Today, I want to ask you to participate in a self-love exercise to heal your Inner Child.
It is meant to bring up some emotions, so before you continue reading this, I ask that you do one of two things. If you’d like to do this when you have a known safe and quiet space, and a journal or tissues, please bookmark this and find time in your calendar in the next few days when you have a good time for this.
Or, if you can do this now – read on ahead, get an idea of what this exercise is, and then participate in this for your healing journey. Either way, I ask that you read all the way through once (or twice) before trying this exercise.
You might want a journal or some tissues for this. This exercise is intended to bring up old emotions and memories that need healing. Please have a nice glass of water, or a cup of herbal tea with you as well. You can have a candle you love burning or start by cleansing your space by burning some sage or palo santo.
The exercise starts with you closing your eyes, and taking deep breaths. Let the space around you drift away until you feel yourself connecting with your center. Lay one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Feel the weight of them against your skin. Become aware of your physical body, and continue taking deep, steady breaths.
When you’re ready, I want you to picture that you’re in a nearly empty room. This room is dark (black and white), and only has a single piece of furniture. It can be a sofa, or a chair, whatever you picture is fine. In front of this piece of furniture, there is an old-school television. While you can picture a new TV, I think since this is an exercise to bring up past memories, it helps to picture older technology.
Let memories of your Inner Child drift to the surface of your Heart and mind. Don’t stop what comes up. Allow it space, and say hello to your inner child. When you feel connected to them, imagine yourself turning on the TV.
This television can only play memories, your memories. Look for the spaces inside of you that are hurting, and need healing. Ask your Inner Child, on the screen, what they need. What is there to show you? What have you pushed away? What have you buried and pretend doesn’t exist?
What is ready to be let go?
What comes up? Where is your hurt?
Sit with whatever comes, watch it pass on the screen, and feel whatever you need to feel as long as you need to feel it. Is the memory something that surprised you? Or something you expected to see?
So often, we wear our trauma like a badge of honor. We keep it close because we want a reminder of what we survived. We want to keep it close, so we remember it was real, and that it defined us. And deep down, for some of us, depending on the pain, we keep it close because we think we deserve to still feel that pain. Especially memories that target our self-worth.
Ready for the really hard part? You might be crying by now, and that’s okay. Let those tears fall.
Go back to that memory, or memories, that came up on that old screen. Imagine that version of yourself, usually your child self (although you could be an adult in the memory), appearing in the room, fresh off that timeframe. They are probably scared and emotional.
Approach them, and pull them into your arms. Give yourself the gift you needed in those moments, give yourself what you didn’t get. Hold them so close, and tell them over and over the following things.
“I am here for you.”
“You are safe.”
“You are loved.”
When you feel that blossom of Heart, and hope, picture instead the previously black and white room is now full of color. Whatever comes to mind is totally fine. Hold the hand of your Inner Child (or Inner Adult), and picture doors open to nature. Go outside, feel the sunshine on your skin, and repeat the phrases to both of you. Say them out loud if you feel safe to do so in your current space.
Before you let go, tell yourself, both versions, “I love you.”
Say it over and over again. Feel that healing begin. We can never go back and change the past. What we can do, is imagine a time when we were hurting, and be there for ourselves. There’s profound healing to be found in stepping up for who you were, with who you are now. I guarantee you, they are not the same person.
Do this whenever you need. Be kind to yourself after. Take a bath, or go for a walk. Ease back into your day.
And remember …
You are strong.
You are enough.
You are worthy.
You are LOVED.