by Wendi Rose and Sam Haines
Now and again, we think we are rushing around occupying ourselves with the busyness of life when, in actuality, we are running as if hunted by some inner compulsion. It can be hard to notice and even harder to look at. What is it that we have such a hard time facing?
It is easy to say that we are stressed out because of our jobs, a family situation, or even just the daily grind. Those things, albeit important, are only on the surface of our lives. When we look deeper, we will find a version of ourselves that is panting to keep up, terrified of being seen, a version that feels overwhelmed by the challenges of life. That is one of our own inner children who is trapped by a condition: the condition of being wounded and powerless.
“Nonsense,” we might say, “my inner children are just fine, thank you. If I even believe in them anyway. Besides, what could my feelings and problems today have to do with me as a kid?”
All of us have a set of experiences that have impacted us negatively and held us back in some way in our lives. Maybe it was an experience with a bully, or a bad day at school that left us feeling powerless, and we created a belief about ourselves that fit our experience. Perhaps we were abused verbally or physically. No one stood up for us. There are many beliefs that arise out of those situations.
In extreme cases, life experiences can leave us with a wound that is beyond our ability to mend. Each of these wounds—even the small moments of shame at being bullied or embarrassed at school—if strong enough, stall healthy emotional, mental and spiritual development. A part of us remains frozen in time, in that moment, in that experience. We disassociate ourselves from that experience so we can move on. We shrug it off, suck it up and do whatever necessary to survive and continue, but we also leave a part of ourselves behind. We are diminished in spirit, presence and freedom. By adulthood, we have done this to ourselves many times over.
We may think we’re getting by just fine, but imagine driving a car cross country and saying, “I don’t need to change the oil. The car is working just fine.” The harm in ignoring our wounds is greater than we give credit. Living with these wounds creates cycles of patterned behavior—like limping with a twisted ankle. Our wounds affect how we view and interact with the world around us, how we view and treat ourselves, how we build relationships and, ultimately, how we treat our children. In extreme cases, it has been called “the cycle of violence”. For most of us, this cycle looks like impatience, intolerance, and self-neglect or over-discipline.
Creating a Space of Self-Love
Healing takes awareness, choice, commitment and love. Retrieving our power starts and ends with self-love. Creating a safe, calming, peaceful space in our life is vital to being healthy. We need a place we can enter into the processes of self-discovery, forgiveness, healing and recreation. If we learn to be loving with ourselves right now, we can turn confusion into clarity, agitation into peace, hurt and anger into forgiveness and heartache into love.
Here are some things we can do to create a more loving space with ourselves.
- Ask “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?”
- Ask “What is the most loving way I can be with myself right now?”
- Block out periods of time for doing nothing; make no plans, have no commitments.
- Listen to soft lullaby music.
- Treat yourself to regular massages.
- Choose activities that engage the senses. Try new foods, go to new places, finger paint, go to the beach and play in the sand.
- Ask for what you want.
- Ask for help in something you are struggling with; engage in a team activity.
- Speak your opinions with kindness and strength.
- Do more of what you talk about doing.
The Retrieval Process
There are many opportunities and support methods for us to address mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives that are unresolved. Through psychiatry/psychology, substance/abuse support groups, meditation practice, yoga classes, religious groups, holistic/energy healers, we can seek to experience needed resolution and reintegrate parts of ourselves that have been stuck at various stages of development in our lives.
Take these steps to empower, heal and love ourselves completely.
- Create a pathway to healthy integration of inner children.
- Identify and connect with sources of support that match our needs.
- Stay committed to the goal of experiencing peaceful resolutions to painful life experiences.
- Establish simple and effective practices to anchor positive lasting change in our lives. For example: getting plenty of rest, eating healthily, exercising regularly, etc.
In facing our past and experiencing needed resolution, we can make fundamental changes in our lives. These changes may include the cessation of chronic physical and emotional pain, increased confidence, a deeper expression of ourselves in personal and professional relationships, a greater peace in our lives and a fuller understanding of ourselves in this life.
Remember, we are our first, best and most powerful asset. We can affect great and positive changes in our life and, in doing so, inspire others to be their best. In this way, we can create a brighter and more loving world together.
Wendi Rose is an interfaith minister, holistic counselor, healing practitioner and teacher. Sam Haines holds a bachelor’s degree in music, certificates in IET and has worked in early childhood development in lead positions and supervised young adult team building. Rose and Haines teach classes and lead workshops that focus on personal growth and empowerment and teach certification courses in multiple healing modalities. To connect with them or schedule a free consultation, call 267-922-3670 or visit WendiRose.com. February 2015.