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socio-political self-help and stuff

taking you back to take you back

or at least chat? (photo credit: anonymousartofrevolution.com /creative commons use)

or at least chat?  (photo credit: anonymousartofrevolution.com)

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.

editor’s note: the initial guided meditation linked to a recording that apparently belonged to a paid site, but an internet search allowed a direct link to it, without request for payment. the site’s manager has requested that i remove it and i have (and have notified her of said glitch in the matrix). a new youtube video for an inner child guided meditation is posted in its stead. apologies for any trouble or confusion resulting from this mishap…

7 comments on “taking you back to take you back

  1. sara
    2013/06/24

    Excellent advice! i believe I also have things that needed to be addressed with younger versions of myself…

    • Rachel
      2013/06/24

      i’m sure that in the future, i will have to go back and address issues with this self. lol. hopefully, it won’t be as painful as that fifteen-year-old. 🙂

      • sara
        2013/06/24

        Right. Speaking of healing issues with recalcitrant 15 year olds, have you read the book The Sisterhood of the travelling pants? I felt like I understood my 15 year old self sooo much better after reading that, and I was able to forgive her for being emotionally immature (der! how else was she supposed to be!). I have also recently had words with my early 20s self… 🙂

        • Rachel
          2013/06/24

          i haven’t read that one. adding it to my ‘to read’ list… thanks for the suggestion!

  2. broadsideblog
    2013/06/24

    So true.

    My husband and I have both had some big, bag arguments — in the heat of which we each said to the other: “You’re not fighting with me right now at all.” And we were not, but still duking it out with earlier ghosts, back when we felt small and vulnerable. It’s helped us a lot to remember we’re all still little people inside and, like matryoshka dolls, all those earlier versions of us are still us.

    • Rachel
      2013/06/24

      stacking dolls! yes! i’ve never thought of it that way… and it makes so much sense. i so appreciate you for sharing such an incredible visual!

      • broadsideblog
        2013/06/24

        I only realized in replying to you…thanks for the inspiration!

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This entry was posted on 2013/06/18 by in help, self and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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