

Since I've been going to therapy, I have been working to understand and heal the wounds and trauma my inner child has experienced. Years of remembering what brought me to depression and anxiety. What led me to forget my true self. What led me to build up walls and not trust myself. What led me to sadness and fear.

A week went by, but I couldn't let go of the lil guy in that picture...I kept going back to the picture and spending time with him. Trying to figure out what he was like. I decided to text my mom the picture and I asked her, "Can you tell me what he was like???" Her response was, "He was a Happy, energetic child with a gentle heart..."

I sat with her response for a couple days and started having visions of him with those words in mind..."He was a Happy, energetic child with a gentle heart..."

I started to see myself again with those words and I started remembering all the times that I have felt safe enough to let him show himself over the 35 years since that picture was taken.

With some reflection, I realized that with my inner child healing too much energy has been put into remembering the moments, the trauma, and the wounds...and not enough remembering and discovering who my inner child was before the moments, the trauma, and the wounds.

A new journey of healing to discover my true identity...



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