child giving

I Gave as A Child

Exploring Giving, Forgiving, and Fear

by Cindy Myska, therapist and mother of two

When I was a child, I thought, spoke, and gave like a child. Now that I see in the future, I think, speak, and give like one who fears for her life. Funny, how closely guarded we become of our secrets when we reach adulthood. Funny—or odd at the very least—how much we reach out to adulthood only to find adulthood a trouble away.

When I was a child, I thought and spoke childishly. I gave nothing, for I had nothing to give. And yet as a child, I forgave far more than I ever have as an adult. As I child I gave willingly of the nothing I had. I forgave with everything I did. I am no longer the child, no more the one who gives nothing.

Instead I have become one who jealously guards the nothing I have to give. I am insanely possessed by my little nothingness that everyone seems to want. I know it is nothing, but they seem to think it is something, so I jealously guard my nothingness to be sure they don’t take away what they gave me, or find out it is nothing.

They made my nothingness into something and so I guard my nothing as if it were something, only sometimes realizing that I am protecting me, too, as well as them, from seeing that I have nothing to give.

And sometimes the piercing, shrieking cry that I hear is my own damnable self, about to “tell” the lie: I have nothing to give.

And what of me, really only a small child who has not one thing to give? What of me, a child who believes only adults have something worth giving? I, a child, my tiny feet sunk deep in the adult high heels, pretending that adult attire gives me adult power. What of me, this tiny, inconsequential child trying to be big?

Would I but could see the tiny hour of love I can bestow, dressed up or not, I would know. Would I but could fathom the sparkling raindrops the child in me dances to, the freedom I have to be me, the freedom I have to give away nothing as if nothing really was nothing, except to give away.

I am a child, an innocent rose, untouched by boundaries of time. I am an innocent child, knowing I have nothing to give—but lots of it where the rest came from.

Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Pink Sherbet Photography

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