No matter what your relationship with your mother (or parents), everyone can benefit from healing childhood wounds.
All of our parents do the best they can with the knowledge and emotional skill set they are equipped with during your upbringing. And really, the recovery of your inner child is an opportunity to delve into some deep, radical self-care. Let’s go!
To start, let’s take an honest trip down memory lane and see if there is an overarching theme with the inner child that needs to be recognized and worked through.
Maybe you didn’t get to voice your opinions, speak up for yourself or dissent on any family matters. Maybe you felt you had to be perfect to be loved, so you worked really, really hard and didn’t have joyful, free spirited play like other kids. Maybe you felt neglected, like you were in the way or a bother or burden. Maybe you felt invisible and unseen because there were so many siblings, or there was illness or financial strain in your home that took the spotlight. Maybe your thoughts, ideas or dreams weren’t taken seriously or you felt really different from the rest of your family.
Do you identify with any of these scenarios? Is there another one that leaps to mind? Please take a moment to honor whatever feelings come up and grieve them. Allow yourself to feel the frustration, anxiety, sadness, heartbreak, loneliness, disappointment or uncertainty.
To be well balanced, happy adults and have the ability to serve humanity in a positive and unique way, there are certain skills that we adults should possess to help us navigate the world. We should have joy, ways to self soothe, implement self-care and create good boundaries with self and others.
Get to know your inner child
Let’s try an exercise to get reacquainted with your childhood self. Maybe she was shy, angry, sad, despondent, impulsive, lonely or scared. We’ll be creating a safe space for you to work on creating or improving the positive life skills that we’d all like to possess.
Take a few deep breaths. Envision yourself coming into a room where your childhood self is sitting. Notice how old she is. Kneel by your inner child to offer encouragement, hugs and tell her all the ways you are proud of her. Assure her she’s doing so good.
Let her climb up in your lap and rock her or hug, kiss or comfort her the way you wish had been done for you back then. Listen to her thoughts and dreams.
Sit in awe of this child. Soak her in. See her as the limitless expression of God/Source/Universal Love. Let her see you and be mystified at how she has grown. Get to know each other. Tell her stories of your life.
When you are ready to complete your time together, reassure her that you will always be there for her, that all of her feelings are valid. You will never leave or abandon her for anyone or anything else. You will always have each other. Remind her that you love her unconditionally.
Now that you have gotten reacquainted with her, you can come back to this space and sit with her again, any time you feel overwhelmed with a current situation and it sends you back to negative feelings and/or patterns from childhood.
A good way to come back to her is to ask her, “what do you need right now”?
Does she need boundaries?
Are you honoring your time or physical needs? Could you set reminders on your phone calendar to create routines? Do you need to say “no” to some people? Let some relationships go that feel bad? Remind yourself that it is okay to change your mind when you become aware that something doesn’t feel like it’s the right thing anymore.
Does she need to reconnect with joy?
Are the things in your life in alignment with your gifts and purpose? Do the activities you do make you feel uplifted? Are you taking time to play and find pleasure in life? Schedule time to do something just for fun with no result or outcome in mind. This creates dopamine hits and shifts your mind into a more creative flow and encourages new thought patterns.
Does she need to take some self-care time?
Are you breathing shallowly up high in your chest? Take some deep belly breaths in through the nose and out through the nose to calm. Have you had enough water today? Are you eating high nutrition foods? Have you moved your body today? Are you sleeping well? Noticing what your body needs and giving it to yourself reminds you that you have the power to change your situation, both physically and mentally, by caring for your vessel.
Does she need to be soothed?
Are you emotionally overwhelmed? Take a few moments to breathe deeply and acknowledge what you are feeling. Tell yourself that it’s okay to feel that way. Now, what will make you feel better? Writing those thoughts out and getting them out of your head? Meditating and envisioning the thoughts floating away on clouds until your mind sky turns blue? Wrapping up in a favorite blanket and feeling warm and safe? Having a warm cup of tea? Taking a bath with epsom salts? Running around the block as fast as you can to burn out excess energy, anger, frustration? Hitting a pillow or screaming into it?
The idea is to move yourself out of the emotional loop by soothing yourself and showing yourself that you can take care of you, and reminding yourself that you will not feel this or think this way forever. You show yourself that you can create solutions.
Each time you choose to ask your inner child what you need, you are bolstering your skill set. Good job!
Choose to show up for this child (you) every moment of every day. Remember that you are valuable, unique and important. This world is your playground to explore all of the expressions of you, a place to learn and grow, no matter your age. You may feel you didn’t receive everything you needed as a child, but it is never too late to begin. You are worth it! The world needs you! We need your whole self, uniquely showing up to the planet right here, right now. You were made for this.
We are rooting for you!