socio-political self-help and stuff
have you spoken to your inner child lately? those parts of yourself that you may have somehow forgotten… those parts that still appear, and often take over, in places you often don’t realize. like when faced with the word no, does your inner two-year-old appear on the scene, forcing your adult self into a bit of a tantrum? or do you find yourself rebelling, like you did at fifteen, when faced with rules that you don’t agree with? or how about finding yourself generally annoyed with anyone of a certain younger age (believing that all six-year-olds are evil, for instance)?
all of these instances mean that your inner child is in great need of a little tlc. some attention. and most importantly, love. i first learned the technique a few years back, working with a buddhist psychotherapist. at the time, we used visualization exercises in order for me to speak to her. to see her. to heal her. my little seven-year-old self carried so much shame, hurt and guilt that loving her wasn’t even a possibility then.
and so i went back. again and again. started looking at other ages beyond her. that feisty little two-year-old with her old soul, acting as if she were thirty. myself at twelve, where i just wanted to be heard, yet no one could listen. oh, and that fifteen-year-old rebel fighting the power at every chance she could (cringing still). yep, i keep going back to not only give them the things that they need, but to listen to them. to love them. to free them. thus freeing myself in the process.
i’ve had to tell me at twelve that she can no longer take the lead in my present-day relationships, by shying away from being vulnerable and pretending that she really doesn’t like him, when i do. and i’ve had to allow that two-year-old the freedom to play – and not be so (ir)responsible when it comes time for my current self to play. and of course, i’ve had to grant forgiveness to fifteen. she actually did not ruin my life, as i once believed…
i will admit, the idea of visiting with former versions of myself seemed a bit far-fetched for me during that first visit. my left-brain could only see the person staring back from the mirror at the stage she happened to check herself out at. but once i moved beyond the place of doubt, i cannot tell you how freeing the experience has been. to the point now, when i notice behavior in others that i don’t necessarily like, i look to my former selves to see where that behavior in myself formed and solidified. and i offer her forgiveness. and sometimes, it requires a chat with several of them. still, it makes all the difference. and as i love, heal and forgive them, my life becomes a greater expression of the woman i wish to be today… and less of what it once was.
for more information about inner child work, here’s an about.com article about the purpose… and if you’d like to begin visualizing who you once were, here’s a guided meditation that is useful in becoming familiar with the process.