We have all heard the saying , " time heals all wounds". Many of us even believe it and live by it. But what if I told you that this notion of time being analogous to medicine is false? That there are wounds that are so deep and embedded that " time" is merely a catalyst for healing. The wounds that I am referring to are the ones that were acquired during childhood. Childhood trauma could include physical, emotional and sexual abuse, bullying by peers, absentee or emotionally unavailable parents, witnessing traumatic events (car accident, natural disasters), etc. These are the memories that many of us would love to forget. However, childhood trauma has a way of manifesting itself in our adult life. Regardless of how deep we think we have buried these moments, they show up in our life as failing relationships, infidelity, anxious behavior, indecisiveness, promiscuity, fear of abandonment, need for validation or fear of commitment. You can read 100 self help books or wait a decade to recover, but I believe that the only way to truly heal these types of wounds is to revisit the past or your inner child.
I discovered the "inner child meditation" after my first attempt on a self-care journey. I embarked on this journey in August 2016 after Crystal introduced me to “ Trust” by Iyanla. I remember when she gave me the book. I laughed and said “What is this? I am not reading this shit” (Yup, I was that kind of girl). But upon randomly opening the book and reading the first chapter, I realized that my past had given me some problematic gifts. I was given the gift of defensiveness, anger/rage/ aggressiveness, perfectionism, and an ego three times my size! I bedecked most of my interpersonal relationships with aggression, inconsistency and a small side of instability. Once I started to realize the negative aspects of my personality, I started reading more articles and books (shoutouts to Iyanla for writing about relatable topics. My Google search engine consisted of many " how to" searches. " How to get rid of my ego", " How to stop being irritable" How to forgive people", " How to stop googling so much lol!". In the beginning, I saw some improvement. However, as time advanced I began to regress and even become worst until I came across the inner child meditation. I have now come to the realization that my higher self was trying to let me know that I needed a new approach.
So without further ado, below I will outline my technique for doing this 5 to 10 minute Inner Child Meditation (inspired from a few article on this topic):
1. As with any meditation, you want to find a quiet place. When this is not possible you can use music to silence the noise around you, preferably a song without any lyrics (I suggest Latika’s theme from slum dog Millionaire).
2. Start focusing on your breath. Do this until your mind is somewhat clear or focused. When you reach this point, imagine your younger self. This could be the 6 or 9 year old you.
3. Once you imagine your younger self. Introduce your current self to him/her. “ Hi my name is ___. I am the older you. I want to apologize for leaving you/neglecting you for so long. But I am here now.” I usually stop the introduction at this point but this convo can go on for as long as you like. Say what you want to say.
4. The most difficult step: Once you have become acquainted with your younger self, imagine yourself in a difficult moment. Some articles suggest that that you think of trigger words throughout this step such as “ powerlessness” “abused” etc. I use one trigger word to get started and then I allow my mind to go wherever it wants to. I think this is the key to uncovering these buried wounds and healing them. The soul knows best!
5. Once you are in this moment, comfort yourself the way you wish you were comforted as a child. For ex: bring yourself to a time in your life where you felt abandoned or neglected by someone you love. Comfort your inner self by stating, You are loved and perfect just as you are. Thank you for being strong in this moment and laying the foundation for my strong personality ”. You can do this even for situations where you were the bully or hurt someone.
6. Once you have completed that step. End each meditation by hugging and thanking your inner self. Go back to focusing on your breath before opening your eyes. Pat yourself on the back or cry for completing this meditation.
This meditation can be altered to suit your needs. You should also try to do this for 5 minutes a day. By doing this meditation daily in combination with time, those wounds should start to heal. Even though I am working on myself and doing this meditation, there is still a lot of work to do so remember to be patient, persistent and consistent!