Many of us have endured childhood experiences that have left us traumatized.
These experiences have shaped our perspective and how we interact with our world. There are parts of us that have never known love, especially during times of extreme discomfort.
Many of us have yearned for love and it was never received.
What we may have experienced during our early years can become repressed or forgotten when it was not given the space to be grieved or loved.
We move from living to surviving. When we carry the trauma in our bodies and when we feel threatened, we react unconsciously, not understanding why we do such things.
Reconnecting to our inner child is facing neglected, conflicted, and repressed emotions.
This is not an easy journey, but one to be treated with love and compassion.
Trauma can leave one feeling fragmented and disconnected from the self, especially parts of the self which have never known love. The journey of integration is one through love and compassion—the energy required to connect to one’s inner child.
It was deep into the first lockdown when I realized how I must repair the relationship with my inner child.
My journey really began with facing the traumas created from the divorce of my parents and not having a connection with my father for the first 13 years of my life.
I oscillated between the household of my father and mother and realized around the age of 21 years old that I had a lot of inner dialogue filled with blame for what had happened.
The dialogue was an echo of the things I was told, rather than my own voice. Deep within this sorrow was a child who’d never been witnessed. The anger I felt while growing up was a cover for the sadness of not having parents who connected with the pains I felt for such a long time.
Through love, we can integrate these fragmented parts and embrace the oneness of self. It all unfolded the way it was supposed to in order to embrace the lesson, embrace the sorrows of our soul.
The journey of connecting to our inner child is unique but will act as a guide to utilizing our tools and finding our unique voice.
I changed how I spoke to myself through writing letters and feeling the pain I had carried around for years.
My inner child was a symbol of all the sacred truths I have entered this world with, and I nurtured those truths: my creativity, my inquisitive nature, and my playfulness. I began speaking out loud to myself lovingly, rather than with hatred.
I was grateful to have my father beside me during this process, connecting authentically. He showed up and provided the space to witness me as I am. For years, I had played through a serious-faced facade and slowly returned to the playful nature of being a child. I found it was healing to play an instrument and not take life so seriously.
All that really exists is this present moment, and I can just be the best version of me, which is the present me.
As we grow older, we are left picking up the shattered pieces of childhood, trying to make sense of it all.
The journey of life, when having experienced trauma, is a difficult one and never easy—especially alone.
Do you have an inner critic?
Some of us have an inner dialogue that can be quite harsh, constantly analyzing our own moves and overthinking every situation. In life, we make mistakes.
We may have done this during childhood and perhaps we were ridiculed rather than compassionately taught the error of our ways. We did what we had to do to survive. We did the best that we could do.
Drown out the inner critic and raise the volume of acceptance and compassion toward the self. The sooner one accepts what has happened, the better we are able to move forward.
Returning to our true nature
The nature of a child is to be playful and to experience the fullness of each moment.
How many of us stop ourselves from having fun and take life too seriously? What did you enjoy doing as a child?
What do you need to engage in forms of play to loosen up and just experience the fun aspects of life?
How do you choose to express yourself?
As children, we love to create. Whether it’s drawing, singing, dancing, or playing an instrument. Through creativity, we unlock the gateway for expressing our essence. Emotions we never faced or expressed live within us and have become repressed.
Our nature began with curiosity about the unknown, wondering what something felt like or tasted like. We did not know whether it was good or bad for us. We had an intrinsic desire to experience the unknown.
“This is the real secret of life—to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” ~ Alan W. Watts
We can utilize the five love languages toward the self:
1. Affirmations: how would you speak to your inner child? What were the words you needed to hear? Why not write a letter full of loving words toward yourself?
2. Acts of service: what was your favorite meal as a child? Why not make it for yourself? How about grooming yourself with love and compassion by wearing your best clothes and accessories? Clean and organize your personal space to make it appealing and aesthetically pleasing to yourself.
3. Receiving gifts: buy yourself something you loved as a child. Treat yourself to an experience. Invest in yourself and your future
4. Quality time: practice mindfulness through meditation, walking, or deep breathing. Start a hobby of interest. Sit down and watch a film of your own choice.
5. Physical touch: roll out your mat and stretch your body through different styles of yoga poses. Moisturize your skin with lotions and oils that smell nice, making you feel good and show gratitude and love toward each body part. Why not enjoy a lovely hot bath relaxing your body?
When we connect with our inner child, we may face many troubles and sorrows, but with love, it can be easier.
It is you who is the giver and receiver of love, and healing our childhood wounds begins with self-love.