This week I got intimate for the first time truly, with my inner child. Anyone who has done any personal development would probably have heard of this concept. The notion that within us lies our ‘inner child’ or our true self. Often it is seen that through life experiences we tend to conceal or hide our true self, ironically usually as a way to protect ourselves. Our perception of environmental circumstances and emotions, along with feedback from our parents, siblings and peers can make us believe we need to look, act, react, behave, feel differently than what we really do. So we feel uncomfortable about having to do or behave in ways that are not congruent with our inner child and we respond to situations or even create situations in which we can either over express or suppress these traits.
Essentially we lie to ourselves. BUT… It is bigger than just us isn’t it. There is a vast wide and full universe out there that has other ideas.
It is thought and I believe we are put on this earth with a contract or set of lessons that we need to learn or resolve in order to grow and evolve and share our true light and gifts with the world. This belief led me to that post on my Instagram feed a couple of days ago…
“Right now we are being given the experience we need to raise our consciousness” ~ Eckhart Tolle
This statement is so powerful to me. It allows you to dissociate from whatever is happening in your life right now. Forget the story. Honestly does playing it out and going over it over and over again help anyway? I don’t mean bottle it up. Definitely not. But the minute I learnt the ability to not take the situations that have pained me as personal, I became empowered. They weren’t personal attacks, they were necessary experiences in order for me to grow to the point in which I am now ready to love and nurture me. My inner child. Like that meme doing the rounds at the moment…
“UNFUCK YOURSELF…Be who you were before all that stuff happened that dulled your sparkle”
So how did I get in touch with that innocent part of me? Well it has been a long time coming. But came exactly when it was supposed to. I have done a lot of therapy, soul searching and PD over my life time but especially in the last two and a half years since my relationship breakdown with my childrens’ father. About three years ago I was blessed enough to attend a retreat in sunny Queensland, Australia called Gwinganna. A life changing experience indeed. I learnt about my personality traits from a horse (a story for another day), I completely unplugged for 4 whole days (except to text the kids once a day) I learnt about relationships, myself, nutrition and meditation; but the long term growth gift was meeting with my now Psychotherapist and Reiki Master, Linda. So I have been meeting once a month with Linda since that time and it is only just this week that I had done enough work on myself to allow her process to fully take shape.
Now don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean the rest of it was a waste of time. Obviously it is a process and every person will track along at the rate that is right for them. Every visit I would pick up something of value and as I slowly incorporated those exercises and ways of living into my life, the shift slowly unfolded to where I am now. Unfucking yourself is not a quick easy process. And its relative to the time and energy you put into all the past patterns and behaviours.
So when this unbelievably talented therapist says to me (and I don’t know how she knew this) ‘You used to wait at the window with anxiety for your dad to get home’, I nodded in disbelief. You see it was my perception that upon his arrival home I had to adjust my behaviour to suit the kind of day that he had had. It is the people pleaser in me. I wanted to make everyone in my family happy, proud, connected and I would do this by disassociating from whatever I felt at the time and behaving how I thought I should in that moment. I feared losing his love. It is nones fault. I place no blame. We were all doing our best with what we knew at the time. And we all definitely love each other. I know and feel that now but I did not feel it back then. So the perceived truth coloured my world in ways I turned into quite destructive patterns.
So she gets adult me to get up from my chair and go to the window to reenact the memory. Instantly, I dissolved. It was mind blowing. Ten seconds prior I had been sitting in my chair across the room, composed and seemingly fine. As soon as I got to the window, I reverted completely into the child version of me. The feeling that I had as a child in that moment. The intensity scared me for a second, until I heard her voice telling me to bring myself, and my little Michelle back to the chair to sit down. Once I had calmed myself a little she talked me through a beautiful breathing technique she uses that she herself had been taught at a Buddhist retreat in the Swiss Alps only weeks earlier.
Once I had regained control of my breathing and thoughts, she said to me that this is where my new growth journey lies. To go into that emotion with my inner child and to fall into acting it out, I am unable to soothe, work through, help and protect that inner innocent part of me. And she needs me to look after her now. I have rejected and neglected her for long enough.
So how do you do that? Well it is essentially simple. What would you do if you saw a child in that situation? If you saw a child upset, scared, hurt, anxious, nervous. What you you do for them to make them feel safe, heard, loved and worthy? Whatever your answer is to that question, is what you should do for you in a situation that elicits any of the fear based emotions. Exactly that.
We all seem to be so hard on ourselves these days. Trying to do too much, be everything and do it all perfectly. Well I say fuck that. Stop trying to be anything, and just be.
Be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Nourish yourself. Acknowledge your fears and then look at how they hold you back. Then grab that inner child of yours in a big bear hug and don’t let go until they know you are reliable and will always have their best interests at heart.
We would never dream of harming an innocent child yet we do it to ourselves every day.
I do believe if we treated ourselves with the love we deserve all the outside stuff will iron itself out. As true love comes from within. From within we can shine bright across the world.
Much love, Michelle xxx