Healing the Pain of the Past
Most of us have had some pain or trauma in our past that call for inner child healing. It’s true that we can’t make the past events “unhappen,” but it is not the event that hurts – it is the ways we chose to interpret it. It is our perception, and our perception is caused by the programming and beliefs we have stored deep in our subconscious mind. We can change that anytime we decide to. Here are a few steps to guide you through the process:
1. Recall an event that triggers a painful memory. Imagine yourself in the surroundings of the event. Become aware of your emotions. Mentally scan your body from head to toe and pinpoint your physical sensations: a knot in the gut, tenseness in the back of the neck, a clenched fist, a tightness in the chest, a lump in the throat, breaking out in a sweat, feeling weak all over, a quivering lip or weepy eyes. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” Identify it.
2. Accept the fact that the feeling exists. Own it: it is yours. Let yourself feel it deeply; don’t resist. Trying not to feel it prolongs pain. You can’t heal what you can’t feel. What you resist persists.
3. Use up stored emotional energy by describing the feeling. Say things such as “I hurt”, “I’m afraid” or “I’m angry.” Are you trembling, is your heart pounding, do you feel like weeping, screaming or swearing? Your body knows what it needs to make you healthy and happy again. Find a safe place, and then let your body have its way. Scream, cry, yell, hit a pillow, do whatever it takes to physically release the feelings.
4. Now allow a time that you felt the same way as a child to come to your mind. Trust your mind and the impressions that you are receiving. For a moment be that child. Where are you? What’s happening? What are you feeling? Become aware of other feelings. What are they? Allow you, as the child, to express your feelings. Scream, cry, yell, hit a pillow, do whatever it takes to physically release the feeling. Now reach out and love your Inner Child. Hold him/her in your arms. Hug that child. Tell him/her that you love them, that you’ll always be there for them no matter what.
5. Ask your adult-self, “What did this recent event mean to me? Did I feel threatened? Did it tell me that I’m not okay; that I’m ugly, unwanted, inadequate, incompetent or worthless? Did I interpret the event as a putdown, a sign that I don’t count for much, that I’m being left out or unlovable?” When you find the interpretation that fits, cancel the negative meaning.
6. Now substitute a neutral or positive interpretation of the event. You can always say:
“That’s interesting: I wonder what it means”
“What can I learn from this?”
“I wonder what the other person involved is feeling to act or react that way?”
“What difference will it make in 25 years?”
If you have discharged your emotional energy you should be able to think creatively. Always believe that no matter what people say or do, you are still a worthwhile, lovable, unique person. Realize too that they are seeing things and situations through their own internal programming, though their own unhealed inner child.
7. You have just reversed a bad mental habit. Encourage yourself, pat yourself on the back, and tell your misery maker it is time to move over and make room for the new boss: You!