As a child, I had an incredibly loving and supportive home life; so encountering mean and cruel children at school (and adults who failed to protect me from them) was a shock from which I think I’ve never really recovered. If I could reconnect with that child, I would want to pass on the message that it’s all OK and that none of the cruelty of the schoolyard matters and that meanness essentially comes from how people see themselves, not how they see you. I’m happy to share the full version; here’s what I wrote:
Dear Rüdiger -- we lost touch somewhere along the way, didn’t we? I saw the walls go up -- the defences you put in place to protect that huge heart and big feelings. I’m not blaming you or judging you -- I know your fears and why it seemed necessary.
But it’s OK -- it’s safe now. Those people are long gone and -- I’m sorry to say -- you’ve been maintaining those battlements for nothing. More than that -- I’ve learned that people’s cruelty comes from how they see themselves -- it’s not nothing to do with you at all. You are not defective, or lesser, or worthless, or unlovable just because somebody believed those things about themselves and then tricked you into believing those things were about you instead.
If you trust me enough to lower those defences, I can help you see that too.
Your heart is big and you have so much love to put into the world. It’s so big that it sometimes blinds or overwhelms people! That’s a rare gift and you diminish the world by hiding it behind walls and barriers.
Fear is all the separates us -- it is all that stands between you and your best destiny. It makes your world smaller and darker and colder and leads you to seek and accept less for yourself, and also shuts down a source of light and life for those around you.
Peek out through the cracks. Where are the people who projected their own unhappiness and inadequacy onto you? Nowhere to be found. What’s more -- even hampered by the all the heavy armour that you still carry with you, you have climbed above all of them. What more you could you achieve, what more could you give, if you gave up the things that are now just holding you down?
The siege is over, and you not only held out, but you prospered. Now, please, step out with me into the light, and let your own light shine. It’s OK -- I promise you it’s OK out here. You are safe. You are loved. You are accepted. You are more than enough. The world needs to feel your love. Please trust me. Please become me.