Yesterday, in the 3rd class of my 4-part foundations series, we worked on inner child healing. This type of work can seem a little weird, but I assure you it can be life-changing if you allow it. Let me say that we all carry around some kind of trauma – even if you had the “perfect” childhood. My mother was pretty awesome and loved me unconditionally, yet I’ve been trying to resolve issues of low self-esteem, depression and shame my whole life. It doesn’t have to be something violent; trauma is an emotional response to a distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms your nervous system. During a particularly intense inner child healing, I recalled a time when and an older relative was making fun of my appearance. To my 8-year-old psyche, it was traumatic, because it was perhaps the moment when I became self-conscious of how I looked and felt shame about it. And that shit followed me my whole life.
Unresolved trauma can be the root of your struggles as it sits in your subconscious and creates unhealthy patterns. Think about some of your habits that you wish you didn’t have, or perhaps you notice you get triggered by certain things? Impulsive reactions? Or maybe you notice patterns of attracting a particular type of person or situations? Or maybe you’re a people-pleaser? Or suffer from years or anxiety, depression, guilt, shame or anger? Yeah, those old traumas are like little balls of shit stuck in your energy system that keep you hostage and pretend to be your personality. It is the inner child who feels panic or rage or hopelessness, not the adult. Anytime we have a strong emotional reaction to something or someone - when a button is pushed and there is intense energy attached, that means there is shit stuck to you.
It’s not important who caused the trauma, because if we focus on that, it often leads to blame and further victimization, and well, fuck that. The relative that shamed me was a bitch and that’s her issue to resolve, not mine. Instead, we need to witness our state of consciousness around the time the event occurred and that moment, you can become the adult that child needed and therein lies the healing. Inner child healing is empowering, because it’s something we can do by ourselves for ourselves. It’s not about trying to erase the trauma, but heal and grow from it.
One of the assignments I give my students is for them to “carry” their younger self with them for a week. In other words, pick an age from your childhood (7 usually works, but it can be any age), think of yourself at that age and pretend that they are with you 24/7 for a week, so they observe everything you do and say during that time. Be mindful of their presence and how it makes you feel. See if you can connect with your younger self’s state of consciousness. What was going through their head at the time? What was important to that child? Who were your friends and what did your environment look like? Did you feel safe? What does s/he think about the person that you’ve become? Then, be the adult your younger self needed. Listen. Nurture. Forgive. See what you can learn about yourself from that child. Do all this as a gentle observer that is wishing to learn something...so no judgements and no blame! You’ll be amazed at the realizations and healing that come from this exercise….Many people figure out WHY they are attracting the things/people in their lives. They discover and heal generational wounds/trauma. And the best is when they find forgiveness and freedom of the past.
So, go ahead and get cozy with your inner child and give that cutie all the love and support that s/he didn’t get back then.