Tapping Into My Inner Child, A First Step To My Healing Breakthrough
Updated: 4 days ago
(Me, around age 5)
Let me tell you a story of the day that changed everything for me.
In spring of 2018, I was utterly lost, fading fast, and could feel the destruction in my mind and body brewing again to frightening levels. I knew that it was only a matter of time before I exploded and/or once again got sucked under; no matter how hard I struggled to stay above water, I could not break through on my own.
“... my time to throw my hands up and surrender had come.”
I sat on my bed, and a deck of spiritual healing cards I liked to draw from daily, caught my eye. As always, I shuffled them and drew one, my breath catching as I read its contents. You see, I had pulled this card many times before and always quickly tucked it back into the bottom of the pile.
Something about “surrendering my fears unconditionally” scared the living daylights out of me, for I knew in my heart that these fears were well warranted.
But suddenly I was filled with a divine energetic presence, and a peaceful understanding that ‘this was it,‘ overcame me; my time to throw my hands up and surrender had come.
“This had to happen or I was finally going to lose my life for good and leave my daughter behind.”
In that moment, as my chest burst with both a familiar anxiety and a less familiar strength and assuredness, I knew that I must let go of these fears and hand them off to The Above. This had to happen or I was going to finally lose my life for good and leave my daughter behind.
Choking on my tears, I threw my hands in the air and wholeheartedly surrendered, saying the words, “PLEASE take these fears. I surrender, unconditionally. THANK YOU for showing me whatever it is I need to know to HEAL. I’m ready.”
And I Meant. It.
I made a commitment to myself to remain open, stop lying to myself and release some of the control I had been fiercly holding onto to protect me from facing certain truths. I’d do whatever it takes to get well for my daughter.
What happened next changed everything for me. It started when I decided it was time once again to find a new therapist. Bear in mind, a main negative core belief I’d learned when tiny and then clung to all my life was that I am shameful for having emotions and for sharing them, so it would not be easy to open up to someone. But again, I knew it was time.
I had seen therapists in recent years, but realized that I talked mostly about my chronic health issues and would mainly ramble away about my frustrations with physical symptoms and doctors, while subconsciously avoiding the underlying issues I’d been running from all my life. If only I knew then that these unrelenting physical symptoms and chronic illness were mere manifestions of the mental, emotional and physical trauma I had endured early in life.
“The mind/body connection is greater than I had ever thought possible and I am now living proof of this...”
The mind/body connection is greater than I had ever thought possible and I am now living proof of this as my physical healing rapidly progresses as my trauma healing continues.
I was led down the path of seeking someone best suited to my needs and being so private and with this inexplicable deep seeded shame inside, I chose someone an hour away who does not take insurance, because I didn’t even want my health insurance company to know I was seeking counseling!
While traveling down this path, I found Barbara.
It was the start of my True healing, body, mind, and spirit.
I am so grateful for having been introduced to Inner Child work, and what it did to get the ball rolling to open me up to a place where real healing could begin, and the ability to share it with you now...
We all have younger versions of ourselves still inside us, and depending on the type of experiences we had in childhood, these children might still be suffering. It is this side of us that has a ‘grown up tantrum’ when someone slights us or we get cut off in traffic. That is our inner child ‘acting out.’
“There is no shame in acknowledging our inner hurt and in fact, true healing is often impossible until we take this first crucial step.“
There is no shame in acknowledging our inner hurt and in fact, true healing is often impossible until we take this first crucial step.
Those of us who had significantly stressful or even traumatizing experiences while in critical developmental stages of childhood, tend to have very wounded inner children, and some of these children are too traumatized still to trust us enough to allow us to remember particularly difficult events and feelings from childhood.
It took me many weeks of talking to my inner children, tapping into them through journaling and meditations, to get them to trust me enough to take the next steps to remembering.
I can remember the resistance I felt while first sitting down to write from my five year old self’s perspective. Looking back, it is so understandable why she felt so hesitant to trust anyone and it was admittedly horrifying when the memories did finally start to come.
Once they did, it was relentless, as they had quite a lot to share with me and quite a lot of healing to do.
Looking back, I wish I had had a stronger foundation in Somatic Experiencing Therapy.
After months of debilitating retraumatization and hitting the roadblock of my severely wounded inner children being untrusting of and unwilling to open up further to my therapist, I began studying Dr Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing Therapy and my husband, who my inner child had begun to trust, helped me to apply his techniques, which I’ll detail in a later post.
Again, getting in touch with my inner children was a necessary first step.
I will post links below to resources which helped me to tap into my inner children, truly opening the door to further healing.
Something simple you can do today is to start a gentle narrative with your own inner child/children.
Tell them you love them, you are sorry for ignoring them all these years, and you are so glad they’re here.
“Speak to them how you would your own child who is hurting.“
Speak to them how you would your own child who is hurting. They deserve to be heard. Tell them you are so proud of them and so sorry for all they went through and they have NOTHING to be ashamed of.
Acknowledge their hurts and celebrate their talents and victories.
Invite them on a walk with you or to color with your child. Only you have to know, or you can get brave and fill your loved ones in!
My husband got in on it once he saw how it was helping me. Our inner children have helped us to help one another and have made us a much stronger
couple, though they do still fight over the remote on occasion!
It might sound eccentric and feel even more foreign at first, but it will quickly become a great source of comfort and open you up to greater healing and eventually will help you tap into undiscovered/unexplored passions and talents.
The freer our inner children feel to express themselves, the freer and more fulfilled we will feel.
Now if you’ll excuse me, my inner child and I are off to go color in my farting unicorns coloring book...
** I’ll continue to post stories of my healing journey. If you connect with them.... if they stir something inside you..... I hope you’ll join me by liking my page Facebook.com/MegHappens and signing up on my website MegHappens.com to get notifications of my stories. Please share my posts with others you think may find healing in them.
**Below are some of the resources I found most helpful:
An eye opening TED talk on the physical effects of childhood trauma over a lifetime:
Helpful Inner Child articles:
Online Inner Child course which was very helpful during my process:
Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child (one of John Bradshaw’s books)
One of a series of videos of Bradshaw discussing healing toxic shame:
A video on Introduction to Somatic Experiencing- highly recommend as a starting place
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma (Dr Peter Levine’s books are amazing and this was a game changer for me):
On Complex PTSD:
Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma https://www.amazon.com/dp/1492871842/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_oN.LCbZCB9K35