"My Dear Child" Live at Hit Box Studios in Lima, Peru


During a visit to Lima, Peru in January 2020, I was invited to record a song at Hit Box Studios. I have always recorded my own music, so was the first time I’ve had someone else do all of the recording and post-production for my music. It was a wonderful experience and it came out great. Thank you Hit Box Studios, Ed Rocket, and Luis Guibert!


My Dear Child is a deeply personal song about stumbling into the well of my shadows, meeting my wounded inner child there, and letting him know that I love him and hear him, and that it's safe for him to break, bleed, cry, feel, and express. It's an acknowledgement that the only way out of my well is not to climb back up into the light, but to go deeper into the mud, befriending my wounded inner child, giving him space to feel sad, angry, and betrayed, finding gratitude for the suffering that he has endured that has made me who I am today, and then letting him go so he no longer controls me.


My Dear Child came during a time in my life when I was noticing behaviors as an adult that I was not proud of, that hurt myself and others around me, and held me back from being who I wanted to be. These behaviors—anger, rage, blame, and isolation—confused me. I couldn't pinpoint where they were coming from. They didn't make sense. They weren't aligned with who I wanted to be, but they were clearly sourced from me. I slowly learned that these behaviors were adult manifestations of strategies I developed as a child to survive what was often a traumatic and frightening childhood. Though they served me well for many years, they were now coming out sideways, causing pain and suffering to myself and to my loved ones as they rubbed up against the more fully expressed, truer version of myself I was striving to become.

My Dear Child comes out the work I do with The Mankind Project. In Robert Bly's book Iron John he likens the shadow work we do as men to bucketing water out of a well. It's a long, arduous journey of going deeper and deeper, bucket by bucket, as we dig through layers and layers of pain and suffering that we've taken on over many years to eventually get to the bottom of our well. It's here that we meet our wounded inner child—the little boy who was hurt long ago and who developed strategies to survive. As a child, these survival strategies worked, but as an adult they are not only out-dated, but they hold us back from being the men we wish to be in the world. In order to break free of these unwanted behaviors as an adult, we must meet our wounded child at the bottom of the well, love him for all he feels, thank him for developing these strategies that have helped us get this far, and then set him (and ourselves) free. It's a rite of passage of sorts to bless our wounded child for all he did for us and then to let him go. And, in my experience, it's a process that can take years—perhaps there is no end to it. I can say with conviction that many of the "men" who have inserted themselves into positions of power in our modern world have not gone through this rite of passage of meeting their wounded inner child, blessing him, and releasing him. Their wounded inner child still runs the show, using the only strategies he knows to deal with the world—the survival strategies he developed to get through his traumatic experiences as a child. Unfortunately what served him well back then, now only creates destruction and suffering in the world. These childhood survival strategies manifest in the adult body as anger, rage, violence, oppression, blame, war, and murder. This is why I believe so deeply in "men's work" and men consciously blessing and releasing their wounded inner child—so that we may stand a chance of saving the world and humanity from the destructive forces of wounded child men.


Lyrics

I stumbled in my well tonight

I'm drownin' in my fear

So many men stronger than me

Have found their courage here


I see you and I hear you

And I feel all your pain

I'm sorry I did not listen

For thirty long years

My dear child


I can't feel my body

I lay here a broken man

I make my bed atop the bones

Of the demons killed down here


It's safe now, you can come out All you fear has gone away

You can lay your broken heart out

And I'll bleed with you tonight

My dear child

It's a dark, dark place I'm sleeping now

And I don't know if I'll make it out

Every step up is two steps down

I'll never get out of here, no, no

My dear child


Slowly through the dust I see

The heights I've fallen from

I searched up there safe in the light

But my gold is buried here

I promise I won't leave you

I won't let you die alone

So take your time now

And cry your tears out

Your secrets are safe with me

My dear child


Papa never taught me how to dig

With my bare hands in the dark

But the only way out is further down

Through the mud beneath my feet

The stories that you whisper

They are easier forgotten

But if I don't listen of my volition

They'll haunt me 'til I die

One of us will die down here

And it sure as hell ain't me

I'll admit this was all a choice

Over my dead body

My dear child

I sit atop my well tonight

Lookin' down, down, down

I give thanks to the suffering

That I've been blessed to bare

For we were placed as men on earth

To remember that we're good

But first we must deal with the devil

At the bottom of our well

My dear child

I stumbled in my well tonight

I'm drowning in my fear

So many men stronger than me

Have found their courage here

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ryancaseyandersen@gmail.com

San Francisco, CA