A Technique to Nourish and Heal Your Inner Child
“As the echos of our past ripple through our being we can choose either martyrdom or mastery”
Working with your inner child is hugely effective for making positive changes to self-worth in your adulthood. The majority of our subconscious programming stems from our younger years; 75% of our personality is created between 3 – 5 years old, interwoven with forming beliefs and values from our caregivers and environment which can impact us greatly as we grow older.
Children are very trusting to those around them and will always gravitate towards love. If we did something to upset a parent or guardian we would often feel guilt and shame and act in ways that initiate winning their love again. Love and affection gives us a sense of belonging and connection whilst building trust as we grow older, it is the most powerful force in human existence. If physical touch, affection or attachment was sparse during the early stages of life, it can have a big impact on a person’s ability to connect with others as they grow older.
Most people experienced the attachment and affection they needed as a young baby, however as we move through childhood the twists and turns entwine more lessons as challenges were tossed into our life experience. This could be either via family dynamics or within the system of school and education. When we are in our early years we learn about forming relationships, empathy, emotions and control. If our freedom was limited, we found unhelpful ways to gain control of our emotions. Fears, abandonment, rejection, detrimental habits, high achievement, anxiety are all examples of grappling with survival. We want to be loved and be lovable, however if these emotions aren’t processed naturally and positively through life experience, we can bring them into adulthood.
The following exercise is to help anyone who is feeling any form of self-doubt, this could be negative thoughts, fears that hinder success or create feelings of loneliness, isolation, low self-esteem and detrimental habits. Know that working with your inner child can be a very healing experience and actually need not take a lifetime of therapy. What I love about Coaching is how tackling these hurdles in a solution focussed way, allows a person to see the positives in their life experience. All challenges can be re-framed into a learning experience, this is when you get your power back.
Here is an exercise you can do at home when you will not be disturbed.
- Find a time and space where you will not be distracted or disturbed
- As though you are going into meditation, take 3 deep breaths in and out
- Imagine a TV screen in front of you as though you are about to watch a movie
- Switch it on and bring in a picture of your younger self
- Connect to this younger you, what do you feel, see or hear?
- Can you hear the sound of play, happiness or sorrow?
- As you connect to your younger self, gently bring into the movie your adult self
- See your adult self lean forward to offer a hug, as you hug transmit the feeling love to your younger self
- Speak to this younger version of you either quietly in your mind or out loud
- See the adult-you giving good advice, wisdom, telling your younger self how brave, powerful, clever she/he is for getting through their personal challenges
- Notice the feeling of forgiveness, accept your younger self for any misunderstandings, for any shame, embarrassment or guilt
- Acknowledge if your younger self has anything to say back to your adult self
- What does that younger self want to say to you? What does he/she need?
- Give your younger self all the advice, wisdom and mentoring he/she needs
- Give more love and hugs with kind words as though you were talking to someone you dearly love
Life is a process of learning and growing and no parent or guardian can protect a child 100% of the time, in fact over protection is equally detrimental and could cause a child to feel vulnerable when they eventually go out into the big wide world i.e starting school.
The most important thing in any healing journey is to shift from victim mentality into a landscape of learning and notice how all the challenges you overcame made you the person you are today. Love that person as you are now and if you don’t, step into the journey once again of healing your inner child.
Good luck <3