The Preteen Years
We must now look at our preteen years–from ages nine through twelve–in order to understand fully who we are.
During those years, we learned to compare ourselves to others, and those comparisons might still be evident to this day.
Our preteen years were filled with innocence and mystery.
We were searching for our own identity when we began to look at our friends, even if only to see what they were doing.
We wondered what it would be like to have a boyfriend. Perhaps you experienced your first pang of liking a boy during this time–or perhaps you noticed that you were beginning to bloom physically while your psyche remained innocent.
You may have gone through betrayal on the physical level, and you may have had experiences that you were not ready for on the psychological level.
During this time, we most often pull the veil of knowing over our eyes. During this time, we typically know deep inside what feels true for us, and yet we might succumb to peer pressure or parental pressure to cover up our spiritual gifts because the grown-ups who surround us might not understand. Many times, we go along, even if it doesn’t feel true for us inside. Sometimes adults force us to go along; we are given no choice and are too young to be able to do anything about it. At times, just to be accepted, we stifle or push down what we feel inside to be our truth. Other times, we might be punished if we disobey.
Sometimes we feel as if we’re living with and among other people to whom we truly cannot relate or share ourselves with. As we begin to look around us, we see and feel everything that we can either identify with or not.
My preteen years were confusing: I had a woman’s body and a child’s mind, with a feeling of being different somehow, different in a way that I could not define in words.
I looked around me and often felt I didn’t belong.
I tried to belong because I wanted to fit in, and perhaps you tried to fit in, too.
Fit into what?
Social acceptance. Peer acceptance. Parental acceptance.
We were trying in myriad ways to gain acceptance from the outside because we did not fully know who we were from the inside.
We may have tried to get good grades in school, or to look a certain way. But no matter what we tried, that sense of belonging was based on something outside of us rather than on who we were within.
You and I had talents and gifts that might have been stifled or honored. But no matter how much we were applauded or scolded, our search for inner knowing was stunted during these years–because we could not identify with soul wisdom on the outside. And I am sure you will agree that we could rarely talk about it to those in our lives at that time.
How were we supposed to know ourselves during our preteen years? By our surroundings and how we felt in our environment. During those years of inner innocence, we only knew if we felt safe and honored, or unsafe and dishonored.
Our achievements may have been wonderful or paltry–but we were never taught to honor our own authentic power. We were taught to give it away. And we were taught to measure our worth by the grades we received, the way we looked, the ribbons we won, or whether we obeyed our parents. Our worth was all conditional.
So we were conditioned to tiptoe around outer conditions to get a greater sense of who we were, and our golden moments were when we received outer approval or validation.
Our most treacherous moments occurred when we forsook our own identity or truth to gain acceptance from the outside. These betrayals remained within our cellular memories for quite a number of years.
We learned adaptation. But we never learned self-honor. We learned to listen to everyone other than ourselves.
We learned to obey what others said as opposed to what was true for us. We watched TV and saw values portrayed that were the opposite of our reality. We longed for what was on TV, where the children were honored. Were you honored? At times I was, and at times I wasn’t. Like me, you learned to adapt to a constant sea of conditioned responses in order to feel safe, secure, accepted, and honored.
You may have been honored for certain behaviors that to this day you call your strengths. You may have been dishonored for other behaviors, and you may still be grappling with how to grow beyond whatever part of yourself you have disowned.
It is vital for you to remember that we incarnated into this life to be all we came here to be. You do have a purpose, and yet during your preteen years you might never have been honored for your true inner gifts. You may have learned to stifle your greatest talents and attributes in order to keep the adults in your life feeling secure with the limited wisdom they may have had about you. Many adults might have felt threatened by your special traits. Perhaps they didn’t know how to relate to you.
Years ago, many people believed that children were at their best when they were quiet. It was said that children should be seen but not heard. As a result, few of us were taught to speak out and rock the boat! Few of us were taught to prepare for a life in which self-sufficiency, creativity, spiritual gifts, independence, and self-expression would be honored.
We were told to believe in the Cinderella theory, and to validate our worth from the outside in–and that alone has taken decades of pain to overcome.
You may not have overcome it yet–but you are about to.
Were you praised for being the real you when you were a preteen? I would venture to say you were praised for listening, or obeying, and perhaps for a talent or two that your family liked to see.
If you belong to the vast majority of women who were raised to believe in everything other than the core of who they are, you most likely find it quite difficult to learn how to know yourself when you were mostly praised for obeying others.
This is the hallmark of forgetfulness among women. You forgot who you were while you were busy looking for ways to gain acceptance from those around you. Your wise soul could not relate to those people and circumstances, and perhaps you had few if any people you could share your truest feelings with–so they, too, became lost.
How can you know yourself when you can’t talk about your innermost feelings with the people around you?
How can you know yourself when you are held to a standard of acceptance based solely on your observed actions or performance? Did anyone ever ask you to honor the wisdom of your soul?
I doubt that they did–because they had also forgotten the wisdom of their own souls as they played out the roles taught to them based on the morals and beliefs of the society in which they were raised.
Many of us were not raised in a society that appreciated lightworkers. They are people (and you may be one of them) with spiritual gifts who openly share and express those gifts in order to help others awaken and evolve in our world. Many times their spiritual gifts are not openly received, and they are negatively labeled as “New Age fruitcakes.” You may be a highly evolved soul stifled in a spiritual closet. You may have wisdom within you that is so vast. And at the same time you may have next to nobody with whom you can relate or share, nobody you can even learn from.
This book is in your hands because you want to reclaim your radiance. You want glowing confidence. Everything you want is everything you’ve already got on the inside. I take you on this journey through your life so you can see why you may not feel so radiant or whole or confident.
It is because the confidence you had when you were born was largely squelched during your younger years, and in your preteen years your inner radiance was based on whether you received approval from others.
How radiant do you expect to feel when you seek approval from others? The more approval you need, the more deeply you have buried your true self.
The more invalidated you feel, the more status you seek in society. The more you lack trust, the more you try to control the outcome of events in your life. By “trust,” I mean going with the flow, knowing that your highest good is always taken care of with divine guidance from the angelic realm and God, or whatever you believe is the highest source of pure love and wisdom in the universe, the source that is always present to assist you unconditionally in every moment of your life.
I bet you weren’t taught about that sort of trust when you were a preteen. I would venture to say you are not alone in this.
Today, unprecedented amounts of higher wisdom pour over the consciousness of humanity in every society across the globe.
Women at the dawn of the twenty-first century are far different from those at the dawn of the twentieth. Can you imagine how vast a leap in consciousness the women of the twenty-second century will feel? It will be light years from where we are now, and we can only get to that point by opening our gateway to higher consciousness through understanding and becoming acquainted with the higher consciousness that exists within our very own selves.
Building Your Inner Knowing
During your preteen years, a part of you did know more than you gave yourself credit for. A part of you saw through people, saw truth, and saw the distinction between who you felt you were and who you felt you should be.
The problem is that when adults teach us directly or indirectly to follow their dictates instead of asking us how we feel about what we are being told to do, the result is a split in ourselves. This split is most common but not acceptable.
When you are split, your ego unconsciously takes over your personality and slowly pulls the veil over your truth.
Now it is time to undo this process, which continues well into the teen years, so you can honor who you really are instead of who you have been told you should be to gain approval.
Chapter excerpt © Copyright 2005, 2012 by Barbara Rose, PhD All Rights Reserved. from Know Yourself: A Woman’s Guide to Wholeness, Radiance & Supreme Confidence. Published by The Rose Group (January 2005) ISBN: 0974145742.