Self-development is not an easy task, and occasionally requires that we break ourselves down in order to build ourselves back up again. Although this process can be painful, it simply goes with the territory of being human. Adaptation to a new state of affairs often means that we have to change our mindset.
Life crises actually present themselves in order for us to make changes in anticipation of upcoming events. For instance, a crisis during adolescence prepares us for independence and the responsibilities of adulthood, whereas a crisis during middle age prepares us for new challenges that arise as a result of being on the cusp of mature adulthood. The pain that we go through in a crisis is usually worth it in the end, because it’s an inevitable part of finding inner peace and happiness.
Regardless of problems that we are dealing with currently, or how old we actually are, the subconscious baggage that we accumulated as kids never really goes away. Our inner child is with us every step of the way and has an influence on how we think and act throughout the entirety of our lives.
Unresolved issues and trauma can hinder us from thinking straight when it comes to dealing with our problems in the present. Overcoming this hurdle requires mustering up enough courage to be able to confront them. Here are four ways of healing your inner child:
1. Speak to your inner child
Imagine yourself at a certain age in your childhood, and imagine yourself having a conversation with the child you once were. Recall what your hopes and fears were at that age, and talk to your young self about it. Tell him or her that everything is going to be alright, and that you love them, hear them and understand them. Say that you will protect them from danger or harm.
Find a “safe place” for you to visualize, and begin relaxing your body. Breathe deeply until you feel comfortable and ready to embark on a journey into your past. Try using various inner child healing visualizations scripts that are available online to help you, because they will allow you to connect with the younger and more vulnerable parts of yourself.
A visualization exercise gives you the chance to gain a deeper understanding of your current situation while developing a powerful sense of compassion for yourself. You might even find that things come back to you that were forgotten due to some trauma or other. Simply ensure that you undertake a visualization exercise in a safe and gentle way. If you want to enlist the help of a professional therapist for this purpose, then by all means, do so.
Our inner child can carry much latent guilt and regret, having a great bearing on the decisions we make later in life. For example, if you have a sibling that was constantly compared to you and berated by a parent when you were growing up, you might have wished for poorer grades in order for the under-fire sibling to feel better about him or herself.
Over the years, you might have found yourself holding onto that guilt and thus kept undermining yourself and avoiding success. In a situation such as this, you need to understand that what transpired wasn’t your fault, forgive yourself and stop hindering yourself from achieving what you want.
4. Embrace Loneliness
We tend to cover up our inner child due to feelings of it being flawed and wear a socially appropriate “mask” as the years go by. This results in leaving our true selves behind, and we begin to identify with the (false) mask that we created for ourselves along the way.
The only way that you can rectify this is to be aware of the isolation and loneliness of the true self. It can only come to the fore when all the accumulated layers or protective defense are unraveled and removed.
Acknowledgement of the guilt, loneliness, and hurt we hold on to can lead us to stop feeling embarrassed and ashamed and lead us to appear in the world as we truly are. We need to give our inner child a voice, thus empowering it so it can come out of hiding and be loved for what he or she is.
Images by Deposit Photos