If you follow my work you will have heard me talk about the inner child before. If you’ve studied or had personal sessions with me you will know the benefits of connecting with younger aspects of yourself. Here’s a quick overview of inner child work:
Anytime we didn’t get our reality and emotions validated and empathised with as a young person we are likely to have internalised belief patterns and stored emotion that affect us adversely as an adult. Inner child work facilitates us to access these parts of our self via regression, dialogue, imagery or journaling for the purpose of resolving unhealed trauma.
Our wounded inner child needs healthy parenting. Unconsciously we search for that externally. We expect to be mothered or fathered by our partner and we get frustrated when our parents today still can’t meet our needs despite our futile attempts to get the love we need in the way we need it.
Sometimes we can get some positive parenting from our partner but to expect this continually is not healthy in an adult-adult relationship. Relationships with older nurturing friends or therapists can be quite healing for the inner child. If we use these healthy role models as teachers, we can come away with skills to parent ourselves.
When we are mature, we can learn to parent ourselves. This is self-esteem at its finest. Here is a good example from my life this past week:
I came home from teaching advanced regression skills out of town recently. It was a 3-day course with long hours and a lot happening. I had also worked for a week prior to the course. My first day home my energy was high. I spent the day cleaning my home and doing jobs. The second day I noticed in my morning practise that my energy was feeling flat. This is a subtle noticing that I would have once easily missed if I hadn’t been checking in with myself. I sensed I may even get a cold if I wasn’t mindful.
My pattern for decades was to keep going, to miss the subtleties as my focus was on the ‘what next’. This could have me blaming others for not taking care of me as I avoided self-responsibility (which is what blame actually is), arguing, feeling like a victim or being addictive to keep the pace up and would culminate in burnout or illness (which is one way of getting the rest one needs!) My inner child that needed support, rest, acknowledgement or to feel some emotions was being ignored or trampled over in the forward rush to stay away from feelings.
These days I am wiser. I realised I needed a rest. No one was going to say slow down and take care of yourself. I said it to myself. If I had tuned in to a younger me, I would have discovered a young teenage ‘pleaser’ that thrived on the recognition of others for pseudo power – a girl way out of touch with her own needs and emotions.
I took heed. I cancelled my day of ‘do’. I skipped my daily walk and put all work on hold. I needed rest. I set up my oil diffuser with healing oils, gathered books, mags, a journal and a pen. I got the cushions just right and spent the whole day on my couch. I enjoyed a long bath, made nurturing food, made cups of special tea in a special cup and parented myself. An interesting bonus came when my teenage son and my partner were home. They picked up on the vibe and responded in a nurturing way to me.
During my rest time I was able to discover some sad feelings that wanted to move through me. If I had missed this I may have noticed projections of my frustration onto others. It was a nurturing, love myself day that brought my power back as well as lifted my self-esteem another notch. Any time we heed our inner knowing we develop our self-esteem.
I suggest you go within as a regular practise to sense what you need physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Then you can consider how to take care of yourself on these levels. Notice when you are trying to demand care or attention from others. These are ways you can check in to discover that you need to parent yourself.
Here are some self-parenting ideas:
Know you have access to infinite inspiration from your own Higher Self on how to take care of yourself. Tune in, quiet your mind and listen. Be your own best parent and you will see benefits like increased self-esteem, confidence, power and happiness.
Wishing you loving care for your little selves.
Image by Yousef-Espanioly on Unsplash
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