Heal The Boy And The Man Goes Free

Most adults are just kids in big clothes!   TD Hughes

I believe that most folks who are regular readers of the Sunday Cruxes understand the importance that I place on the things that are learned during childhood. My own childhood was really good in a lot of ways. I’m sure that I had it better than most. Still, I adopted many false beliefs and distorted views of myself and others as a result of the “programming,” those thoughts, behaviors and beliefs that I accumulated during my childhood and adolescence. There was no shortage of programmers either; my parents & siblings, teachers & coaches, friends as well as enemies. Additionally, elements of the culture, like the music to which I listened, the movies that I watched…some more than once, the magazines that I read, and the athletes whom I tried to emulate all were influencing me in subtle yet powerful ways. I now understand, with more clarity than ever the impact of these influences on my emotional development and self-image.

I still love to watch good movies. I especially like the ones that wrestle with issues of substance and that successfully pierce some meaningful aspect of the human condition. I have approximately fifty movies that I could watch over and over again. Some movies make me laugh…Tommy Boy, some make me cry…Saving Private Ryan, some make me cheer…Shawshank Redemption, some have left me numb…Schindler’s List, one in particular emboldens me…Braveheart and there are a select few that deliver in almost all of those categories, like Forrest Gump!

One of these favorites is a movie made in the year 2000 entitled The Kid. The main character Russ, played by Bruce Willis is a Type A image consultant whose ultra-successful life is turned upside down by a most unlikely visitor to his home. An awkward, pudgy middle-schooler shows up at his upscale mansion one night and quickly takes up residence with him there, both physically and emotionally. Rusty, the boy reminds Russ of all the things that he detested about himself as a kid and his mere presence challenges Russ to rethink his life and to put his past into the proper perspective. The movie is fun and its plot, though implausible at times, gets one thinking about the power of the past and its indomitable force to continually shape and permeate one’s present.

Earlier in my life, it was difficult for me to admit to, much less reconcile with elements of my past. Through the wisdom and guidance of friends and mentors, I have found my way to a better understanding of myself and the reasons why I do some of the things that I do. I recognize that the soul-less things that I did came from being disconnected from my true self. As a young boy and budding adolescent, I was always trying to be either more or less than the person who I was meant to be at any particular time. I was an impostor, feeling my way around to the part that I was meant to play in my own life.

I’m confused as to why there seems to be such an aversion within each of us to dig deep into who we are and our motivations for doing the things that we do. It is not a sign of weakness to unpack our past. So many of the things that we do were learned at a very young age.

We should ask ourselves, what is the worst thing that can happen to us when scrutinizing and replaying our earliest years? Being a witness to our memories has every chance of helping us to better understand the thoughts, behaviors and beliefs that unconsciously drive our daily behavior. We can’t unscramble the egg! Each of us has survived our past, no matter how difficult or disordered. We have made our way to the other side of our experiences; so merely reflecting on those defining moments and key learnings from our childhood needn’t be fraught with wailing and gnashing of teeth.

With good fortune and overwhelming grace, we will discern how we came by our beliefs and idiosyncrasies honestly. In time, through a combination of introspection and personal rigor we have every opportunity for some serious personal growth. Better yet, we can be healed on various levels and fully cooperate with The Force that is conspiring to set us free.

Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying…. cause you are!


Comments 5

  1. Lynn Pierson

    Good reads for those who are inclined to learn more about this very profound topic include: “The Relationship Cure” by Pia Melody and “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” by Terrance Real.

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      TD Dierker

      Lynn- Was it John Gottman who wrote The Relationship Cure? Pia Melody looks to have also written extensively on the topic of relationships and addictions. I will lean more from Terry Real and John Gottman as I intend to dive deeper with both. As a newbie–are these the books to start with from both authors?

  2. Bobby Schmitt

    Great read TD…we’ll all been there before. We hope we are shaped by good people, family and friends growing up. If you put on a pair of white gloves and go out to the backyard flowerbed to pick up a glob of mud, the mud will never get “glovey”…the gloves will always get muddy. Even though we tell ourselves that wicked associations don’t harm us (we think our good will rub off on their bad), we get soiled in the process. Thank you God for the good people in our life at an age of influence.

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      TD Dierker


      I have never heard that analogy in my whole life; the picture it paints for me is very powerful. Trouble is, that in various ways we are all called to be gardeners. Life is inherently messy. I need to sit with the analogy a bit more and let it marinate on me. Rubbing off on others and them rubbing off on me is a deep consideration and something I underestimated as a young man. Likely, I am still underestimating its impact on my life today. Great stuff, so thanks!–TD

  3. Ann Marie Dierker

    Great job hon…you are amazing at opening up the door to let others share their hearts with people who care about them.

    Love you!

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