Published in Natural Awakenings February 2015
Is Your Inner Child Screaming for Help?
By Sam Haines and Wendi Rose
Notice how you felt when you read the headline to this article. Did you have a strong reaction? Could you feel something jump inside? Not all the time, but now and again, we think we are rushing around occupying ourselves with the busyness of life when, in actuality, we are running as if hunted by some inner compulsion. It can be really hard to notice and even harder to look at. What is it that we can have such a hard time facing?
It is easy to say “I am stressed out because of my job, or family situation, or even just the daily grind”. Those things, albeit important, are only on the surface of our lives. When we look deeper, we will find a version of ourselves that is panting to keep up, terrified of being seen, a version that feels overwhelmed by the challenges of life. That will be one of our own inner children who is trapped by a condition…the condition of being wounded and powerless.
“Nonsense”, you say, “my inner children are just fine, thank you. If I even believe in them anyway. Besides, what could my feelings and problems today have anything to do with me as a kid?” Great question! Here’s the answer.
All of us have a set of experiences that have impacted us negatively and held us back in some way in our lives. Maybe it was an experience with a bully, or a bad day at school that left us feeling powerless, and we created a belief about ourselves that fit our experience. Perhaps we were abused verbally or physically. No one stood up for us. There are many beliefs that arise out of those situations. In extreme cases, life experiences can leave us with a wound that is beyond our ability to mend. Each of these wounds, even the small moments of shame at being bullied or embarrassed at school-if strong enough-stall healthy emotional, mental and spiritual development. A part of us remains frozen in time, in that moment, in that experience. We disassociate ourselves from that experience so we can move on. We shrug it off. We suck it up. We do whatever we have to do to survive and continue, but we also leave a part of ourselves behind. We are diminished in spirit, presence, and freedom. And we haven’t done this once. By adulthood, we have done this diminishing-of-self many times over.
“So what. What’s the harm”, you ask? “I’m getting by just fine. We all take our lumps. Deal with it and move on”, you might say. Well, imagine driving your car cross country and saying, “I don’t need to change the oil. The car is working just fine.” The harm in ignoring our wounds is greater than we give credit.
Living in woundedness creates cycles of patterned behavior—like limping with a twisted ankle. Our wounds affect how we view and interact with the world around us, how we view and treat ourselves, how we build relationships, and, ultimately, how we treat any children we ourselves have. It has been called ‘the cycle of violence’ in extreme cases. For most of us it looks like impatience, intolerance, and self-neglect or over-discipline.
Now that we have pointed to the problem, how do we address it. It must seem pretty impossible. I can tell you it is not impossible. It takes awareness, choice, commitment and love.
We heal when we choose to heal, and when the necessary tools are available to us. Retrieving that power has amazing healing benefits in our lives.
Coming to the Rescue! Creating a Space of Self-love.
Retrieving our power starts and ends with self-love. Creating a safe, calming, peaceful space in our life is vital to being healthy. We need a place we can enter into the processes of self-discovery, forgiveness, healing, and recreation. It is important that we learn to be loving with ourselves “right now”. We can turn Confusion into Clarity, Agitation into Peace, Hurt and Anger into Forgiveness, and Heartache into Love. Making these shifts in the moments of our lives where it will make a difference most…that is what it is all about. What we experience after will be a breath of fresh air! The benefits include personal growth, developing self-identity, emotional development and spiritual exploration.
Here are some things we can do to create a more loving space with ourselves.
- Ask “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?”
- Ask “What is the most loving way I can be with myself right now?”
- Block out periods of time for doing nothing; make no plans, have no commitments.
- Listen to soft lullaby music.
- Treat yourself to regular massages.
- Choose activities that engage your senses: try new foods, go to new places, finger paint, go to the beach and play in the sand.
- Ask for what you want.
- Ask for help in something you are struggling with; engage in a team activity.
- Speak your opinions with kindness and strength.
- Do more of what you talk about doing.
What does the Retrieval Process look like or entail?
There are many opportunities and support methods for us to address mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives that are unresolved. Through psychiatry/psychology, substance/abuse support groups, meditation practice, yoga classes, religious groups, holisitc/energy healers, we can seek to experience needed resolution, and reintegrate parts of ourselves that have been ‘stuck’ at various stages of development in our lives.
We heal when we choose to heal, and when the necessary tools are available to us. We will know we are ready to heal when we:
- Have the desire and willingness to heal.
- Have the ability and readiness to face painful memories and experiences.
- Have the belief, no matter how small, that it is possible for us to make positive change in our life.
- Maintain the commitment to complete the process once it is begun.
Take the steps to empower yourself, to heal yourself, to love yourself completely.
- Create a pathway to healthy integration of our own inner children.
- Identify and connect with sources of support that match our needs.
- Stay committed to the goal of experiencing peaceful resolutions to painful life experiences.
- Establish simple and effective practices to anchor positive lasting change in our lives. For example: getting plenty of rest, eating healthily, exercise regularly, etc.
In facing our past and experiencing needed resolution, we can make fundamental changes in our lives including but not limited to: cessation of chronic physical and emotional pain, feel more confidence, have deeper expression of ourselves in personal and professional relationships, have greater peace in our lives and have a fuller understanding of ourselves in this life.
Through healing our emotional wounds and clearing belief systems that do not serve us, we will find within us a peace that is uniquely ours; that we can experience and share with others in our life.
- Greater self-love and self-acceptance
- Deeper peace in our life
- Confidence in going after something we’ve always wanted
- Turn our personal “No’s” into “Yes’es”
- Discerning balance between the head and the heart
Remember, we are our first, best and most powerful asset. We can affect great and positive changes in our life, and, in doing so, inspire others to be their best! In this way, we can create a brighter and more loving world together. We can provide tools, knowledge and support. It is our responsibility to use them wisely and lovingly in our own unique way.
Wendi Rose and Sam Haines teach classes and lead workshops that focus on personal growth and empowerment, and teach certification courses in multiple healing modalities. Wendi Rose is an ordained interfaith minister, holistic counselor, healing practitioner and teacher. Since 1995, she has been practicing healing methods including massage, Reiki, IET, NLP, hypnotherapy for both children and adults. Sam Haines holds a B.A. in Music, certificates in IET™, has worked in early childhood development in lead positions, supervised young adult team building. To connect with them or schedule a free consultation, call 267-922-3670 or visit WendiRose.com.