(6-13 YEARS OLD)
In the school-age, we learn everything we can to prepare for adult life. The most important being socialization: cooperation, interdependence, and a healthy sense of completion.
In order to have a healthy sense of self-worth and a pristine authentic self, what needed to come before academia (and its rigid system) was knowing, loving, and valuing oneself. Skill-building in school helped us to think freely and spontaneously about our future. School helped us to verify our sense of self. If we fit in and if we learned the material, we felt a new sense of power. We felt industrious and competent. If we are competent, then we can be industrious and can create a place for ourselves in the world. The achievement of the school-age tasks, give us a sense of new power and hope: “Because I am capable, I can be what I choose to be.”
Play was also serious business for school-age. Your inner authentic school-age child was a delightful, playful, charming little person, who loved to be connected with friends and was eager and curious to learn.
School itself could be very wounding for your authentic self as it was a place that you could have been penalized for not being as advanced or structured as the system. The grading system itself is very shaming and distressing. It is perfectionistic. As with all perfectionistic systems, you can never measure up. In order for your authentic self to stay intact, you would have had to have your authentic abilities nurtured, which was very rare. In order for your authentic self to remain intact, you couldn’t be compared to another – there is no one else like you. This also goes for socializing in school and amongst your peers. This perfectionistic time fosters a bullying atmosphere. All perfectionistic systems compare us to a product of someone else’s mental or societal projection.
Bullying or failing causes shame or the feeling of “I’m not enough.” Even if children do well in school, everything in life becomes an A; everything is centered around performance.
During this phase, our school system, peer groups, and family dynamic could have been dysfunctional environments that didn’t affirm who WE are. Your school-aged self could have been crushed by the burden of conforming to the perfectionistic system. Most likely, things like conformity and memorization were rewarded rather than creativity and uniqueness.
In order for our authentic selves to fully develop here, we would have had to have been honored for every unique aspect of ourselves – our gifts. We needed to be rewarded for it, loved for it, and supported for it by our peers, school, community leaders, and family. Most likely during this time, certain aspects of our authentic nature, or our whole authentic nature, were disliked, shamed, and rejected. Therefore, most of what we are today is a collective shell of what was socially OK and acceptable for us – what we received praise for. THIS IS NOT OUR AUTHENTIC SELF. In Manifestation, one’s whole objective is to integrate their authentic wholeness and worth. Beingness.
In your journal, I’d like you to take inventory of each year of your life from 6-13, by listing off three of the most traumatic or happy events. Most eventful. Whatever is coming to you.
Do you often compare yourself to other people and find yourself inferior?
Do you wish you had more good friends of both sexes?
Do you frequently feel uncomfortable in social situations?
Do you feel uncomfortable being part of a group?
Do you feel comfortable when you are alone?
Are you sometimes told that you are excessively competitive?
Do you feel like you must win?
Do you have frequent conflicts with people you work with? With people in your family?
Do you pride yourself on being strict and literal, following the letter of the law?
Do you have trouble finishing things?
Do you have intense fears about making a mistake?
Do you frequently feel angry and critical of others?
Do you spend lots of time obsessing on or analyzing what someone has said to you?
Do you feel ugly or inferior? Do you try to hide it with clothes, things, money, or make-up?
Do you believe that no matter what you do, it’s not good enough?
Journal anything that came up for you during the D.I.