We all have an ‘inner child’. That little girl or boy inside of each of us, often crying out to be seen, heard, acknowledged, unconditionally loved and maybe even soothed and comforted. However, this is a foreign concept for so many women I talk to. Which is of little surprise really as we are not taught these important lessons at school!
What is really interesting is how many women go about parenting their own children, wanting them to be healthy and happy but not remembering or realising they too have an inner child, also needing their parental love. Until that moment when they are led back to meet ‘her’.
In my own experience, reconnecting with the little girl inside me and slowly rebuilding a relationship based on love, compassion and kindness has been one of the most transformational undertakings and as a result, helping other women do this fills my heart with such gratitude and joy.
I remember so clearly the first time ‘we’ re-met. It was one of those life-changing experiences as it cracked my heart wide open and the path I was on, shifted course again. What I hadn’t expected, was to see how scared and sad my younger self was and for the first time ever, I didn’t attempt to push her feelings aside as I had unknowingly done as an adult.
As I was led to ask her what she needed from me, its no surprise now, what she needed was to be loved and to feel safe. Like all children do. And she wanted me to comfort her, as only I knew how, because I am her.
So as I witnessed this beautiful girl for the first time, I wrapped my arms around her and held her there against my heart.
In that moment I promised never to forget her or ignore her. I told her what I loved about her, which is often so much easier to say to children. And as result of sharing this with her, I noticed how safe and loved she felt. I told her I was sorry for not acknowledging how she had felt and I asked her to forgive me. I made a promise that I wouldn’t speak to her the way I always had.
Yes it may have felt strange to begin with as anything unfamiliar often does but it wasn’t long before I softened into the process and discovered the resistance gently fall away. This beautiful interaction was one of the most precious memories I now have and was the start of the most magical relationship any of us can foster. The one with our Self.
This was almost 10 years ago now and I know the miracles firsthand, of nourishing and parenting my inner child.
So some of you may ask what are they? Well the main one being that as I became more and more compassionate, kind and loving towards the younger me, it became easier to be that way towards my adult self. In time, this then extended to how I treated others and in particular, my own children.
What I had been totally unaware of was how tough I was towards my own boys as a result of being raised by a very strict father and then re-enacting this way of parenting with my own children. Having felt harshly judged by him, I had then unknowingly, become the harsh judge towards myself and of course, this was then mirrored in the way I treated and spoke to my beautiful, innocent boys.
Now almost a decade on, what I know deep within me is this.
If we can show our younger selves more compassion when we are suffering, rather than judging ourselves for it, we naturally become this way towards others.
If our dialogue towards our inner child is kinder and more loving, this will be reflected in the way we relate and speak to our loved ones and beyond.
If we can learn to physically soothe our inner child through a gentle hug or hand on the heart, we will demonstrate to our children and others, how they too can soothe themselves rather than look for something external to ‘fix’ how they feel.
And finally, when we can love our child-like selves back into knowing we are our ‘enough’, we can then show up in the world as our TRUE self. One that is not afraid to be seen but rather rejoices in the freedom of being our unique, awesome self.
If this is something that speaks to you, here is a great place to begin.
- Find an old photo of yourself when you were a child and pop it on your bedside table or somewhere that will be visible to you throughout your day.
- If it feels possible, take a few minutes or more to close your eyes and just remember you as a child. Notice how she feels and ask her what she needs from you right now. If it feels right, you can speak the following words quietly to her – “I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you” Make a commitment to her that you won’t forget about her and let her know you are there for her from now on.
- Promise to check in throughout each day to see how she’s feeling and to see if there’s anything she needs from you.
- Set the intention that you will notice when you are being unkind to yourself so that you can begin to change the language you use towards her.
- Promise to love her no matter!
- Write her a letter and pop it somewhere safe, so you can revisit it when needed.
I hope this reminder gives you the gentle nudge to remember your beautiful, innocent, inner child just waiting and wanting you to love and adore her as only YOU know how.
To find out more about Lisa or to connect with her, go to www.lisawinneke.com.au