On inferiority, or: dealing with childhood labels

This morning I woke up thinking of myself in the 6th class of primary school, in Holland that was the year before going to high school. I was an OK student, very bright but didn’t put myself forward. At the end of the school year, the headmaster called my parents in for a meeting. He felt I wasn’t ready for high school because I had an inferiority complex.

I realized that this label has traveled with me throughout my life, and it really fucks me up in my chosen profession. My shadow child (aka the roots of ego) tends to overwhelm me with reasons why I am inferior to other writers and creatives. Why my words will never be read and taken at their value etcetera.

I realize that all these feelings stem from that one judgment from a teacher that was, in hindsight, really bad.

The teacher also said that I lacked perseverance. Another label that stuck. I realize now that I have hit myself over the head to finish projects that really weren’t me. It was also a major player in my depression and in the repetitive strain injury I had for years.

It feels like pulling out a plug. A plug that powered my shadow child. At moments of feeling bad physically or feeling completely overwhelmed, it reared its ugly head. Most of the time I caught it and stopped its influence on my daily life, but sometimes it got through.

I also realize that the teacher said what I had felt for a very long time. I did feel inferior because I felt different from everyone around me. Not better, mind you, just different. I had this rich inner life, that was marvelous. I still keep it with me, including the house I dreamed of back then, and still hope to find now.

Discovering deep roots of ego is liberating and scary at the same time. In a way, labels like that are like a safe wall to hide behind. They are a comfort zone, even though they hurt like hell. Throwing them into the garbage means that there is nothing to hide behind. That is scary andexhilaratingat the same time. It means I am closer to my inner two year old, to my life purpose and my dreams. That’s worth smashing labels for!

What childhood labels have you carried with you?

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