Very few of us were given all the tools we need to flourish as children. Generations of trauma and conditioning has been unconsciously passed down. As long as we remain unaware about this, we have no control over the situation, no control over the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and where we came from. But instead of finding blame (or comfort!) in victimhood, I invite you to recognize the power that you have in this moment to rewrite the story. When you choose to heal your inner child, you give your grown-up personality the freedom it needs to flourish.
How long will it take?
Healing won’t happen overnight, but it is possible. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by expecting immediate delivery – maybe Amazon can offer you that – and even then, there’s always a cost! But definitely not your wounded inner child. Think of all the time it takes to lay all of the layers of training onto a child. (If you’ve ever worked or spent a lot of time around kids, you know it takes constant repetition to teach them anything. We train children through repetition, reward and punishment, just like we do with pets.)
Now, think of how long it takes for all this training to coagulate into of the painful blocks in your psyche. It takes a while – years – your whole childhood! That’s partly because it’s not so easy to domesticate a human being. People want to be whole, nature wants to be in harmony, and everything wants to heal. As you’re doing this shadow work, remember – the most powerful forces in this world are on your side.
So, how do I heal my inner child?
There are countless ways to do this type of healing work. Many of them involve energy workers or therapists. It’s a great option if you have the time and money (which anyone can manifest, but that’s for another article!). Right now, though, much of the world is still social distancing, and many are teetering in a financial limbo.
In the spirit of sharing and caring, I want to offer a simple meditation that I’ve worked with in my own healing. Disclaimer: I am not a licensed psychologist or a specialist. I simply have distilled knowledge I’ve picked up from great teachers into a practice that is powerful and effective for me. Give it a try! It won’t take more than fifteen minutes. You have nothing to lose but your trauma and the whole universe of freedom to gain.
What are the benefits of this meditation?
Each person will respond in their own way, but here’s what this process has given me:
- A feeling of independence and confidence knowing that I can heal myself
- A deeper acceptance of my past
- Compassion for my own suffering
- Understanding of how my past has subconsciously shaped my present
- Release of childhood grievances (against myself, my family and my friends)
- A sense of connection with all things, wonder at the flow of life
A meditation to heal your inner child
- Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. It’s nice to lie down, but you can do this sitting up, too. A bed, a couch, or the floor (I recommend getting a blanket or something to keep you warm) can all work. Just keep your spine straight if you’re lying down. Make yourself comfy and cozy. You might rest your hands on your belly, or relax them by your sides. Close your eyes.
- Take a few deep breaths into your lower belly. Squeeze out all the air on the exhale. Repeat until you feel your heartbeat and your thoughts slowing down, your body relaxing.
- Repeat to yourself three times: I am safe. I am held. I am supported. (If a different affirmation comes to you, use that). This will create a safe container for you to bring up a wounded part of yourself.
Enter the healing space
- Begin to visualize a beautiful, natural space around you. Mine is a meadow. Maybe yours is a beach, a mountaintop or an orchard. You could use a physical place that you’ve been to as inspiration, but I think it’s better to create your own safe haven. That way, it’s totally free from external associations and always available as a site for your healing, no matter what happens on the 3D plane.
- Evoke it with as much detail as possible – use all the five senses. What fragrances are wafting through the air? How does the sun and wind feel on your skin? Ground yourself in that space by focusing on the contact of your body with the ground – grass, rocks, earth, sand, whatever. Feel yourself really rooted in that space.
Invite your inner child
- Now, invite one past version of yourself into this space. Focus on one concrete past self that needs healing right now. Maybe it’s you at age three; maybe you’re sixteen. Only you know. Of course, we could all use healing at all our ages, so just pick one version that you’d like to work with today. If you’re not sure what this would be, before you start the meditation, you can pinpoint it by doing some stream-of-consciousness journaling or sitting in stillness and simply asking: which past version of myself is asking to be healed right now?
- Once past you has arrived on the scene, welcome them in and help them get comfortable. Maybe you invite them to sit next to you; maybe you greet each other with a hug. Observe. What does past you look like? What is your reaction to this being?
Hear and heal your inner child
- Now, it’s time to have a conversation with your past self. You brought them here for a reason, so try your best to hear them out completely. Do your best to suspend judgement or desire to even change that past self; instead, just listen to what they have to tell you. This should flow naturally from your own intuition, but here are some questions to guide you:
- What do you need?
- What would you like me to know about you?
- How can I help you heal?
- Take as long as you need here. Once you feel the conversation has been completed, thank your past self for showing up and speaking their truth. You may want to close with a bow, a hug or an oṃ śāntiḥ. When you are both ready, allow your past self to dissolve.
Close and come back
- Spend a few moments longer in this healing space. What has shifted? Perhaps you feel a sense of calm or resolution, or perhaps you feel some pain or loss. Whatever you’re feeling, note it, accept it and let it go.
- Visualize the room that you’re in, and your body in relationship to it. Start to come back into your body by breathing deeply into your belly. Wiggle your fingers and toes, bringing movement back into your body. When you’re ready, open your eyes.
Lastly, you might find it useful to journal about your experience. What did you learn about your past self? Has your energy shifted in any way? Describe your reaction to the truth that your past self expressed. What shifts can you make now to better meet the needs of this past self?
That’s it! I hope you find this exercise healing and insightful. You might be surprised by what you learned about your inner child.
If you try it, please comment and let me know how it went, or reach out on social media! Or, if you have your own healing meditations and practices you feel called to share, I would love to hear from you.