One of the most significant results in healing work, from both clients and my own experience, is unpacking and exploring inner child reunification. Many people tend to repress the hard parts of their childhood or coming-of-age years because they either didn’t like what they did, or didn’t like what happened to them. We tuck these pieces away and hide the key, hoping and praying they don’t come creeping to the surface. The challenge in this thinking is that we are the sum of everything we have ever been in this lifetime, including our energy, our genetics, our history and the history of our ancestors. We can’t just hide this part of ourselves away because she will inevitably come out of the box we have put her in, inviting our wounds to reveal themselves. As uncomfortable as it might feel to revisit fear, shame, doubt or guilt, this is the work we must do to stop hiding and start living. With this acknowledgement, we begin the healing process.
Many people feel that because these moments may have been traumatic, or because these are times we prefer to forget, that it’s forgotten. But, the body remembers. The body holds your little person inside your body and all the emotions from your past until you are finally ready to bring it to the light. Many of us think that a reunification means we need to love our little child inside, or that we need to jump to compassion and automatic forgiveness. This is rarely the case. The truth is that our younger selves, and our bodies, just need the door open to acknowledgement. They need to hear your anger, fear, doubt, jealousy and shame. They know it’s in us because your body and your younger IS YOU! When we formally open the door to the painful places where we hide, it’s as if the Divine herself feeds us with so much light and love. All we need to do is start the dialogue, and open the door.
But how do we do this? I have worked with a lot of trauma as a healer and the number one thing that often helps is to create space for the younger you to talk. In the process of healing your inner child, we will learn how to re-parent our little child, how to communicate, create boundaries, understand triggers, forgive old behaviors and accept and love ourselves. Inner child work has a direct link to ancestral lineage healing when we discover the emotional, physical and behavioral patterns passed down from generation to generation. We discover, when we reconnect to our inner child, that some of these patterns are often not ours and not our fault, but have been passed down as an unhealed pattern. Healing your inner child is not only one step toward inner freedom, but also freeing your ancestors from their pain as well. Often when we open the door to reunification, we begin to feel more whole and trusting of ourselves – even if we’ve struggled from years of distrust.
There is a visualization that I lead people through when learning to trust and love the adult in us as well as the inner child: You would never allow a six year old to drive a car. But often when we are unhealed and unable to connect with her, we don’t realize that this little girl is the one driving the car–making decisions for us, leading our meetings, living the life of an adult, but with the behavior and mindset of a child. It is important to visualize our little child in the backseat, with a seatbelt–where she does belong–so you, the adult, can drive the car, parent and be the adult. A healthy relationship is one that finds your younger self acknowledged and present as a part of you, but in control so that your adult self feels safer, more energetic and whole. The child part of you is creative, playful and often fun loving; she needs these times to play or feel. But let’s leave the big adult decisions to the adult in you!